I Love 'Em, but... How Was Your Chicken Day?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Reyvaughn, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. Reyvaughn

    Reyvaughn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last week I built and set up the new 6x4' brooder (removable divider so there is also 4x4' and 2x4' sections), put 300lbs of sand in it put the BAs, EE and Banties on the big side (2-4 weeks). I put the SSs, BRs and RIRs on the small side (all under one week). I had all intentions of putting the EEs (soon to be 4 weeks and nearly feathered), out in the coop with the 13 older chicks (5-6 weeks). Yeah, there is still a light heating their space.

    First, the sand. From BYC members, I was told it was easier to clean, didn't smell as bad, provided a better dusting and would be a good grit for the youngsters. My entire porch is covered in sand dust. I mean COVERED. You walk out there and you can feel it all gritty on your skin. Then you come in and blow cement boogers for hours. And the smell! You know that rotting seaweed and fish smell you have at the beach? Guess what? My porch smells like it! I am going back to shavings tomorrow!

    Second, the BAs, EEs and Banties have begun picking and eating each other's feathers. Every one of them have no back feathers and some lost some of their wing and tail feathers. I have been blu-koting them every day for the last 3 days and they are still doing it! I even tried Heal-Cut because it stinks and I assumed would taste nasty. I ran all over today trying to find some version of No-Peck or Pine Tar. What a waste of gas. I did find starter grit for $0.39lb - so I bought 10.5lbs. Anyways... Nothing has changed about their situations except the brooder and the sand. All 28 of them have been together since they came home (although they were a couple of weeks apart). Yeah, I know 16 square feet is cramping them, that's why I want the 8 EEs out this week. Unfortunately, I now have featherless EEs and bare backs and I am pretty sure the older birds will notices and pick. Especially the Brown Leghorns.

    Third, today I look in and see one of my RIRs has a bloody, feather free back and sparse and bloody tail! Great. I get it out, spray it and return it to the brooder. I watched everyone and saw that the BRs were starting to peck at another RIR and it's tail was starting to bleed. I come back a little later and see the first RIR's back is oozing clear liquid from the wound. So, I put her in the cat carrier to see if it scabs. 45mins later, no scab. I had to set the original cardboard box brooder back up in the living room as a hospital and put them in there. I started reading why they are picking and I determined it's either that they are eating to much sand and now are protein deficient or it's a space problem. Since the sand is the new thing... I think it's sand related. You know, sand is the devil now! I just had all 44 chicks in a space smaller than the 4x4' area (hence the brooder).

    Fourth, I decide to tackle a possible protein issue. I scrambled up 10 eggs for 44 chicks and put them in the brooders. I watch the younger group (RIRs, BRs and SSs) to make sure my Floppy (the SS that didn't eat on her own for 6 days) is eating some egg, too. I don't know what happened but somewhere along the lines I see a BR go over Floppy and Floppy ends up on her back, struggles to get up, gets up and staggers around like she just got clocked in the head good. So, into the hospital she goes. She seems okay now, but she's still very small compared to her now 1wk 3d old siblings.

    Fifth, I am sitting here and I can hear the older batch still going at it. They seem very uneasy and I really don't know what to do for them. I thought about moving all the BRs, RIRs and SSs back to the inside box. It's big enough for them all, and then I can open up the brooder. But... I am moving the EEs outside, hopefully, on Friday. Also, I have no shavings. I bought them but they were left in the car and the car is 30 miles away and will be until 1am.

    So... This has been my chicken day. How has yours been?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  2. TinkleTurkey

    TinkleTurkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have a red bulb in your heat lamp? I dont know if its true but Ive heard that prevents them from picking at blood spots if they see it. I use a red bulb and have never had problems with em.

    Also, I use hay for bedding it smells nice and it doesnt muddle their food or water. Then I just dump it out in the greenwaste bin. I have used shavings in the past but it gets kicked up in their water dish and they cant drink out of it. I only use shavings for really tiny day old chicks but then I move them to a cage with hay when they are more active.
     
  3. Reyvaughn

    Reyvaughn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yep, red bulbs from the beginning. I've heard to many horror stories about chick/ens eating the hay and getting impacted crops. I do have quite a bit of lose stuff laying on the barn floor, though...

    Oh, and I think I know why they were having a fit. Their heat lamp got unplugged and more than likely they were trying to climb on each other to get warm. They are quiet now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  4. TinkleTurkey

    TinkleTurkey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That might have happened to someone, somewhere.... but I have raised hundreds of chicks on hay beds and hay in all of my coops even in the dog house lol - no problems for anybody. Plus, its affordable!

    Don't know what to say about the picking though, maybe its more crowded than they'd like.
     
  5. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

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    I also use a 250 watt red heat lamp. I use pine shavings
     
  6. Reyvaughn

    Reyvaughn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, I started with shavings and I have shavings in the coop. Oh well. Now I know.
     
  7. QualityPolish

    QualityPolish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm, I'm not sure about the red lamp as I don't use one but i do use hay [​IMG] Works great.

    -- My days been good, exhausted from working and now have to come home to work on the coop. Even though we have another month till we can get some new chicks, I'm eager to get working. Our older coop was too small for our growing flock and, with more chicks on the way we had to get a new one. Now it's time for painting xD
     
  8. WalkerH

    WalkerH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well yesterday we went to TSC, AKA HELL, and got 6 Americaunas and 2 ducklings. So I ended up having to set of up the old brooder. Luckily I had a spare bulb on hand. So now I have three brooders, one with 6 Cornish Rocks, one with 6 Americaunas and 2 ducklings, and another with 14 Golden Lace Wyandottes. I finally got around to setting up the Cornish X brooder today, just a simple kiddie pool with chicken wiring all around. Now I am happy because each has more then two square feet of space. This weekend we'll finish the coop and get the Golden Laced Wyandottes out there. Possibly the Cornish X also. Depending on whether I can find a processors this week they may just be processed at 7 weeks.

    I also cleaned out the two brooders and made the Cornish X brooder today. Let the chicks run outside for a little while. And I'm finally done, only took around 4 hours. [​IMG]
     
  9. Reyvaughn

    Reyvaughn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northeast Pennsylvania
    I went to TSC today, too!
    They got "Assorted Leghorns", ducks, Golden Comets and banties. I was curious about the Leghorns because I would have liked some buffs. But, I left without seeing what was actually in the box.

    On a very positive note... I paid for my special order to Privett today! I have 5 Blue and Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Pullets, 5 Blue and Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Str. Run and 5 Delaware Pullets on order! My friend odered with me and she has Golden Lakenvelder and Buff Brahma Pullets ordered. I wish I would have gotten some Marans, though... $70 was more than enough for me!
     
  10. flstout

    flstout Out Of The Brooder

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    There will be better days ahead, don't let this discourage you![​IMG] Some of my best days have come just after a day like you've had today. I hope your little ones all get better soon.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011

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