new chicken owner

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by terry the teacher, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. terry the teacher

    terry the teacher In the Brooder

    Nov 12, 2007
    Hi everyone
    My class of 4th graders have hatched 12 chicks. They are living in my classroom in a cardboard box. I am going to take them home for Thanksgiving to live in my garage for awhile. How long do they have to stay inside?

  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    They will need a brooder/heat lamp until they are at least 4 weeks old, maybe a bit more in the cold weather.

    They should be around 100 deg the first week, then lower 5-10 degrees each week.

    Keep them inside until they are fully feathered. In the winter that would be at least 6-8 weeks.

    Then you may want to gradually get them used to the oudoor temps by letting them out during the warmest part of the day, then up at night and so on. has a great guide to raising chicks on there - that may be a starting place for you to know best how to take care of your new chickens!

    Welcome to the forum!!
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Yea you need to keep them warm. I am amazed at your 4 graders! 12 is a goodly amount!
  4. BamaChicken

    BamaChicken Orpingtons Bama Style

    Nov 14, 2007
    Get a large tall sided like computer box and keep them in there with a clamp light. I use a sixty to hundred watt bulb depending on the temp where the box is. I hang it and adjust height according to how they stay under the light or away from it.
  5. alex

    alex Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    as long as it takes...till the weather outside will be from 65-70 degrees
  6. terry the teacher

    terry the teacher In the Brooder

    Nov 12, 2007
    My kids are LOVING these chickens. Every day I have students who are asking to clean the cage or feed or water them. I think it's been a good experience for them because not only are they learning responsiblity, they are learning to be kind and gentle to little creatures.[​IMG]
  7. First-time-raising

    First-time-raising In the Brooder

    Oct 20, 2007
    Mid - Michigan

    How long do you plan on keeping them in your class room?

    Because they will out grow a cardboard box pretty fast. My new chicks are 4 1/2 weeks old and starting in a 2'x3' plastic tote and were too big for it by 2 1/2 weeks old then I put them in a 4' x 4' & 2' tall brooder cage and I just took them out of that cause they keep trying to jump out everytime we lifted the top. They are now in the coop.
  8. chickengirlnm

    chickengirlnm Songster

    Sep 4, 2007
    clovis, new mexico
    Do you know what kind of babies you have? Are you going to keep them once they get older?

  9. terry the teacher

    terry the teacher In the Brooder

    Nov 12, 2007
    I'm keeping them in my classroom until Tuesday. There is no school over Thanksgiving so I've got to bring them home. I have a little pen at home that's about 4ft x2ft x 2ft that has chicken wire on the top and sides and is open on the bottom. I want to be able to put them in the yard to dig in the grass and dirt. I plan on raising the chickens as they get older but I only want hens. Right now I can't tell if I have hens or roosters. I do have a question about feeding them. There are 12 of them and they are eating about a quart of chicken feed a day. Is that the right amount? Do chickens overeat?
  10. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    Chicks should be on a starter/grower until they reach point of lay....feed is kept out 24/7.....chicks do not over eat unless you have hatched a cornish meat bird breed that will over eat and die....depends on what breed you have as to when or how soon you will be able to tell cockerals from pullets....Until your chicks fully feather out they should be kept under a heat light to keep them from chilling....
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2007

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