In the Brooder
7 Years
Oct 19, 2012
please post good tips on raising chicks as I'm very inexperienced and my chicks are coming in a week to 2 weeks
Personally, I started by clicking the link "learning center" at the top and that led me to many questions and searches on this site. If it has to do with chickens, it has been discussed here! Have fun!
yeah i have read some of the articles and their helpful but i could definitely use some more help
just keep reading :) every chicken problem has already been faced by someone here, read everything that you can get your eyes on. My first day advice is to have grower mash on hand before the babies arrive. If you find yourself in a pinch you can also add some water to uncrumble other kinds of food into bits that are small enough for the little beaks.
I would also start with a heat lamp that is not dangerous. let the chicks find the right zone to be in and leave options. Red heat lamps will allow for nap time without messing with their internal clock.
also they'll need a water dish that they can not drown in. :)

have fun!!
Just relax and try not to stress. :) It will be a fun experience! Just remember the basics that you have already read up on, and experience from everyone on here will teach you the rest. You'll do great!

1. A clean brooder to keep them in.
2. Regularly check food and water. (Chicks tend to poop in their water, and if you keep hay/straw/shavings in your brooder, they kick that into water too)
3. Keep them warm via heat lamp. Don't smother them with it, but just watch them to see how they react to the heat. If they are shivering and huddled together, move the lamp closer. If they avoid the lamp/light like the plague, pull it back a ways.
4. It doesn't hurt to hold them once in a while. When they get older they will be much more calm around you if they associate with you from the beginning.

Congrats! My chicks are 4 weeks old today and I love them! My biggest problem was what to keep them in. I started them out in a Rubbermaid storage container but as they got bigger I needed to find something bigger. My husband had a great idea. I went to a thrift store and picked up a play pen for 20 bucks. We put a black plastic contractors bag in the bottom and then topped that with wood shavings. we made them a little perch out of extra PVC pipes my husband had sitting around and we put their feeder and waterer on a piece of wood. They seem to love it. It gives them a lot of room and it's tall enough that they won't fly out. The wood that their food sits on was a big help because when their waterer just sat in the bedding it was constantly messy. I would have to pull shavings out of it 3 times a day so they could get to the water. Now I usually only have to replace it once a day. I feed my chicks medicated chick starter and once I started introducing snacks, around 2 weeks, I also provided them with chick grit. Since mine are bantams and it's getting cold, I figure they'll spend another month or so in the brooder. I gave them toys to perch on and peck at and I try to hold them for a little while every day so they will be friendly. I did have a problem with one chick pecking my hand when I put it in, but I pushed back lightly with my finger when he did this and after a time or two it stopped. Here' a picture of my "brooder" Hope that helps!

When you get the chicks, one by one as you take them out of the box, dip their beaks in water and then set them in the brooder. I scatter feed on the floor of the brooder as well as in their food dish, it starts them eating quicker, just for the first day or two. Always give them luke warm water to drink, it helps them not get poopy butt. Make sure the heat lamp you have/get is not the coated kind, the coating is toxic.
Just remember these things...
- keep a heat light on them at the beginning
- remember to give them fresh food and water it least twice a day
- I'll tell you now chicks are a hand full, but CUTE!!! :)
- we move our chicks out of the house when they are flying out of a
Rubbermaid container we keep on our dryer, then we move them to a old
BIG rabbit hutch we keep by our shed, then when they have feathers on their wings
we move them to our coop with the others
- give the chicks the chick starter food at first NOT scratch
- our chicks LOVE halved grapes and bits of banana for a treat
- HAVE FUN!!! :)
Good Luck & if you need any more pointers let me know.
My 4 babies are 7 weeks old now and have been so much fun. I gave them electrolytes in their water daily for the first couple of weeks and I think that helped them get stronger and we didn't have any problems with pasty butt. They pretty much told me by their body language when they were cold or comfortable. I had to modify the temp quite often the first couple of weeks due to the warmth in our garage. I started mine in a dog crate that I enclosed with cardboard. I used an egg carton (just the 1/2 where the eggs go) and filled the areas with food. They didn't tip it and caught on quickly but they did enjoy scratching and pecking the floor too so I also scattered chicken crumble (they have been on the medicated feed since I got them. I'll start them on regular chick feed at 8 weeks) on the floor. After a couple of weeks, I bought a small chick feeder. They took to the waterer pretty quickly except for one. I put a small piece of aluminum foil in the bottom and that caught her attention and she quickly started drinking more. At 3 weeks they got too big for the dog crate so I got 3 tall cardboard boxes, took them apart and taped them together to make a 2 by 5 feet "playpen". I lined it with newspaper and shavings, etc. I also made them small roosts that they loved. I moved them to their coop at 5 weeks and they are thriving. I read a lot and any question i had was answered on this web site. It's such a wonderful thing and there are sooo many helpful chicken folks across the world ready to help us.

Good luck.

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