New Chick Raiser Questions...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ToriY4H, Jun 25, 2017.

  1. ToriY4H

    ToriY4H Hatching

    Jun 22, 2017
    Hello! I am an intern with my Cooperative Extension program this summer, and for my "project" I chose to incubate and raise chicks for some 4H kiddos to have projects. I had originally 8 dozen eggs because my AG Agent told me that the hatching/fertility rate wouldn't be high with a smaller amount. However, 21 days later and I have almost 50 chicks. I have around 25 in each brooder and they seem to be happy and healthy, but I have a few questions. I'll list them below and I would greatly appreciate any advice as I will be doing this project again in the fall.

    1. How often should I be cleaning the brooder boxes? I have been spot cleaning in a few spots. They seem to like to poop in 1-2 spots as well as in their feeder.

    2. I separated the groups by breed. I have a mix of black Australorps and Plymouth rocks in one brooder and Rhode Island reds and white leghorns in another. Is it normal for the leghorns and RIRs to be on the smaller side? My australorps and Plymouth rocks seem so much bigger!

    3. These are meant for 4-H kiddos to have a "project" where they collect eggs and work with the chickens so they are prepared to show the following year. How often and how should I be handling them to make sure they are friendly enough for the kids to work with? The australorps and Plymouth rocks seem to be so much friendlier and easier to handle!

    4. I have heard mixed opinions on this, but how quickly should I send them out to the kids/parents? I've heard they can go out after a couple of days, 2 weeks, and 4 weeks. I just want to make sure their immune systems won't be compromised and that they have been handled a little.

    5. Pasty butt? I've got a couple of the "little" guys who hatched later than their due date and they seem to be having some trouble with the pasty butt. I talked to someone at tractor supply and they gave me some probiotics to put in the water. Other than probiotics and daily checking the bum area, is there any other preventative measures I can take??

    6. I have 2 heater lamps on the chicks, and since some have hatched earlier/later so the day ages are a bit varied. When can I reduce the heat lamps? They have been around 90-95 degrees the chicks seem like they are starting to shy away.

    Okay, I think that's it for now. Once again in advance, I would greatly appreciate any advice you have to share. Thanks again!!

    IZZYBELLA Songster

    Jan 11, 2013
    Here are some answers to some of the questions I felt I could answer. Congrats on getting so many chicks and good luck with the project!

    1. I spot clean mine multiple times a day, particularly trying to make sure any wetness gets cleaned up. (They are messy little buggers!)

    2. Yes, it is normal that different breeds grow at different rates. I have mixed chicks all the same age, but they are all over the spectrum size-wise!

    3. As often as you feel like it for handling, in my opinion. Even if they aren't handled as young chicks, they can eventually be trained to be human-friendly by enough bribing with food, so don't fret too much.

    6. You want to make sure that there is plenty of space in the brooder for the chicks to escape the heat. The entire brooder doesn't have to be 90-95 degrees, just one area for if they get chilled. When a broody hen raises chicks, she has them outside pecking around in chilly weather at 2 days old, so they are stronger than you think!

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