Necessities for new chicks

Iluveggers

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Jun 27, 2021
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Hi! It’s the two week pickup countdown for my new babies!
What are my immediate needs to bring the chicks home for the first month? I want to make sure I’m not forgetting anything!
I have so far:
Small brooder (dog crate)
Expanded brooder (watermelon bin which will be attached to the crate)
Heat plate

I have to get feed, a waterer and a food holder. Oh, & pine shavings. Recommendations? Any other immediate indoor needs?
Thanks so much guys!
 
I always get gro-gel and an electrolyte water powder. Are they being shipped to you or are you picking them up? How many?

Sounds like you're pretty well set up! How'd you get your hands on a watermelon bin?
 
I always get gro-gel and an electrolyte water powder. Are they being shipped to you or are you picking them up? How many?

Sounds like you're pretty well set up! How'd you get your hands on a watermelon bin?
Thanks! What is “gro-gel?”
I am picking them up, they are about an hour away. 15 little chickies!
I called a few grocery stores and asked for someone in produce. The first two said they don’t give the bins away, but the third the produce manager was so nice! He put it out back so I didn’t have to go inside & said he would have to remember my idea next year when they add more chicks! ❤️ He also said the loading guys would be happy to have one less bin to pack lol. The week I called they had a big sale on watermelon so they had a ton of bins I guess!
 
Expanded brooder (watermelon bin which will be attached to the crate)
Heat plate

I have to get feed, a waterer and a food holder. Oh, & pine shavings. Recommendations? Any other immediate indoor needs?

I am picking them up, they are about an hour away.
For 15 chicks I would immediately go with the watermelon bin.
Is this going to be inside your home? If it is, then use puppy pads instead of pine shavings...think of all the DUST! I am serious. Chicks are dusty, shavings are dusty, feed is dusty....see where I'm going. Oh and chick dust sticks to things too...it's sort of oily...see where I'm going?

Do you have an outdoor coop/run ready for them? Are these your first chicks?
If so, then you may want to consider brooding outside. You can coop them for the first week or so, then let them start venturing outside in their run as long as it's secured.

Try to find the freshest date on the chick starter bag. Not sure what type of food/water stations you are looking at, but again...15 chicks, if the stations are small, get a couple of extra.

Is your heat plate large enough to accommodate 15 chicks?

It wouldn't hurt to have some Poultry Nutri-Drench on hand just in case you have a weak chick.
 
For 15 chicks I would immediately go with the watermelon bin.
Is this going to be inside your home? If it is, then use puppy pads instead of pine shavings...think of all the DUST! I am serious. Chicks are dusty, shavings are dusty, feed is dusty....see where I'm going. Oh and chick dust sticks to things too...it's sort of oily...see where I'm going?
Thanks! It is inside in a room added on to the garage. Can I use puppy pads for 4 weeks?
Do you have an outdoor coop/run ready for them? Are these your first chicks?

If so, then you may want to consider brooding outside. You can coop them for the first week or so, then let them start venturing outside in their run as long as it's secured.
Run is not quite finished, and is at my aunts down the street. (Family farm). I offered to raise the chicks since I am home & she works crazy hours & sometimes spends the night babysitting her granddaughter. I like having them here as babies so I can hear them at night & don’t have to go far to check them. They are my first babies! I would love to brood outside, but with our circumstances I think it’s best to start them inside.
Try to find the freshest date on the chick starter bag. Not sure what type of food/water stations you are looking at, but again...15 chicks, if the stations are small, get a couple of extra.

My plate holds up to 25 chicks so it should be ok, & I have a heat lamp just in case they outgrow the plate. It wouldn't hurt to have some Poultry Nutri-Drench on hand just in case you have a weak chick. Thanks!
I don’t know what is going on w the formatting but the last few posts I’ve written my cursor is jumping & things are disappearing! Sorry for the weird quotes!
 
What are the requirements?

Predator protection - That not only includes snakes and wild animals but can include pets like dogs or cats. It can include young kids that can mishandle them. Older chickens can injure or kill them. I don't know what that room looks like but you probably have this covered pretty well.

Environmental protection - Keep them dry and don't let cold breezes hit them. You are probably well covered in that room. Is that room climate controlled? What temperature is it? Is the temperature pretty constant or does it heat up and cool off with the weather? Your brooder needs a spot that is warm enough for them in the coolest circumstances and cool enough for them in the warmest conditions. If your temperature is pretty constant that's not too hard to do. If you have wild temperature swings that gets more challenging.

The brooder needs to stay dry. A wet brooder is a dangerous brooder and will probably stink. I don't know what kind of floor you have in that room but I'd put down a layer of cardboard or plywood to protect the floor from staining. I'd grab an extra watermelon box, if you need to increase the size of the brooder you can tape the two boxes together.

