1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

New chick mom who needs help, please.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickiemomeredith, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. chickiemomeredith

    chickiemomeredith In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2011
    :/Ok. My fiance just bought my daughter and I chicks. I wanna do this right. I'm worried about the little cuties (4) being too warm. Is that possible? The light is about 18 inches above them. They've got the feed and grit, but I'm worried about them having TOO much of the grit. SO! How much light and how much grit? Btw, I did look through the forums to get these answers. I really appreciate any feedback. This site is AMAZING. I wish I had had something like this when I first got my cat!
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011

  2. hennypenny99

    hennypenny99 Songster

    Apr 15, 2011
    Hugo, Ok
    What I did with the light is this. Hang it up and see if they gather directly under it or move to the sides of their box to get away from it. If they are gathering right under it bunched up then they are probably cold. If they are piling up on the sides trying to get away from it they are too hot. You can adjust it accordingly. If they are evenly disbursed in the box, eating, drinking, sleeping and running around then their heat is probably fine.

    I never did grit on mine, just chick starter. I think they chick starter has everything they need for the first 6 weeks of life or so. I'm not sure on the grit. Good Luck! Watch out for Pasty Butt. Make sure their litte hineys are clean and they can go to the bathroom. If they look like they are getting stopped up you may have to wash it off and apply vasoline. If they get to where they can't eleminate they can die. Good Luck!
  3. chickiemomeredith

    chickiemomeredith In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2011
    Oh this is so helpful. I didn't even know about the pasty butt. I already saw that the wood chips get stuck to the butt. Is that what you mean? Sorry for so many questions.

    About the light - do you ALWAYS keep it on, then? You say adjust. Does this mean heighten or lower? It's kept on always? Thank you for your quick response.
  4. silkieroo

    silkieroo Songster

    Apr 14, 2010
    Durham NH
    Pasty butt is when they get feces stuck to there bum and blocks the vent and the chick can't poop. And i don't think you need grit right now. How old are they?? Congrats on your new babies!! [​IMG] What breed(s) are they?? And yes the light always stays on... you can gradually higher as they get older.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
  5. Britney

    Britney Songster

    Mar 1, 2010
    Cat! Did you say cat! Keep an eye on kitty and the chicks. Keep the chicks in a cage that the kitty can not get into. I actually had a situation where my cat managed to claw my chick threw the bars of the age and got her little wing. I then had to wrap my cage with a plastic fencing type material.
  6. tsasquatch

    tsasquatch In the Brooder

    Jan 5, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    I didnt give any of my baby birds grit until my most recent batch. If its warm outside you can take them out for short, supervised trips and theyll probably peck through the dirt and get a little sand/grit on their own. They don't need much when they are that young because the chick starter feed is small and crumbles easily, especially when wet. As far as heating, where they gather is a good indicator of whether they are warm enough. A general rule of thumb is keeping them at about 95 degrees their first week, and decreasing the temperature by 5 degrees each week after that.

  7. birdicus7

    birdicus7 Chirping

    Jul 17, 2010
    Coatesville, PA
    If they are on starter only and no treats they do not need grit. Starter until 10-12 weeks, grower until 20-22 weeks and layer after that. Newly hatched chicks want 90-95 degrees then you can drop 5 degrees per week until you hit room temps, but be careful of warm days and chilly nights they may want the heat at night. Good luck and enjoy!

  8. AKsmama

    AKsmama Songster

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    Please, don't just rely on how they act. You really and truly should use a thermometer in your brooder. Plenty of people who say "but they were acting fine" have later discovered that in reality, they either cooked or froze their chicks to death. How they act in conjunction with a thermometer is the best way to know if the temp is correct. Just a cheap digital thermometer is fine. Place it kind of in the middle of the brooder, not directly under your light.
  9. chickiemomeredith

    chickiemomeredith In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2011
    Omg. Thank you for all the replies. Ak & Birdicus - def gonna get the thermometer. I'll feel so much better. I'm just so worried about cooking them.

    Bird & sas - gonna stop the grit. They only got it this first feeding. That's okay then, right?

    HA! Taking them for walks. I actually DID wonder about that, BUT to answer Britney - the cat is outside. He's an outdoor bitty.

    Silk - 2 wynadottes and 2 rhode island reds - Blue, Hot Wing, Stone & Cuddles.

    You guys are awesome. Thanks so much.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by