My chick raising efforts and advice

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BigDaddy'sGurl, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    I've noticed on this board that nobody suggests the following and I don't know why: if I'm breaking some kind of "no no rule" here please enlighten me.

    I've been hatching chicks for the last several weeks against the advice of everyone I know personally because they all swear that the chicks will die before winter. I have had pretty good success but here's what I do: I keep them in the house in a cardboard box brooder for a week. Heat light, but no shavings. Instead I use old hand towels laid on the floor and just replace/remove a time or two a day. After the first week, I move them to my screened in porch brooder just during daylight hours. Again, towel floor and heat light, even in the middle of the day but my brooder on the porch is wire sided. At night I have a different approach once they have been out in the light all day. I discovered that being in the light 24/7 was EXHAUSTING my chicks. So, I set up a heating pad in the bottom of a pet carrier and bring in all my little ones into a dark room with the heating pad. They go from "cheep cheep" to SILENT in moments. They stay in the house about 7-8 hours and then immediately back to their re-prepared outdoor brooder. At about 3 weeks I swap out hand towels for shavings. Sometimes I think we all forget to try to re-create the life a chick would naturally have with their mom. The heating pad and darkness simulates being in the nest all night and I have noticed a drastic improvement with my babies since using this method. I typically quit this practice at around 3 weeks old but just tonight I had a few little ones that were obviously tired and almost falling over as they drifted off to sleep so I brought them in and they are comfortably sleeping on their "mother blanket". Also I live in NC and our temps have fallen quite a bit the last few nights so the last suggestion i have is if your chicks are outdoors and younger than 6 weeks, use a sheet to cover the brooder at night. It's thin so they don't overheat but it keeps enough warmth in to assure they don't catch cold. Just a little of my own experience and advice. : )
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Sounds nice. I guess with the heating pad there might be concerns about fire safety. If you have those worked out, more power to ya. I think that's great! I would rather have mine in the dark at night too. Once they get past a week or so old, i sometimes just turn off the light and put a blanket over them at night, depending on the temps.
  3. BigDaddy'sGurl

    BigDaddy'sGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2010
    Wilkesboro NC
    My heating pad has 3 settings and I always put it on the lowest one. I figure if I trust it to use for a backache all night then it's probably okay for using with chicks. Hey if it works it works. : )

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by