I'm getting chicks this week!! Please help!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Farm Chic, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. Farm Chic

    Farm Chic Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2008
    Davisburg, MI
    I have read and read and read, but any last tips that I may have over looked that will help my new babies would be greatly appreciated!!

    I heard to put sugar in the water so they will drink right away once they are delivered, true?

    I am going to have them in the house for the first few days to a week before putting them in another building. what should I do inside the house? (I have 1 cat, 2 new kittens and an 8 year old boy!)

    keep it dark so they won't nip each other to death, how do I do this being that they will be inside?

    when is it safe to handle them?

    when can I take them outside to play for a bit so they can get used to being outdoors?

    anything that I have not mentioned yet???

    THANKS ALL!!!
     
  2. FloridaChickenChick

    FloridaChickenChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have only raised one batch of chicks so I'm not an expert, but mine weren't kept in the dark. They lived on the back porch.

    We started taking them outside when they were about a week old. In a little fenced area, supervised every minute because of hawks.

    Do you have a plan to keep them safe from the cats and 8 y.o? He'll probably be fine but when I was 8 I would have found baby chicks irresistable (heck, at 49 I find them irresistable!).

    Oh, and we handled ours on the way home...they arrived in Brooksville on Thursday (I think) and we picked them up Saturday. Had to stop at the grocery on the way home and when I got out of the store my DD was playing with them (she's 22 and can't resist baby chicks).

    You will have SUCH fun with your chickens! And if, heaven forbid, anything goes wrong, this is JUST the place to find out how to deal with it. Even if you just need a pat on the back and a little reassurance. Keep us posted!

    You're gonna be a great mom!
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  3. Hooterville

    Hooterville Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi there and congrats on the new babies!

    I'm not sure what you mean about keeping them in the dark. At this age they will need to have some sort of heat lamp on. Some people use a reptile light that has a red bulb, but I have had no problems using a "trouble" light with a 100 watt bulb. This has to be on 24/7 for the warmth.

    I've only seen picking when the chicks are too crowded.

    Becky
     
  4. Judymae

    Judymae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One thing I would remember to do is put paper towels ontop of the shavings in their brooder for the first 3-4 days. That keeps them from messing up their legs. I've never had to put sugar in their water. But I would've if they hadn't drank right away!

    Just make sure you have:
    brooder
    heat lamp
    screen of some sort for top of brooder
    shavings
    chick starter
    waterer
    feeder
    paper towels (for 3-4 days)

    I think that's it. It really is easy~you'll see!! Remember to take lots of pics and give'em lots of love!!!
     
  5. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Mar 25, 2008
    Virginia
    I heard to put sugar in the water so they will drink right away once they are delivered, true?

    Yes! Sugar in the water will give their energy level boost from their travels and get them going. Don't use it more than a day or so, however because it will give them pasty butt.

    I am going to have them in the house for the first few days to a week before putting them in another building. what should I do inside the house? (I have 1 cat, 2 new kittens and an 8 year old boy!)

    Keep the chicks in a secure location and with a cover over the brooder. Also explain to your 8 year old that he needs to be gentle. He'll do fine with the chicks once you give him instructions. [​IMG]

    keep it dark so they won't nip each other to death, how do I do this being that they will be inside?

    They need to be under a heat lamp, so keeping it dark will really be impossible no matter if they are inside or out. If you are worried about the pecking issue, simply use a red heat lamp bulb.

    when is it safe to handle them?

    From day one! The more you handle them, the more tame they will be in the end. Just be sure to stay close to the brooder where it is warm so they don't get chilled and end up with pasty butt.

    when can I take them outside to play for a bit so they can get used to being outdoors?

    As long as it is warm outside, then anytime would be okay. Just make sure it is hot enough outside and no cool breeze is blowing.

    Congrats on getting your new babies! [​IMG] Be sure to post pics as soon get them. [​IMG]
     
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Florida
    My Coop
    Congratulations on you new babies! I used shavings when my babies were in their brooder but I used a small mesh wire brooder very similar to the one in Gail Damerow's 'Storey's Guide to Chickens'. I kept my brooder in the barn initially with a 60 watt incandesant bulb in my brooder lamp 24 hrs a day until they started getting their feathers. Originally, I put a shoe box lid in the brooder with some pine shavings in it that they like to scratch and lay in. Later, I put a box that holds a case of 24 soft drinks in the brooder with some pine shavings in the box under the light, and later I used a a plastic storage box lid and all the chicks would snuggle and stay warm. Sometimes some of the chicks would wander around the brooder. I took the wire off the lamp and laid it on top of the cages with the 60 watt bulb. I put the lamp over the area where the shoebox cover was. I put several sheets of news paper under the bottom and everyday I take out the top poopy sheet of paper and trash it..The bottom of the cages are wire. the paper goes under the bottom of the cages so the poop goes through the wire. I made an enclosed area outside in the sun, on nice days, and protected the area from drafts where I put their brooder. I only put the brooder lamp on at night other wise it was on 24 hrs a day. In the evening, I would take their brooder back into the barn. I made a covered area for their brooder so the heat from the bulb would heat the brooder. I would check the temp daily with a wireless digital thermometer . I didn't want to overheat them and I didn't want them to get to cold. Since I got my girls late summer/early fall, on really cold nights I put a red heat lamp on top of the brooder in place of the 60 watt bulb. Also I put a wood dowell through the cage approx 1" off the bottom for them to practice roosting on.I didn't introduce them to the coop ontil they were nearly 6 weeks old. I kept them on the starter. It has all the nutrients they need initially. I didn't really start to give them anthing else until they were about a month old. If you do just make sure they have access to chick grit, also plenty of water. All are happy and healthy hens now laying pretty much every day. I hope this helps too.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  7. Farm Chic

    Farm Chic Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2008
    Davisburg, MI
    awesome! Thanks for the tips! I am sorry, I didn't mean dark neccessarily. I meant no bright light to keep them from pecking each other. I was thin king of putting them in a bankers box in my house for the first few days so I could make sure that they were eating and drinking fine. After that, I would take them to the other building that will house them for the next 2-3 months. Which is much bigger. It is going to be about 4' x 4'. maybe bigger.

    should I divide their area up between shavings and non shavings?? if so, what should i put in the non shavings area? how often should I really be checking on them? some have said as few as 3 times per day and as most as 10 times a day. should i take extra measures with the chicks as they are not all the same breed??

    I think my son will do just fine. he is actually going to be picking one to take care of and show at the 4h next year [​IMG]

    different note: why is it that on some of my posts the smilies work and other posts it does not??
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  8. Hooterville

    Hooterville Chillin' With My Peeps

    Farm Chic--I think to make the smilies work you need to make sure there is a space before and after.
    [​IMG]

    No space:thumbsup

    See what I mean?? [​IMG]
     
  9. Farm Chic

    Farm Chic Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2008
    Davisburg, MI
    [​IMG] oh [​IMG] this [​IMG] makes [​IMG] me [​IMG]

    thank you thank you thank you!!
     

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