Need help with my chick set-up - includes pics

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tlaquepaque, May 7, 2009.

  1. tlaquepaque

    tlaquepaque Out Of The Brooder

    May 7, 2009
    Hi, I'm new [​IMG] My chicks are 4 weeks old and are doing great and getting big! I'm using everything I got at the feed store when they were teeny tiny but maybe there is a better option now that they are bigger.

    1st problem: They are knocking over their water everyday and it soaks the bedding and they are super thirsty by the time I find it. I am using a metal waterer with a mason jar on it. I read that I should elevate it. What does everyone use to elevate? I'm using an old plastic kitchen container for water and a little box for the food.

    2nd problem: I have them in a ferret cage and they scatter the bedding out everywhere and now that they are bigger it is getting messy and stinky. I clean it out once a week. I'm using this corn cob bedding recommended by the feed store.

    I don't have an outside coop yet so they are still in the basement under a heat lamp. I don't think it's warm enough outside anyway.

    This cage has a couple levels and they like to climb and play.

    This is Obi Wan (5 year old named her) and she is bigger and more precocious than the others. Roo maybe?

    Just for fun, this is my 2 year old holding her favorite "Peanut" She is saying "Baby chick wub me"
  2. Cackling Hen

    Cackling Hen Just Scratching Around

    Apr 21, 2009
    Port Angeles Wa
    Hi I use a brick to hold up my water and food feeders it works great they have never knocked it over.. I just scrap away the bedding so the brick is touching the bottom of the cage and so it sits even. As for your mess I would maybe cut out some cardbord and place it around the inside of your cage that might help with the mess. Good luck and keep reading BYC is a wealth of info [​IMG]
  3. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    it sounds like you are doing everything right... my only advice is to get a coop ASAP. My babies were moved out to the coop at 2 weeks old because they were getting big and rambunctious and flying a lot, etc. They LOVED it in the coop from day one. Temps still got into the 20s at the time, but I just gave them two heat lamps out there and they were fine. Now they are almost 13 weeks old and doing really well.

    I think you'll be really happy to get them out in a coop as soon as you can.

    As for elevating the food and water, I put min up on 2x4s and then 4x4s as they got bigger. But, by the time they started knocking them over all the time (like yours are), they had been in the coop a while and I switched them to grown-up feeders and waterers, which they can't knock over.

    Oh yeah, and as for bedding, I have read the corncob stuff is OK, but not super absorbent, so you have to clean it frequently. White or pine shavings (never cedar) are very absorbent and might cut back on your cleaning efforts. I loved using it with mine.

    Good luck to you! Very cute pics. My guess is that your Barred Rock is a pullet, but I'm still new at this.
  4. scullybird

    scullybird Out Of The Brooder

    May 5, 2009
    Corvallis, OR
    I have a 2 1/2 x 5 foot dog crate that I have them in. I bought bird-cage wrap to put around the bottom (clear plastic, about three inches tall, that wraps around the bottom of bird cages to keep seeds inside), and have a long, shallow cardboard tray that the crage sits in. It catches 98% of the stuff they kick around.

    I have a chick feeder... a long trough with head-holes, and chick waterer... looks like yours, but is all plastic. I have the waterer up on an inverted pie-pan. It's high enough that it doesn't get much yuck in it. They've never tipped it over. Maybe your mason jar is kind of top-heavy, being glass??

    I also put a perch in. It's a branch from a fallen limb, and it just goes acroos the entire width of the crate. They LOVE it. They sit on it all the time.

    But, during the day, they'r eout in their run. The hutch itself isn't done yet, but hey spend a lot of time in the run.

    Oh... mine are 5 1/2 weeks.
  5. tlaquepaque

    tlaquepaque Out Of The Brooder

    May 7, 2009
    Thanks for the info on the corn cob, the feed store said it was better than the pine. I wonder if they were just trying to sell me their recycled corncob from last fall?[​IMG] Kinda funny though, the owners of the feed store lease our land and have farmed it for 10 years. Maybe they just sold me back the corn cobs that were in my backyard last summer! [​IMG]

    I'm looking for coop designs but I need it to be secure. I would like them to free-range but there are cats, dogs, coyotes, hawks and all that good stuff. I didn't want to put them outside until they are a little bigger. I feel like a bad chick mom now for keeping them in the basement.

    I'm off to find something to put around the bottom edge of the cage. Thanks for all the tips!
  6. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    I partitioned off a section of our basement, against a corner, about 11 feet by 3 feet) with 3 - 3 foot by 4foot panels connected with simple hinges that I made with some plastic hardware cloth (easy to work with) and 1x2" lumber (75 cents each for 8 foot lengths at Home Depot, used 6 of them), duck-taped some plastic sheeting to the tile floor to allow for easy cleanup, pine shavings over that and turned the chicks (43 of them initially, some went to neighbors so now 31) loose in there with a big branch for a play set. They have room to run and jump and fly a little, heat lamps of course, and it will be easy to clean up when done. It's working out great. Coop's not quite finished...
  7. Nostalchic

    Nostalchic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Looks like you have maybe some room in your basement to do the same, it was super easy and the chicks are happy and don't smell cause they've got lots of room.[​IMG]
  8. tlaquepaque

    tlaquepaque Out Of The Brooder

    May 7, 2009
    Quote:Looks like you have maybe some room in your basement to do the same, it was super easy and the chicks are happy and don't smell cause they've got lots of room.[​IMG]

    I do have a huge empty basement so I'm considering making a corner for the chicks until I can get the coop built. They knocked the water over 3 more times today so I'm getting annoyed. Thanks for the tip!

    Do you put newpaper or regular bedding down on the ground?
  9. addicted2chicks

    addicted2chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2009
    Can you get the bigger 1 gallon waterer? It is heavier and harder for them to tip over. Your chicks look big enough for the larger one and if you are worried just put some rocks or marbles in so they won't get their beak too far in. I went to the bigger ones as soon as I could because they kept knocking their waterer over also.
  10. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    I would use a little bungie cord to strap the water bottle to the cage. Voila!

    I lean wooden boards, cardboard whatever I can find about 6-8" tall to lean against the cage to keep the mess in.

    I put the waterer on anything 1-2.5" tall to hold it above the mess - a flat stone, brick, piece of wood.

    They look old enough to be outside with a light but please check with other experts on your particular climate.

    Good luck, your babies are very cute (human ones, too!).
    Last edited: May 7, 2009

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