I'm a New Mother Hen to 4 Baby Chicks

Ragingsun

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jun 2, 2012
22
1
26
Auburn, CA
Introducing our newest addition to our family of 3 humans and 2 cattle dogs, 4 baby chicks 3 weeks old.
We have never raised chickens before and they are for pets not for eating. I have read a couple books and done some research online Im feeling pretty confident. I think anyone that is new to anything needs some reassurance on how they are doing so here is what we have done so far.

We used our Lilly's dog crate for the brooder placed in a large box. You can see their feeder and water bowl in their area. I clean the water bowl twice a day because they are kicking up the bedding into it. The red tint in the photo is from the heat lamp. Should I cover the crate and give them some dark sleepy time in there without the heat lamp? My house is set to 74 degrees so I am worried they will get cold. My main concern is making sure they are comfortable and warm. Right now they are sleeping close to eachother but not bundled up together. We are feeding a medicated chick starter cause I dont know anything about chickens and went ahead and bought what I thought would be best for them. When they move onto regular feed it will be organic feed. My second concern is we might have all male chicks or some male chicks. They have not been sexed because they were hatched in my Daughters kindergarten class. My third concern is my dogs. I want them to like and even play with the chickens but Im concerned about them wanting to eat the baby chicks. Does anybody have any suggestions on introducing our little peeps to the dogs? Right now I make my girls lay down and hold the baby chicks on the dogs and tell the dogs that they are good girls for being so nice to the baby chicks. I let them sniff the chick in my hand. But dont dare let the little ones out by their lonesome to wander the kitchen area where they are. My Daughter who is 6 wants to hold them ALL THE TIME! But I only allow holding of the chicks three times a day for 2 mins each so they are not overly stressed.
What I love about my chicks... I love how sweet and little they are. I love the little chirping sound they make. I LOVE the brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr sound they make. And it is funny to watch them fall asleep in the middle of what ever it is they are doing. Just like the babies falling asleep while eating. I LOVE that my runt is the rule of the roost. She is so cute! (I HOPE she's a she.)
I know this is long but thanks for reading and any tips would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Scooter&Suzie

Songster
9 Years
Jun 23, 2011
2,512
50
241
Pennsylvania
Congrats on the babies! I would leave the heat lamp on - they will be okay. It sounds like you are doing everything right (to my knowledge).
 

Ragingsun

In the Brooder
7 Years
Jun 2, 2012
22
1
26
Auburn, CA
the more I read the more excited I get to build a nice place for my girls. :) I was just thinking my poor husband is surrounded by nothing but girls. A wifey, daughter, two bitches, and 4 hens(hopefully). LOL
 

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