New chicks! Advice?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by erinnyes, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2011
    So, it looks like I'll have some chicks soon! I gave my broody hen a few eggs to sit on, and today (about 20 days later) I heard the peeping inside them! Now I am setting up my brooder room and need some advice! I have never had chicks before so this is all new to me.

    First, I will be getting them chick starter food and the appropriate feeders and waterers, so that's covered. Since they will have a mama hen to take care of them I decided to let them be brooded in a room instead of a smaller box, but is this the best idea? For one the "room" is a cinderblock horse stall in my barn and although it's more or less solid, there could be drafts. Is there anything I can do to prevent this? And if there is a hen with them, how much will drafts effect them? I assume at night they'll be ok if she sits with them. Naturally, it's been unseasonably warm right up until this week, and then it got down to around 40. Will a heat lamp or even a space heater help?

    The other thing is, what are the kinds of chick-safe bedding to use?

    That's all I can think of at the moment... let me know what all of you think? :) I found the article in BYC about letting a broody hen raise chicks, so these are the last questions I had after that!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I think your choice of a room in the barn is a great idea. I wouldn't worry too much about anything.
    I wouldn't provide any heat. Let mom do it. They'll be much healthier for it.
    Without a mom, I put down burlap over shavings till they figure out what food is. With a mom, she'll show them what to eat.

    I don't like to brood in a box cause they can't escape the heat.
    You'll be surprised after the first week how little time they spend under mom. Mostly only at night.
     
  3. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome! :) Thank you for the advice! I am definitely feeling a little less nervous now. ;)
     
  4. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2011
    Well, the egg that was peeping hatched! Just waiting on the others now. My concern is that the hen that is brooding them is probably a first-time mother, and when I was checking on them at one point I saw that she was standing on the chick in the nest. :/ Should I remove the chick? It's onyl a few hours old and not moving around much, although it's staying under it's mother and when I lift her feathers to look, it nestles closer to her.
     
  5. peepblessed

    peepblessed Chillin' With My Peeps

    Great advice! [​IMG] Occasionally and broody will squash a chick. Not often.
     
  6. erinnyes

    erinnyes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2011
    Me again! :D Seeking a little more advice!

    Well, the other eggs the hen was sitting on have not hatched yet, fortunately I have another broody who can hatch them out so that is not an issue. However, I am worried about the little chick because I haven't seen it eat anything. The mother hen seems to still be in "egg broody" mode and all she does is sit on the nest. The chick does not venture out from underneath her. I understand that chicks can go 48 hours without food, and tomorrow afternoon will be 48. So far the chick seems healthy, but should I be worried about this?

    I have removed the other eggs from the hen and I hope she'll get off the nest tomorrow, but if not what do I do?
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I just had 11 eggs out of 12 hatch. One was under a silkie and the rest under a turkey. The 12th egg was almost 3 weeks old and no longer viable but that was just a test.
    The first 24 hours or so they just sit under mom, resting and warming up. Have patience my eggs hatched from a day early to 3 days late.
    Just put a small container with starter in front of the nest so the chick can find it. Water is important too. A little hard boiled egg yolk is good.
    In case the mamma never gets off the nest, which I doubt, just pull the chick and brood it with a light in a box. It doesn't have to be a heat lamp cause you don't want it too hot.
     

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