Food - You can get different opinions on what to feed them but they do not need anything with high calcium. Check the label. If the calcium content is closer to 1% than 4% you are OK. I like to start them off with a relatively high protein content, 18% to 20%. That helps get them feathered out faster so temperatures aren't as much of a problem. I don't care if it is called All-Flock, Flock Raiser, or Chick Starter. As long as the calcium content is low and the protein content is in that range you are good to go for a flock that will be an egg laying flock. For baby chicks it needs to be a crumble of mash. They may not be able to handle pellets yet.

Water - There are many different types of waterers you can use. They need constant access to water, you do not want it to leak (brooder needs to stay dry), and it needs to stay clean.

As far as I'm concerned that's the basics. Some people feed them all sorts of things or add things to their water. I never do but as long as you follow directions and don't overdo it those aren't likely to hurt them. If the shipment is delayed some of those things can really help.

It doesn't have to be that hard. Have your brooder set up and temperatures stabilized before they arrive and keep the brooder and water clean and the brooder dry. You should be OK.
 
Thanks! It is inside in a room added on to the garage. Can I use puppy pads for 4 weeks?
I see, in the garage, you can probably get away with shavings. I was thinking inside the house, shavings will start to get a bit stinky...puppy pads are easy clean up.
The older they get the more they poop and the bigger it is too:lol:

4 weeks is to me, still a long time keeping them inside, especially in summer, but I see that you would have to be going back and forth to another property if you put them in their coop.
How is that going to work once they are established at your Aunt's. Are you still going to have to go back and forth?
 
What are the requirements?

Predator protection - That not only includes snakes and wild animals but can include pets like dogs or cats. It can include young kids that can mishandle them. Older chickens can injure or kill them. I don't know what that room looks like but you probably have this covered pretty well.

Environmental protection - Keep them dry and don't let cold breezes hit them. You are probably well covered in that room. Is that room climate controlled? What temperature is it? Is the temperature pretty constant or does it heat up and cool off with the weather? Your brooder needs a spot that is warm enough for them in the coolest circumstances and cool enough for them in the warmest conditions. If your temperature is pretty constant that's not too hard to do. If you have wild temperature swings that gets more challenging.

The brooder needs to stay dry. A wet brooder is a dangerous brooder and will probably stink. I don't know what kind of floor you have in that room but I'd put down a layer of cardboard or plywood to protect the floor from staining. I'd grab an extra watermelon box, if you need to increase the size of the brooder you can tape the two boxes together.

Food - You can get different opinions on what to feed them but they do not need anything with high calcium. Check the label. If the calcium content is closer to 1% than 4% you are OK. I like to start them off with a relatively high protein content, 18% to 20%. That helps get them feathered out faster so temperatures aren't as much of a problem. I don't care if it is called All-Flock, Flock Raiser, or Chick Starter. As long as the calcium content is low and the protein content is in that range you are good to go for a flock that will be an egg laying flock. For baby chicks it needs to be a crumble of mash. They may not be able to handle pellets yet.

Water - There are many different types of waterers you can use. They need constant access to water, you do not want it to leak (brooder needs to stay dry), and it needs to stay clean.

As far as I'm concerned that's the basics. Some people feed them all sorts of things or add things to their water. I never do but as long as you follow directions and don't overdo it those aren't likely to hurt them. If the shipment is delayed some of those things can really help.

It doesn't have to be that hard. Have your brooder set up and temperatures stabilized before they arrive and keep the brooder and water clean and the brooder dry. You should be OK.
Thanks so much! There’s 3 big screened windows in the room and the lowest it’s been at night here is 60, but there is a heater if we get some crazy cold front.
My dogs won’t have access to that room, & it has a door to outside in an area where the dogs are fenced out of, so if I do take them out I don’t have to see the dogs at all. My oldest is 12, so no worries with young kids either!
 
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I see, in the garage, you can probably get away with shavings. I was thinking inside the house, shavings will start to get a bit stinky...puppy pads are easy clean up.
The older they get the more they poop and the bigger it is too:lol:

4 weeks is to me, still a long time keeping them inside, especially in summer, but I see that you would have to be going back and forth to another property if you put them in their coop.
How is that going to work once they are established at your Aunt's. Are you still going to have to go back and forth?
I’ll go back & forth when she is working or away, on my end of the road I can’t own chickens but she can (village vs town...so annoying!) So we are sharing the chickens which I really appreciate. She is there 5 out of 7 days, so it won’t be horrible but like I said I will be watching the babies every hour until they get a little bigger & stronger, then moving them. I could move them there week 3 if I had to. My neighbors kept their chicks inside for 12 weeks before moving them, which I thought was totally insane but they used their whole garage. The room we are using we think was an old office for the previous owner that he built off the garage. It’s small and not fancy. I put a clear shower curtain liner under the watermelon rub to protect the floor.

Maybe I’ll start w puppy pads & upgrade to shavings if needed (we can use them in the coop if I don’t use them in the brooder)!
 

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