My chicks arrived!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Fleetwood77, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. Fleetwood77

    Fleetwood77 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2015
    Boise, Idaho
    I ordered my chicks from Chickens for Backyards. They shipped Monday afternoon and arrived this morning. I'm trying to figure out the breeds, since I got an extra one in there.
    Originally I ordered 4. On Monday they called because their Golden Laced Wyandottes hadn't been hatching well so they wondered if I might want a different kind instead. So I went with a Buff Orpington. They told me they'd give me an extra EE for my troubles. So I was supposed to get 5 and 6 arrived. :)

    All seem happy and healthy. But they are super noisy. Such loud peeping from such tiny little things. Hope this is normal.

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  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Without hearing them, it would be hard to tell is those are distress peeps, or if you are just hearing them talking. I'm concerned about the size of your brooder. It looks to me like you are using a high wattage lamp, and the box is small. This is a recipe for the heat getting too warm. It's not at all unusual to see half a dozen posts every spring from folks who had their brooder set up, and seemingly doing well, only to have a temp spike and end up with dead birds. I don't want to be an alarmist. They should have enough room in that box so that the temp can be up to around 85-90 under the light, and down to 70 or so at the other end of the box.
     
  3. Fleetwood77

    Fleetwood77 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2015
    Boise, Idaho
    Thank you. These are my first chicks so I appreciate any input! They are much quieter now and are eating and drinking. I think they were probably just stressed from travel.

    I have two thermometers in there, one by the heat lamp, and one on the other side, so I am keeping a close eye on the temperature. But everything I have read, including the care sheet from the hatchery said that for the first week right under the heat source it should be 95 degrees, then starting to lower by 5 degrees every week until you reach 70. I am also monitoring for signs of being too warm or too cold.

    Are variations in temperature very likely with the heat lamps? I got the lamp and bulb from the local feed store specifically for chicks, so it should be appropriate. The bulb is 250 watts.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    If you are using that bulb in the house, IMO you are flirting with disaster. That box is too small, and there is no way that those chicks can get far enough away from the heat to cool down. While the little paper that you were given says to keep them at 95* for the first week, many of us have found that is too warm. You may want to keep them that warm for the first couple of hours, until they get settled in, but then drop it down. You should be attempting to mimic the heat provided by Mama Broody. She has a warm spot directly under her belly. She does not warm any other part of the chicks environment. They dash under her to warm up a bit, then they are back out and exploring their world beside her. If it's 40* in the morning, they are perfectly happy running around in the damp grass at 40*. The last thing that you want that heat lamp to do is heat the interior of that whole box. If the brooder box is big enough to act as it should, you can provide a spot directly under the light that will be between 80 and 85*. You can just leave the light there, and let the chicks self regulate. They should be able to go under the lamp to warm up, but the rest of the brooder box should be cool. Many of us are brooding chicks outside. Provide that heat source, and let the chicks warm up as needed, but the remainder of the brooder can be as cool as spring time temps outside. You might want to check this out: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors
     
  5. Fleetwood77

    Fleetwood77 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2015
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    Ok. What would you recommend I do? Lower the temperature, or get a bigger space for them, or both?
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    It depends on how much space you have available, and where that space is. It depends on how much money you are willing to spend. I recommend an absolute minimum of 1 s.f. per chick for the first week, after that, 2 s.f./bird gives them enough room to stretch their wings and legs. If you have the funds available, I strongly advocate for the heating pad brooder system. It most closely mimics the Mama Broody by providing a warm snuggly heat source, while allowing the chicks to have natural day/night cycles. If you keep either system in your house, best to put it in a spare room that you can block off, and open the window to allow the room to cool down and air out. If you stay with your current set up, you'll need to give them more space, and step down the wattage of their bulb.
     
  7. MH37125

    MH37125 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2016
    New Mexico
    Go to your local appliance store and get a huge cardboard box. That's what we have as the brooder for the first few weeks. We have 2 huge oven boxes that we can connect if we need too. They just take up a lot of room but they have plenty of space to play :)
     
  8. Fleetwood77

    Fleetwood77 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2015
    Boise, Idaho
    They got a bigger home. This should work well until they get taller. They have room to run around now and to move away from the heat if they want.


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  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I don't want to keep pestering you... but want to help you avoid any type of calamity with your chickies! If you look at their environment with an eye focused on "how can these little guys use anything here to kill themselves?" it may help avert a disaster. I see potential for them jumping up and getting head/wing stuck in the chicken wire. The available space is much more appropriate, as it's big enough to allow them to get away from the heat, especially if you park the lamp at one end.
     
  10. beylabean

    beylabean Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2015
    Ontario,Canada
    We have the same size brooder (tote) and I used mosquito netting. Still great circulation, let's light in but they can't get hurt on it. I'm still new to this, but thought I'd give you an idea for another type of top for it ;) Good luck with them chicks :)
     

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