I have a couple of (probably really stupid) beginner questions...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ChristyMarie82, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. ChristyMarie82

    ChristyMarie82 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 27, 2012
    Dayton, Ohio

    We are getting our chicks today, and I have a couple of questions. This is our first time with chickens, and I've been doing a ton of research, but still have a few questions.

    Firstly...do I leave the brooder lamp on 24/7? I'm a bit leery of having it on overnight while I'm upstairs sleeping. The set up is in our kitchen with the rabbit and ratties (large kitchen, away from all food, counters, stove, etc!). It's a large cardboard box, straw, and brooder lamp that my husband attached to a wire line on the wall so we can move it up and down, but won't touch the box at all.

    Secondly...everyone says "train them" as soon as we get them. So, I guess I'll be handling them A LOT to get them used to me. At what age can I actually start giving them treats and try to teach them to come to me? And, what kinds of treats?

    Thirdly...(and lastly, I think)...when do I start putting (millet??), and do I put it in their feeder, a separate feeder, etc....

    Thanks so much in advance!!

    I'm an ag girl...but I've always focused more on the large animals, such as horses, so the chickens will be a bit of a learning curve! [​IMG]
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    The lamp stays on 24/7. Start out at 95 F and raise the lamp each week to lower by 5 degrees. At 70 degrees, over 4 weeks they are ready to go outside.

    Millet is a treat. It should be given sparingly and you could feed them from your hand.
  3. ChristyMarie82

    ChristyMarie82 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 27, 2012
    Dayton, Ohio
    ok, thanks! So, I just need to get over it and stop worrying about my house burning down! [​IMG][​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  4. chicknubee

    chicknubee New Egg

    Jan 29, 2012
    Central PA coal country
    I, too am getting chicks for the first time. I ordered (qty)9 day-old chicks. I understand ther's an attrition rate. What % can I expect to lose?
    If my gardening experience is any guide, not all of these chicks are gonna live to lay eggs.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  5. Oakieridge

    Oakieridge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2012
    Lincoln Co., OK
    We use a rubbermaid tub with chicken wire on the top for a brooder, we start with a 80wt bulb, the second week a 60 wt. bulb and then the 3rd week a 40 wt bulb then out to the brooder in the feed house they go for another 2 weeks. The light will have to be on 24/7.

    As far as training goes I clean our brooders every other day so I handle them a bit on those days. We don't give treats to our chicks until they are out of the brooder. But that is just how we do it. You will find what works for you and your chicks.

    As far as losses go, we have only lost 4 chicks out of the 80 chicks we have had in the brooders. out of all of those only 1 was a suprise it passed. We bought all as day old chicks at the auction and the 3 I expected to loose had been weak and not real active at purchase. We lost one little barred rock I didn't even realize the poor thing was doing poorly. Just woke up one morning and he was gone.

    If you buy your chicks local, I think you have less loss than if they were shipped and spend days in the postal system but that is just my personal thought on it, lol.

  6. ChristyMarie82

    ChristyMarie82 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 27, 2012
    Dayton, Ohio
    Ok, I think I mean GRIT, not millet. To help grind in their gizzard? I think I read that they need it after they are two weeks old?

    I have a 250W bulb...
  7. Melinda35

    Melinda35 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2010
    It will tell you on the bag how old they are supposed to be to get grit. I think it is 8 weeks. If they are free ranging you don't need to worry about this. I have never given mine grit but they are out all day long and not in a run.

    As for the bulb make sure it is tied where it cannot fall on the cardboard box not just clamped to something. Lots of fires from falling bulbs.

    Most of all...enjoy! They wont stay little for very long. [​IMG]
  8. Baggagolers

    Baggagolers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2012
    Start out feeding them chick starter and it will have the grit in it.
  9. ChristyMarie82

    ChristyMarie82 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 27, 2012
    Dayton, Ohio
    Ok, thanks everyone! I have chick starter already, bought it the other day.

    Our heating lamp is DEFINITELY tied up and out of the way. My husband has it attached to a metal wire on the wall...no way it's coming down...but it is made so I can adjust the height.
  10. greenckick

    greenckick Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 9, 2012
    I am a first timer too. We got 5 babies the first weekend in Feb.
    One thing that surprised me about raising the babies is how the poop can fly. Literally it will be all over your kitchen. As they get older they will scratch more and more, and stuff comes flying out of the cage/box. Have a chicken-only broom to sweep up the messes as to not cross contaminate your house broom.
    Another trick I learned was to attach the chick feeder to a block of wood this will keep the chicks from knocking over, spilling and generally wasting food. I had read on here to elevate it but my girls had that figure out in days and as I would close the door I watched one of them pull it off the block of wood to tip it over. We did this for about 5 minutes then I got my glue gun and showed her [​IMG]

    They are fun! You will have a great time!

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