I'm brand new at this and need help with our baby chicks!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dreamerofchickens, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. dreamerofchickens

    dreamerofchickens New Egg

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    Sep 16, 2011
    I've wanted chickens my whole life and we finally came home with 4 baby Rhode Island Reds tonight. We have them in a brooder with pine shavings, food, and water. We also bought a lamp, but I have many questions.
    How long do I leave the lamp on? Is there a schedule? I am guessing they are less than 2 weeks old. Does the lamp stay on all the time or just every few hours?
     
  2. chickee

    chickee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:They need a heat lamp around the clock until they are fully feathered. New chicks need a temperature of 95 degrees and you decrease that temperature by 5 degrees each week until your chicks have all their feathers. I give them access to a heat lamp until they are much older if the weather is cold.
    Have fun with your chicks! [​IMG]
     
  3. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    Leave it on all the time so they can stay warm. At 2 weeks an air temp of about 90-95 would be good and then you can reduce it a little bit each week as they get bigger and feather out. Really all you need to do is make sure they have food, water, and warmth. I put a little bit of grit on top of the food. Not much, just a smattering every couple of days. It's good to handle them and socialize with them. Your chicks will grow in spite of you so just relax and enjoy. They grow so quickly....
     
  4. dreamerofchickens

    dreamerofchickens New Egg

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    Sep 16, 2011
    Thanks, I have the lamp on them--I don't have a thermometer, can I get them too hot? I don't want to cook them! Gosh, I feel like I felt when I brought my first child home from the hospital. So many worries about being able to keep the little ones alive!
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Yes, they can become too hot....just place your lamp and watch. If they are avoiding the area directly under the lamp or if they are laying about with their beaks open, it could be too low to the chick floor. Just raise it up a little and watch for a bit to see their reaction. Ideally you should see chicks running about, scratching, eating and drinking and then lying down to sleep in any old slumpy position. If they are huddled together or piling one upon another to sleep, they may be too cold.
     
  6. rittert3

    rittert3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    Ks (Manhattan area)
    Just find a cheap mercury thermometer and position it so it is at the same level as the chicks and you should be ok. I alway just leave my lamp at the same height through out brooding (it is really tricky to adjust the temp using a heat lamp a lamp) and give the chicks rooms to move under it if they're cold and away if they are hot without being crowded. Also if you do socialize make sure if you find out any are roos to either get rid of them or give them a reality check, roosters without a heathly fear of people can be a nightmare.
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    There is a wealth of info on this site. From our learning center (top of index page:)

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/raising-chickens-basics.php

    Remember that more space is always better, and many people soon decide they want more chickens.

    Having them just a little too hot is dangerous. Be sure they are active, and give them space to get away from the heat source, so they can cool off if they choose. Watch for pasty butt (poop stuck to the vent) and gently remove it if it happens; it can block them from passing poop and kill them if left long enough. Searches (blue bar at top of page) will help a lot if you know what to search for. For example, "pasty butt" would produce lots of threads about how people deal with it.

    Good luck!
     

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