Many baby chick questions.


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 11, 2009

We were given 11 chicks. I have no idea what breed(s), gender or age they are. I'm totally new at raising chicks and I have several questions about their care that I hope someone can answer for me.

Right now they are living indoors. You can see our setup in the attached picture. They are fed 1-2 times a day as needed and twice a day their plastic, newspaper-lined storage tub is cleaned and they are given fresh water. The soda can in the picture is for size reference.

Any advice anyone can give in regard to their current care/setup is appreciated. Additional questions I have are posed below

1) Can anyone tell me how old they think the chicks in the picture are? The soda can is there for size reference.

2) How long will they need the heat lamp?

3) How will I know when they can go outside to live?

4) I live in Utah. though the weather is nice now, it snows in the winter. What do I need to provide for them to keep them from freezing?

5) I don't really care about their breeds unless it will influence the type of care they need, but can anyone help me figure out how to determine their gender?

Thank you for helping me figure all this out!

Eggie and Me

10 Years
Mar 9, 2009
Southern California
Tons of info on this site. Good place to be.

Keep heat on until they are fully feathered, watch the temp. Do you have a thermometer. Be sure you keep their water and food dishes full. They will eat morning, noon and night. We used a combo of pine shavings and old socks (no loose threads). You will want a deeper tub to keep them in. Ours were able to jump up onto their water feeder at about 5 days... They look like they are about a week old? They definetely need heat. Breed, sorry no idea. Good Luck, hope you have as much fun as we've been having...


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 6, 2009
Burlington, VT
Make sure to watch your water-feeding setup. Baby chicks can drown themselves pretty easily, actually. Lots of ag supply stores sell little feeders that screw right into a ball jar.


13 Years
Mar 29, 2009
Coastal Southern California
Maybe a close up picture of the chicks would help someone be able to identify their breed.

They will very quickly start emptying the food dish (and probably tipping it over) faster than you can keep it filled. I'm not sure what the best type of feeder is but you may want to get one. I can't recommend the one we have which is a mason jar type with a base that has openings all the way around - hard to refill without making a big mess.

I've been researching the "when-to-put-them-outside" question and there seems to be a huge range, depending upon weather and tolerance for having them inside. "Officially" I think you're supposed to wait until they're fully feathered at 8 weeks or so, but from what I've read, if you have a heat lamp in the coop you can move them outside sooner.

We've been taking our 10-day-old chicks outside for 20-30 minute periods the last few days - the weather here is mid-60's. They love it.

I think the recommendation is to start with a heat lamp at 95 degrees for new chicks. Ours seemed to find that too hot and we quickly reduced it to about 80 degrees, which they seem to like. It helps a lot to have a thermometer in the brooder - I went several places in search of one and finally found a little round one at Petco that works perfectly.

Good luck with your babies!

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