Need advice on caring for my first chicks :)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by HeidiEmbrey, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. HeidiEmbrey

    HeidiEmbrey Songster

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    I just got my first chicks yesterday. They're two weeks old. Two silkies and 3 are salmon faverolls, though one of the salmon faverolls looks very different so I'm wondering about it! I only plan to keep two, I picked up the others for friends because everyone has told me they are looking for them too.
    They have not slept much! They have been EATING all night! and stretching and playing and cleaning themselves..one of them has a mild conjunctivitis in one eye..i tried to check them over when i got them but it was so chaotic i missed it..trying not to freak out..could be lots of easy to solve causes..rinsed it with saline solution and thinking about putting fresh aloe on it..will call the shop about it in the morning..
    I would like to have the confidence to deal with this myself in the future so now is a good time as any to start learning chicken medicine..no one is picking on him and they've been together in a little pen there at the shop I got them from for two weeks so not sure any point in separating them now tonight when they just had a rough day..though they don't seem worn out!
    I had no idea they slept so little and ate so much! I hope they are getting enough water..i read they're supposed to get four time more water than food and they are NOT, though they are drinking quite a bit, they are most certainly eating much more than they are drinking..omg they have to have eaten their own weights in food in the last 12 hours? I'm going to make them scrambled eggs for breakfast, those are moist..can i moisten their feed with water to make sure they are drinking enough? Worried that might cause bathroom issues or respiratory issues or something..
    I read I can give them a sand box right now at two weeks, to play in, will that be ok for me to do with sand from my yard? Can I give them sticks, green grasses and dried leaves from the yard or will they eat them and choke or get sick from the germs?

    Also can anyone tell me, I read I am supposed to wipe them down the first 4 days, especially their fannies, with a warm cloth. Is it ok i I do this? I don't want them to get too cold but i think I can dry them with a dry towel and put them back in the warmth pretty quick..ive got their temp at 90 degrees but i could make it a little warmer while they dry ..Thank you! So tired but so excited! <3 omg..they just ate all their food again! wtf :p its the middle of the night and theyre binge eating all night..is this ok? :p
     
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  2. igorsMistress

    igorsMistress Crossing the Road Barefoot

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    Congratulations on your first chicks!

    Not sure about conjunctivitis, yes call the shop. I might take that one back if possible.

    You can moisten their feed, but as long as you have food and water available it's fine. They'll drink what they need. They are little vacuums and will eat more than you think!

    In the brooder make sure there's a place to escape from the heat if you're using a heat lamp. The light WILL keep them up all night. Newspaper is slippery so avoid it for bedding. Yes give them dirt from your yard, maybe a plug of sod if you have it. I put some in an an old in/out box that people used to keep on their desks. My chicks LOVED it!
    Be careful about too many treats. If you give them, make sure your dirt has little rocks in it for grit. Sand isn't big enough, don't use grit for other birds because they usually have calcium and littles don't need the extra.

    Good luck. We need pics when you have a chance!

    PS I found it helpful to keep their food in something they couldn't walk through and scratch in. A feeder not a bowl or plate. They'll spill as much food as they eat sometimes. And don't be surprised if it looks like they've had a rave in their brooder.
     
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  3. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    At two weeks they are going through a growth spurt and eat lots...Feeding the dry and water is fine.They will get enough water. No need to add scrambled eggs or anything else. Sometimes things can cause stomach upset. Possibly the one with an eye issue got pecked in the eye?..
    Congrats..
     
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  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Chicks double in size each week for the first couple months so that's why they eat so much. If clean fresh water is made available, they will drink all they need.

    I agree that the redness is likely from a peck in the eye. Observe the chicks to be sure there isn't a bully among them continuing to inflict damage, though it likely was caused by a bully where they came from. Treat it with saline eye drops. That will soothe and rinse out any dirt. You can also put a dab of triple antibiotic ointment in the eye for good measure.

    Keep in mind that your chicks won't require any heat during the day at age three weeks if the ambient temperature is mild, around 20C or 70F, so if you have them indoors, turn off the lamp during the day. They are normally fully feathered by five or six weeks and won't need heat at night after that. If you're brooding indoors, consider using a 100 watt incandescent bulb instead of a 250 watt. At age two weeks, they shouldn't need more an 25C or 80F under the heat source.

    Chicks do not normally stay awake all night eating. The light isn't natural and keeps them awake. This is why many of us no longer use a heat lamp to brood chicks. We've gone to the heating pad system which heats by direct contact and lets it be dark so the chicks sleep at night. At night, you can stretch a dark cloth over the brooder between the light and the chicks to darken it so they can sleep. They get all the calories they need during the daylight hours and should sleep all night.
     
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  5. HeidiEmbrey

    HeidiEmbrey Songster

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    Thanks for the advices! :) They said I could bring any back or call or advice..they open in a half an hour, going to call as soon as they open.. First night photos...we didn't get them till around 5 and by the time I got them settled in it was dark..it's still dark but I did want to get some of their first night :) I'll get much better ones when it's light :p 20170512_031542.jpg managed to get thm all in one photo they do NOT like the camera..they do seem to like people a lot though! :) 20170512_031447.jpg
    Is this a salmon faverolle? Blue green grey legs..the other two have bright pink
    20170512_032847.jpg 20170512_032849.jpg these are all 3 supposed to be salmon faverolles but one has blue feet and no markings.. 20170512_033025(0).jpg 20170512_032758.jpg silkie 20170512_033122.jpg
    my home made brooder.. 20170512_032240.jpg 20170512_032128.jpg My bed..their bed lol 20170512_031950 (2).jpg 20170512_032030.jpg
     

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  6. HeidiEmbrey

    HeidiEmbrey Songster

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    Thank you! I have a long flat reptile heating pad made for snakes I was wondering if I could put under and couldn't find out it i could use heat from underneath or not! I have a 75 watt lamp but with the blankets around it brought it just to 90 last night .. Thanks so much! :) I think the one with the pecked eye is the bully..its the only one i ever see pecking anybody I think it might have messed with somebody too much or..be on the defensive cus its eye? They're not really bothering each other though and fingers crossed the eye is looking a little better ..thanks again! <3 :)
     
  7. thechickgal

    thechickgal Chirping

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    Salmon faverolles have 5 toes and feathered feet. They also have muffs and beards which makes the chicks have fluffy looking cheeks. So the one with the green grey feet is definitely not a faverolle, but still a super cute little chick. :D
     
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  8. HeidiEmbrey

    HeidiEmbrey Songster

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    I think they doubled in size overnight :p
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Here's some more advice. You aren't baking bread. You don't need to keep the brooder all a uniform temperature. Chicks benefit by having a much cooler space in which to shed excess heat.

    You seem to be familiar with reptiles. That's how baby chicks regulate their body heat as they are growing in real feathers. They move in and out of warm zones as needed. All they need is a warm spot to soak up needed heat and then they'll move away from it.

    If you're going to use a direct contact heat source, you need to rig it so the chicks can make contact with their backs. Think broody hen and chicks snuggling under her feather skirts. Test the reptile pad to see if it reads on on its surface at least 75F or 25C. A stay-on heating pad may be better.
     
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  10. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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