Just came back from a poultry swap...


8 Years
Jan 27, 2011
Vancouver Island
We went to a poultry swap this afternoon, where we were not going to buy chicks, and now have five chicks in a brooder in our living room.
Three are two weeks old and the other two are older but she said they are a slow-growing breed and fine to be in the brooder with the littler ones under the lights. The two week old ones are two EE's (I assume? she called them Ameraucana crosses) and a Dorking cross, and the older ones are lavender Orpingtons. I have a couple of questions:

1. We have a 100-watt bulb over them, but the temperature according to the thermometer that's in there says it is only 75 degrees. However, they aren't huddled under the light at all, in fact they're on the opposite side of the brooder (where I put their food), and they're mostly all asleep right now. I put a hot water bottle in there as well for them.

2. We have a waterer made out of a vinegar bottle and a poultry nipple, but they've been raised so far with a dish. Should I put a dish in as well for now or will they figure out the nipple? I've shown a few of them the nipple but they pretty much have been ignoring it and, like I said above, they're all asleep. They sure chowed down on the food we put in for them though!

3. Can we start putting food scraps in with them already? What about things like crickets from the pet store or even bugs from outside?

Thanks so much!
100 watt light bulb may be too hot for them. I use 60's and I lower or raise it according to the chicks liking. If they are huddled under it (which you say yours aren't) then they are too cold. Plus if they were too cold they would chirp very loudly. If they are away from the source of heat and are panting, then they are way to hot. I also find if they get too hot they get lethargic and acting drunk like. I have lots a lot of chicks to too much heat, rather than too little. It took me awhile to figure out what was going on because I thought it was a disease. So err on the side of caution and keep it cooler. Plus, you said they are 2 weeks, they should be totally fine at 75.

I can't help on the waterer because I have only used the regular waterers.

I give my 2 weekers treats, but I have given them yogurt, eggs or chopped greens. They are also currently outside and they chase and eat the bugs flying around their lights.
Thank you both! I turned the light away, so it won't be so hot in there. The thermometer is now reading 85 so it's obviously just slow to register. I'll keep an eye on them. We don't have a 60 watt bulb right now, but I'll try to get out to get one. Hopefully just turning the light away will be good enough for now. Are they okay with the light on all night? Do they need some darkness? I could probably get the room's temperature to 75, in which case could I do away with the light altogether? None of them were panting, but they were all on the opposite side. I took the hot water bottle out too.

I also put a water dish in for now and they crowded around it pretty quick. And good to know about the greens and insects.

The brooder they're in is pretty little but we're hoping to set up my daughter's sand box for them in the next few days. We just have to figure out some way to keep them in it since the sides are low. I tried doing a search but couldn't find the recommendations for space per chick at various ages. Could anyone remind me or point me to some info on that?

Thanks again!

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