Last minute questions...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Jsto, May 14, 2007.

  1. Jsto

    Jsto Songster

    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Ok, so my babies are due to arrive this Wednesday, with a big possibility that they'll show up here tomorrow. As I was double checking to make sure all was well in the brooder, I realised I may not have thought of everything (or simply forgotten the answers in my onset of panic!) Just a few questions from the nervous mom-to-be.

    First of all, in regards to the temperature in the brooder, do you want 95 degrees under the light or 95 degrees away from the light? Our thermo is situated just off center from the light and is reading 94 degrees at the moment. I assumed the temperature guideline was for under the light and never thought twice about it, but I figured I should make sure before they arrive.

    I laid papertowels down over the pine bedding (just for the first few days), but there are a few bits of paper towel that are sticking up. Should I be worried about this? I tried to tuck the towels as much as possible, but some pieces were untuckable! Will the chicks feel the need to munch on it? Like I said, I'm only planning on leaving them there for a few days. If need be, I can try to make everything laid flat out, but I have no idea how to accomplish this. Tape?!?

    In that same vein, I only have one layer of the paper towels: is this sufficient or should I add more layers?

    We constructed a nifty, screened-in lid with hinges for on top of the brooder, and I was wondering if I should lay a towel or something on the end without the light to keep heat it? I had thought not, but have seen brooders fashioned this way. They are in the garage, which does not have any drafts, so I'm thinking they'll be fine, personally.

    Should the feeder and waterer be situated as far from the light as possible? Or is this unimportant?

    Oh Lordy, am I one nervous woman! My brain is going to explode after all of this is through [​IMG]
  2. Critter Crazy

    Critter Crazy Songster

    Apr 19, 2007
    Binghamton, NY
    Here is my take on it, some may have different views.

    I keep the temp under the light 95 degrees, that way if they get too warm they can move away from the heat.

    I would use at least two layers of paper towels, the edges, should be fine, I have never had any problems with them eating it.

    The only time I would cover the top of the brooder, is if it is chilly, Not sure where you are, but if it is chilly out still, especially at night, I would cover it.

    I keep the feeder and the waterer about in the middle, not directly under the light, just outside of it.

    Dont worry so much, you will be fine, and so will the chicks![​IMG]
  3. ChrissyNC

    ChrissyNC In the Brooder

    Mar 7, 2007
    Richlands, NC
    Take a deep breath, it's OK! [​IMG]
    The temp should be 95 under the light, at the level of the chicks, so an inch or two above the ground, but you don't need to get too technical. Chicks are VERY good about regulating their temp by moving in and out of the light. They will let you know if it's too cold by huddling in a pile directly under the lamp, and if it's too hot, they will be at the far edge, trying to get away. IMO I think it's better to have it slightly too cool at first, because I believe heat stress is worse for a chick. But others might disagree.

    My chickies were on papertowel for the first few days. They tried a corner or two of the paper, but never succeeded in actually ripping a piece off. I think the food was more interesting. I started with one layer of paper towel and when that got a little soiled, added another layer on top of that. I used the layer method until I had three layers or so, then scooped up the whole thing. It was a little easier than changing the papertowels every few hours.

    I also used a towel over my screened brooder. I placed it over the brooded with about 6 inches of space at either end so that there was some air flow. You don't want drafts, but you do want some ventilation.

    Good luck, and be sure to post pics!!!
  4. Jsto

    Jsto Songster

    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Thank you ladies. My common sense told me I had the temperature situation right, but the worried mom portion of my brain was begging me to ask [​IMG]

    Right now, during the day, it's averaging anywhere between 70-90 degrees, night time only dipping slightly cooler. The garage is (mostly) insulated and stays pretty temperate throughout the year, so I personally think they should be fine. I will definitely be using their behaviour as a guide for positioning the light, but wanted the temp to be the recommended for when they first arrive. The lamp is on one side, with plenty of room for them to get away if they need to. I want them to be able to relax a bit after their journey, rather than stressing 'em out even more.

    Your idea about the papertowels is great, Chrissy. I think that's what I'm going to do. I figured I'd only keep them on long enough for the chicks to realise where and what there food is, then remove them.
  5. AccidentalFarm

    AccidentalFarm Songster

    Mar 29, 2007
    I agree with whats been said, with one suggestion to add. Sprinkle some starter on the papertowels when you put the chicks in the brooder (and have dipped their beaks in water). This way, it gives the chicks something to be interested in rather than picking at the papertowels. I did have chicks pick at the paper towels and could not get them to stop once they started. The next batch of chicks got feed sprinkled around and never went for the towels. I think it just helps to focus their attention where you want it in the first place instead of leaving them to their own devices. Once one chick finds something 'good', all the others are going to crowd around and try a taste, too.

    Good luck with your chicks!
  6. Jsto

    Jsto Songster

    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Thanks! That's something I've read about, but seemed to have completely forgotten! I'm just finishing up the 'quick ref' portion of my chicken folder and I'll be sure to add that one.

    I am so excited!!

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