New chick owner.

Rgorney

Hatching
Mar 26, 2020
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Our chicks are about 5 to 6 days old i would say. We got the chick starter kit and a big bag of chick food. We put the heart light on them but there is no setting..We just guessed the distance. I'm not adding any of these things to water or food such as probiotics. Is it i they're chick food? They are doing great so far. They are happy and chirping. The temp seems to be good for them. I want to keep them healthy. Suggestions?
 

DobieLover

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Our chicks are about 5 to 6 days old i would say. We got the chick starter kit and a big bag of chick food. We put the heart light on them but there is no setting..We just guessed the distance. I'm not adding any of these things to water or food such as probiotics. Is it i they're chick food? They are doing great so far. They are happy and chirping. The temp seems to be good for them. I want to keep them healthy. Suggestions?
Can you please post pictures of your brooder?
The best thing to do is to adjust the height of the heat lamp based on their response. If they are very busy and chirping happily, they are fine. Keep the brooder dry and the feeder full and the water clean.
You will need to cover your brooder with netting or an old screen or something to keep them from flying out which is right around the corner.
Do you have their coop and run built and ready for them?
 

aart

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Welcome to BYC! @Rgorney

Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:

They need to be pretty warm(~85-90F on the brooder floor right under the lamp and 10-20 degrees cooler at the other end of brooder) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker acclimation to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder. I do think it's a good idea to use a thermometer on the floor of the brooder to check the temps, especially when new at brooding, later I still use it but more out of curiosity than need.

The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:
-If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.
-If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.
-If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!

The lamp is best at one end of the brooder with food/water at the other cooler end of the brooder, so they can get away from the heat or be under it as needed. Wattage of 'heat' bulb depends on size of brooder and ambient temperature of room brooder is in. Regular incandescent bulbs can be used, you might not need a 'heat bulb'. If you do use a heat bulb make sure it's specifically for poultry, some heat bulbs for food have teflon coatings that can kill birds. You can get red colored incandescent bulbs at a reptile supply source. A dimmer extension cord is an excellent way to adjust the output of the bulb to change the heat without changing the height of the lamp.
 

rosemarythyme

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Probiotics, electrolytes, vitamins are good to have on hand, but not always necessary. They can help in situations where chicks are stressed (i.e. shipping) but if they seem to be doing fine no reason to go back and add it after the fact.
 

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