I need help with baby chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by OkChickens, Dec 1, 2010.

  1. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    I am looking to hatching or buying chicks, I have 50 Pullets currently and I'm looking to expand my flock by adding 20-25 Americana's. Here are my questions.

    1. How much space to I need for that number of chicks?

    2. What is best for the floor/bedding?

    3. What are recommended hatcheries?

    4. Prices for this breed?
  2. FarmerBoy24

    FarmerBoy24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 27, 2010
    Moreno Valley Ca

    Spacing: you always want to have extra rooming for the chicks. Maybe a 5 by 5 structure would be good.(NOTE!!! you want to have the heat lamp on one side of the brooder and have the other side kinda cool so you don't cook your chicks to death:(!!!common mistake)

    Bedding: You should start with news paper for the first 1-4 days because usually day old chicks will eat their bedding and get sick and maybe die:(!! After the 4 days you could use pine shavings or if you have to hay!! I don't like to use hay for chicks because sometimes there could be bugs and stuff in the hay and the chicks are helpless so try to make it a last resort. (NOTE!! It is good for for grown chickens!! and nest boxes!!)

    Hatchery: There is many out there but I heard that www.thefancychick.com has some good chicks and i think will replace any dead ones if there is any. Another great popular one is www.MurrayMcmurry.com hatchery i never ordered from there put got good reviews. Also you can just Google chicken hatcheries and some will come up!!

    Prices: Prices range from many for Americana's, It just depends where you get them from.

    Hope This Has Helped!!!

    If you have any questions or suggestions just let me know

  3. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    Thank you!

    Another question, the youngest pullets I have raised were about 6-8 weeks. I am hoping to maybe do this in the spring time. What does the temp need to be in the brooder? How tall should it be? Lastly how long do they stay in there? How many weeks?
  4. StormyMoon

    StormyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2010
    Alvarado, TX
    If the brooder is not tall at least make sure there is a ventilated lid covering them so they can't jump out after a few weeks they start hopping higher and higher. I have used storage boxes the plastic ones but for 20 - 25 chicks you may want something longer and wider than a small plastic storage box. They begin to trample on each other...I ended up having to get a kiddie pool for my 28 baby chicks cause the box I had was just too small. I got chicken wire went around the inside of the pool then wrapped plastic at the base about 2 ft high around the bottom to keep out drafts and also keep the little ones from popping their heads through the holes.

    Then I took a much stiffer thicker type fence like you may use for a garden and wrapped it around the outside of the pool got twisty ties and tied the chicken wire to the stiffer fence wire for stability to keep it standing up. You can run a pole through it and hang the heat lamp from it with extra support I used chain with clamps that twist close. The chicken wire and other fence is 4 ft tall since they are still so tiny I don't have to worry about them jumping up on the pole for a while. I will remove it as soon as they start becoming more flighty.

    Type in search brooders and you can see some of the home made versions where I got my ideas from they are very helpful I just used things I had laying around the yard it was really cheap to put together.

    I keep them in there until they are fully feathered, and then when they are big enough they are moved to their own area till they are big enough to join the bigger chickens.

    Good luck [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  5. thebirdguy

    thebirdguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2010
    Idaho Falls
    Just a couple of comments... When you first get your chicks, you don 't want to use newspaper or anything else that is slick as you run a real risk of the chicks developing splay foot. We always started them out in a fridge box cut in half with chick starter sprinkled on the bottom... After the first few days when they have figured out the whole eating thing, you can transition them to eating just out of the feeder. After the first week or so, newspaper can be used, not the colored paper or ads, but it can make the chicks dirty from the ink. A lot of people use pine shavings but it is important to use big enough shavings that they can't eat it as they will get an impacted crop and can die. Also be sure not to use cedar shavings since this is toxic.

    There are a lot of hatcheries out there that do a good job.. do a search on BYC and see what others experiences have been.. You could also try to find another BYCer in your neck of the woods and get eggs or chicks from them.

    On your brooder, you want the temperature on the warm side to be 95 degrees and go down 5 degrees a week for the first 4 or 5 weeks.. by then they should be feathered out well enough that you can start planning a move to more permanent quarters...

    Good luck!
  6. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    You've got so much useful brooder help her, I just want to put in my two cents on chick bedding.

    I've found that paper towels work great for me for the first week, and I change them every day as needed. The rough nubbly surface is great for peeps to keep their balance on, and itt soaks up the gooier poos pretty well, plus you can always see how diry it is. Then transition them to pine shavings, preferably larger ones, at a week or two.

    But the super-cheap, thin kind, because they're rougher, and you'll be going through a couple rolls anyway. You won't be changing less with the thicker ones.

    I also use a dog-bed heater under the brooder pen the first week, that way they can sleep a little farther from the heat lamp a little faster.

    Good luck [​IMG]
  7. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    Thank you! This has been really helpful!
  8. chics in the sun

    chics in the sun Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2010
    One more comment -"Ameraucana" is not spelled with an "i", and if it is that is a good indication that you are purchasing Easter Eggers, not true Ameraucana's. If you want true Ameraucana's, you should purchase them from a breeder, not a hatchery. Check out the Ameraucana thread here - it's a touchy subject. But if you are planning on breeding or selling them, you should get the real deal.
  9. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    If you buy Ameraucanas from a hatchery, you will get Easter Eggers.....
  10. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    I want Easter Eggers for the colored eggs to sell and possibly hatch chicks in the future. What are real Ameraucanas? I'm looking for a very good layer. Is this a good idea?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by