My first 15 are coming soon! Some Qs...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Noi, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. Noi

    Noi In the Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2019
    Montpelier VA
    First of all... You guys! My landlord is awesome!

    Remember I said I'm not sure what the landlord will let me do with my chickens, etc. because it's not our property?
    Well, finally met him (hubby has been here a while, me and the kids and furkids got here a week ago) and he is the NICEST MAN!

    He showed me all around the property, told me to use the perfect little brooder he has inside the barn(!) (So no need for my XL dog crate), said I could use the heating lamps he has (but I got a heating pad and will make a MHP) plus anything I want from the chick and (for later) chicken feeders and such...
    He even has a bunch of clean shavings I'm going to use in the brooder! I'll put those in after the first week or so of puppy pads.

    I am so excited for the chicks to finally come!! Ship date is 4.29, wonder when they will actually get here!

    I'm getting:
    Silver Laced Wyandottes
    Gold Laced Wyandottes
    Speckled Sussex
    Partridge Plymouth Rock
    White Plymouth Rock
    Dominiques
    Easter Eggers
    And Red Star (because the land lord was raving about them so I decided to get a couple).
    I can't waitttt!

    Now, the Qs.
    1. What is the best food? How do I know it's a quality one? I know they need chick starter or a starter-grower mix.

    2. Should their first meal be something special to help them get over their travels? Scrambled eggs or mashed cat food (super high quality, grain free) or something?

    3. I have that long red feeding trough for the chicks, is that good for 15 of them?

    4. I'm going to set up 2 bottles with vertical nipples. Any problem using that from the very start? I also have a regular waterer I can use.

    5. Do they need grit? When? What kind? I do want to give them kitchen scraps, etc. as I think fresh food is good for all animals... when can I start with that?

    6. Do they need direct sun?? The barn is pretty dark and their brooder will be even darker once I close up one wall with some plywood (it's completely open into a "room", I think it used to be for laying boxes). They will still have a natural daylight cycle but not really a lot of light!

    7. The run that they will live in is on the other side of the barn, and I'm not sure I can bring them through to it directly because there's a "cat room" in between and I just don't want to leave all those interesting smells for the barn kitties, even though I never see them in there. So I'll have to take them outside in a box or something (can they be trained to follow me that young??). How much time should they spend outside, and starting when? These girls are not going to be babied or coddled later so I do want them to get used to the outdoors, but I obviously want them to be happy and healthy, so... what would you do :)

    I think that's it as far as q's for now! LOL
    Thank you so much for any feedback!

    And if you want to just share our excitement for their impending arrival (should be here by this day next week!), then jump right in :))))
     
  2. LizzzyJo

    LizzzyJo Songster

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    Dec 14, 2018
    Northwest Ohio
    So exciting! Wow 15 to start! They will be so cute :)

    I am basing these answers off of the chicks being 1-2 days old at arrival.

    1. Really any chick starter is good. People can debate the merit of medicated vs non, but nutrition wise, you’re pretty safe with any.

    2. You can give them GroGel immediately which can be purchased at a feed store, but that’s the only treat they can have for the first 2 weeks. It’s super hard to wait, but that is best for them.

    3. I would use 2 of those feeders for 15. You’ll be surprised how much they eat and how fast they grow. Alternatively you can do one of those to start and add a different kind in a few weeks.

    4. I would use a small pan waterer at first. Dip their beaks into it. Other can speak more to the nipple waterers.

    5. They need grit at the two week mark when they start getting other foods. Build their little tummies up gradually by small introductions of food a day. Maybe a few bites of lettuce or grapes the first day after the two week mark. You can imagine how changing your diet right away can cause stomach issues and diarrhea.

    6. They don’t need direct light at all. Just their lamp. Ambient light to show night and day is good, but not a requirement.

    7. Remember to keep them protected from those cats at all times. They are a one bite treat! They will follow you after a week or two pretty reliably. They can be outside as long as it is as hot as they need (95degrees, then 90, etc.). They can be under that degree for a few minutes at a time, but not long. At 6 weeks, as long as it is 70degrees and not dropping too low at night, just pop them outside. Their field trips out there will have taught them where to go.


    Congrats!
     
  3. Sherloki

    Sherloki Songster

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    Texas
    1. Agree with other commenter, as long as it's Chick Starter it doesn't matter.

    2. and 5. You can try giving treats, but get chick grit if you are going to feed things other than Starter. You can start giving small amounts of treats immediately, but my chicks haven't been too interested in treats until a few weeks old.

    3. The feeder is good enough for now, you'll need to get something as they grow, but I'm currently using that feeder for 21 chicks that range from 1 week to 4 weeks and they're just now starting to outgrow it- I'll pick up a new "big girl" feeder this weekend.

    4. Make sure to show them how to use it and try to get at least one chick to drink out of it. I've only used it with adults, but I know others have used it with chicks successfully. If they don't seem to get it right away, give them the normal waterer and try at a later time.

    6. Direct sun is nice, but not a requirement, mine primarily only get light from an LED and their heat lamp and have been doing well.

    7. Sorry, I don't have much experience with this. Until now my chicks have always been brooded outside in a pen to start with, If you can use some sort of Dog pen to keep the chicks contained and allow them to explore that would be best imo, some people might be able to keep chicks contained, but I wouldn't trust that some wouldn't try and wander off. Time outside depends more on weather than anything.
     
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  4. Noi

    Noi In the Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2019
    Montpelier VA
    Yes, they are safe from the cats :)

    And they don't have a lamp - they will be in the barn with an MHP...
    Do they need a "bright light" lamp? Or just some time spent outdoors on nice days...

    I live in VA and it's upper 60s to mid 70s these days.
    I can maybe hang a heating lamp outside, in the run, if you all think they'll need it...

    Sherloki - thanks for the tip on introducing other foods slowly. I'll get them grit when I go to the store, and do it that way.
     
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  5. SurferchickinSB

    SurferchickinSB Crowing

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    Congratulations! Your landlord is awesome! Make sure he gets a lot of eggs, LOL!
     
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  6. Noi

    Noi In the Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2019
    Montpelier VA
    Yes, yes he is!!
    And of course we will share the eggs :)
    I even offered to take care of a separate flock for him! I don't think he'll take me up on it but we'll definitely share eggs with him.

    I really hope we'll get some blue or green eggs from the 3 EEs! Have never seen a colored egg in real life that wasn't colored by humans
     
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  7. LizzzyJo

    LizzzyJo Songster

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    It's not the light specifically that they need, but the heat. They need it to be 95 the first week, then lowered 5 degrees each week until they're at the ambient temp. They will die if it is cooler than their specific week's temperature. Not sure what MHP means - sorry!
     
  8. SurferchickinSB

    SurferchickinSB Crowing

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    I agree, they need a heat lamp, if they don’t have one they will die.
     
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  9. SurferchickinSB

    SurferchickinSB Crowing

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    There is a great article on this site about raising baby chicks and it tells you everything you need to know. It is also recommended that you set up your brooder with the heat lamp turned on, food, water and thermometer in the morning you expect your checks to arrive.
     
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  10. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Crowing

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    JUst got in my shipment today! 6 white assortment, 6 rare assortment, 13 fry pan, and one each GLW, SLW, and BR pullets.

    All the white egg layers they sent with the white assortment are hard to tell apart from the rare assortment because they can go either way. 2 are either LO or BA am16.PNG

    ,q.PNG am6.PNG ,q.PNG buttercup white egg layer, Egyptian Fayoumis white egg, most aggressive chick so far, couple of EE, dominique? and or Cuckoo marans? + polish and more.
     

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