Need some basic on raising baby chicks-brand new at this

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by shend, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. shend

    shend Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2010
    west michigan
    Hi folks; great to see so much interest in chicken raising. I've finished my coop and am waiting to til spring to begin. I'm nervous trying from 3 day old just because I don't know what I'm doing yet!

    I live in mid-western Michigan. Roughly, when are chicks for sale in the spring? I'm sure it varies but, when would be a good time to start in my area?

    I've looked at brooder posts in here but I don't know if I'll be keeping these little guys in a brooder in the coop or if I need to keep them inside for a few weeks. Really green at this!

    I got great info about breed choices in another post, but maybe I'll have to settle with what I can purchase locally. Does anyone order like online for special breeds? Do they ship baby chicks?? That sounds kind of silly but I guess they must.

    Any info to get me in the right direction is appreciated.

  2. KimberlyJ

    KimberlyJ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    Yep they ship day old chicks. Straight run (both male and female) or sexed. There are all kinds of hatcheries to choose from just Google them. My Pet Chicken is good for just a few chicks, Postage is high though. There's also McMurrary, Ideal and at least two more mentioned here that of course I cant recall now. [​IMG] Most important before you you have city ordinances to follow or are you country? My ordinances say I can only have 12 hens and no Roosters. Good Luck. I planned for 2 years....

    Some people brood inside, some outside. It just depends on your set up. I can't brood outside as I have no electricity in the coop. Besides, I love having the little fuzzy butts in the house with me until they make too much dust and start stinking [​IMG]
  3. milliedell

    milliedell New Egg

    Dec 12, 2010
    Peekskill, New York
    Baby chicks can be ordered at almost any time of year from hatcheries. I've ordered from Murray McMurray in the past, but I can't say that they're better or worse than any other. Chicks need bedding that they can't consume( we used wood chips), a heat lamp that they can huddle under or get away from as needed, medicated chick feed in a feeder that they can't climb into and a waterer that they can't climb into. Chicks need to start out with just a small area at first (brooder), with no nooks and crannies for them to get stuck in. They can squeeze into the tiniest cracks.
    Within a week they'll need branches to perch on, not raised off the floor yet, but the desire to perch comes early. They start flying sooner than you'd think, so plan accordingly.
    Oh, and lots of handling. The more you handle them as chicks, the more likely they'll let you pick them up as adults.
    I work at an educational center and the chicks we raise are usually hatched by school groups and added to our flock. But a few times in the last 6 years we've needed to suplement the flock.
    Good luck!
  4. shend

    shend Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2010
    west michigan
    It does look like fun to start them in the house! I live in the country and I'm sure I can buy them locally. Don't know what the cats will think about them! I'll look for a suitable container this winter. If I know I've got the right equipment I'll be comfortable with raising little guys.

    I really didn't want any roosters to begin with so I'll pay more for sexed chicks right?
  5. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Before you go the mail order route, check with all the feed stores within driving distance first. Most get baby chicks in for a brief period in spring. My feed store will get their first batch in March. Find out when they expect to get the chicks and ask if you can place a special order when they place theirs. I've had a lot of good luck getting the breeds I want this way.

    When you bring them home, day-olds will need a draft-free cozy box where they can warm under a heat source of around 95 degrees their first week, and five degrees cooler every week until they have feathers around five or six weeks.

    Their needs are very simple, and they will let you know by the volume of their peeping, whether they're hungry, cold, or too hot.

    They need a water source they can't fall into and drown. They need bedding they won't slip and slide on (wood shavings or peat moss is good). And space to spread out so they don't annoy one another and start picking on each other. Also, a secure top so pets can't get in and hurt the chicks, and the chicks can't fly out, which they will try to do in a very short time - one or two weeks, believe it or not!

    And I highly recommend a brooder where you can access the chicks from the side rather than reaching down to them from above. They instinctively fear anything approaching from above, and will grow up hard to tame.

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