Long-distance Transport 2 wk Old Chicks and Brooder Q.

Crusty McPottydoodle

14 Years
Mar 14, 2009
The Wet Coast
So, my husband lost a bet and has to get me a brooder heater (I decided on a large Premier One), and now we're getting 11 chicks in mid-April instead of POL.
The trip between hatchery and home is going to be about 9 hours (the last 64kms on poorly maintained gravel logging road). Leaving the hatchery around 1pm-ish.

The chicks will be 2 weeks old when I pick them up and what I would like to know is what they'll need inside their travel box for their comfort (like water) and how best to provide it. They will travel in the cab of the truck with me, but it's possible I might not be able to get access to them at all during a 90 min ferry ride (depends on which deck I'm loaded into).

On to brooding. By the time I bring the babies home, our coop will finished. Do I need to build a brooder for them at this point, block off a portion of the chicken house with the heater plate , or will they be okay having run of the entire chicken house (4x8) with no access to the run?

The only other time I had a chick, I'd slipped a clutch of fertile eggs under my broody hen and took care of everything else for her one successful hatchling.
Make a little nipple waterer for them out of a water bottle. It's spill proof, dirt proof etc. At 2 weeks of age, they probably can keep each other warm, but if you think they need heat, then you can get some hot hands hand warmers. Whether to give them the whole coop or not is up to you. They will learn to find their way around....Good luck!
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*sigh* it would appear those handy-dandy waterbottle nipple waterer things are not available in Canada (either that, or my google-foo is failing me), and Chicken Fountain won't ship them here. And anything I can get sent here costs a fortune in shipping. I can get the screw-in type of nipple attachment, but not sure how leak-proof they would be.
If you have access to Amazon, you can get nipples. I have yet to use the ones I've bought, but will be using the horizontal ones. I have packages of both kinds sitting around somewhere.

Your chicks should make the trip just fine. Just be sure to have everything set up for them so it will be warm and inviting when you get home with them. 9 hours? You can put some crumble in the box with them, and a piece of watermelon for moisture. Or you can buy some gro gel. You might even find a recipe and make your own. Crank up the heater in the car, all the way, and dress like it's a super hot summer day. Or you can use a power converter and a little heating pad under one end and wall of the box. That MHP can be put to use here!!!

I also suggest that you get a bottle of Poultry Nutri Drench. IMO, that is THE BEST product on the market for getting chicks off to a good start.

If you've not already bought your Premier1 heat plate, check out the MHP brooding system with a Sunbeam XPress heat pad. It is a fraction of the cost, and IMO a much better product. You could still collect on your bet with hubby, and put the extra money he won't be spending on the heat plate towards a coop upgrade, or a nice meal out before picking up your babies.

Just a question: Why are you getting 2 week olds instead of day olds? If you're gonna have to provide heat for them, why not get day olds. You'll save a bundle of money and will know that they have been handled properly immediately after hatch. Plus, day olds are just so stinkin' cute.
Husband has already ordered the heat plate, but thank you for the alternative suggestion. I foresee meaties in our future, so additional brooder options are always good.

We're getting 2 week olds because of immovable travel plans (husband has to fly to France for work). We live 2 hrs from the nearest anything, and 3 from the nearest airport we can have chicks flown to. If I were to get younger chicks, I would have to spend an extra couple of days in the big city before they would be hatched and ready for pick up. In the end, it made the most sense to do it this way. I pick them up from the hatchery right after dropping husband off at the airport, then I can go home.

Picked up the (not so) wee babies yesterday morning and got them home before dark. They coped really well with the long trip and are settling into the chicken house with the electric chicken mama quite nicely. They're exploring, eating crumbles and drinking their electrolyte spiked water. Clearly, I worried way more than was necessary, but they're. home and totally adorable.

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