I'm a newbie at this whole chicken raising thing, any tips and/or suggestions highly appreciated!!

cukuriku

Chirping
Jul 18, 2016
252
28
68
We got three adorable chicks (we haven't the slightest clue what gender or breed they are) about 2 and a half weeks ago, and they were already approximately 1 week old. We live in Israel, so the climate there is quite hot, and we unfortunately lost the littlest and seemingly weakest one last week due to dehydration
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and we were very saddened...we ever since have done our utmost and avoided such a thing from happening again with our other two (who we managed to force to drink and we saved, phew!). We built a coop, although not that big, last week. Ever since, the other two chicks are much happier that they have room to jump around and play, and they're no longer limited to their low ceiling cage we brought them home with. We want the best for them and to raise them so that they should develop safely and healthily. We'd appreciate any tips and/or suggestions with stages of feed, how much is too annoying for them to be held (the kids really wanna hold them a lot!), how to protect them from the many stray cats in Israel (we already saw one come in the yard, luckily we went outside exactly when it arrived so we managed to chase it out), upkeep of their hygiene etc, and anything else someone might have to suggest for a newbie, all greatly appreciated. Nice meeting you all!
 

TheMauveDuck

In the Brooder
Apr 22, 2016
115
12
46
Welcome to BYC and the world of chicken farming! What happened to your chick was very unfortunate but forcing the others to dip in their beaks was the right thing to do. Make sure their bedding is something like wood shavings (some people might say sand but chicks often get confused and can eat it) but never cedar shavings. When they're younger and weak or un energetic you can put a tablespoon or two of sugar into their water to give them a boost. Make sure their food is in crumbles and it's recommended by your feed store for their age. Since they're not old enough to be safetly outside on their own you can put clumps of grass or leaves in their brooder, just make sure to leave some dirt for their grit when fed anything except for their feed. Also make perches out of sticks or wood so they can practice perching.
 

TwoCrows

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BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
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My Coop
My Coop
Hello there and welcome to BYC!
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So glad you could join our community!

Unfortunately the only way to protect your birds against any predator is keep them confined in a run. Hawks, cats, dogs, wild animals, ect...are everywhere. I can't let my birds wander freely due to all the predators lurking and flying the skies. So they spend much of their time in a large run. When I do let them out, I keep a watchful eye on them the entire time. When I can't be around, they go back their run.

Have you stopped by our Learning Center yet? All kinds of great articles on all the aspects of keeping your flock...feeding at different stages, how much room do they need, how to keep them happy and healthy, etc... https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center

And if you still have questions, feel free to ask.

Great to have you aboard and welcome to our flock! :)
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
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Out to pasture
I would suggest a covered run for them. The cover can provide some shade, and keep cats from climbing in. I am not a cat person, since most people just dump them loose to cause others misery. I can't handle hot weather myself. If you have some very shallow pans you can put water in them and chickens will stand in them. Cool feet = cooler bird. Welcome to Backyard chickens.
 

Pork Pie

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6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
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Hi and welcome to BYC - you have some great advice already so I'll just say hello!

All the best
CT
 

cukuriku

Chirping
Jul 18, 2016
252
28
68
Thanks all for the welcomes and the great advice! I'd actually like to request some more advice, actually quite urgent. I now have to chicks, and one seems to be quite sleepy today. It isn't behaving as active as usual and shows signs of dehydration-slight panting, closing eyes (although walks when it needs to) and we are forcing some water through a medicine dropper ever here and there. It actually had gotten cooler today than it was last week around here, but it still seems to have gotten effected by the heat. It wasn't kept under the son, there's a cover to keep them shady. This chick isn't eating that much either, we tried helping it, but it just doesn't seem to get stronger. Although it doesn't seem to be getting worse, it's still concerning me. It also has diarrhea the last several times, and the last time had nothing but water (could we be perhaps giving it too much water, if there is such a thing??) because it's not eating...what's my next best step? Thanks to all for participation!
 

TheMauveDuck

In the Brooder
Apr 22, 2016
115
12
46
Try dipping it's beak in the water feeder. We had Pheasants in that condition and couldn't figure out what was wrong.
 

cukuriku

Chirping
Jul 18, 2016
252
28
68
Thanks all for the help, as of now it seems to be feeling better, thank G-d. It started having more regular poop and it started eating here and there by itself. We hope it'll start getting stronger. Hang in there lil guy!
I'd also like to ask what the community feels about the "flooring" of the coop. Most suggest wood chips and the like, but we happen to have put them on some synthetic grass which we just find is more comfy for them and at the same time can be easily swept up from all the dirt abt once or twice a week. Anything wrong abt it i may not be aware of?
 

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