New chicks checklist....


5 Years
Dec 5, 2017
Northern Middle TN
Hi all,
I know there are numerous threads about caring for baby chicks but I’m kind of paranoid and definitely like to be prepared. Here is my checklist for when my babies arrive Friday, March 9th (12 chicks of varying breeds from Ideal). What have I forgotten?
  • Wire dog crate brooder for first 3 days or so in a spare bathroom (cardboard sides, etc. to keep chicks from openings)
  • Puppy pee pads to line crate first few days
  • MPH (Sunbeam large pad, digital with auto shutoff override)
  • Chick starter feed
  • Chick Grit
  • Feeders/Waterers (have both the round and tray type feeders)
  • Marbles to put in water trough
  • PND on hand and to add to water
  • BlueKote
  • Pine flakes for garage brooder
After the first few days inside recovering from shipping, the chicks will be moved into a 24 sq. ft brooder in the garage. The brooder is 4x6 with 3 ft ‘walls’. Each side is 1ft of OSB board at bottom and 2ft of poultry wire. I didn’t use hardware cloth on brooder since it’s inside the garage (saving the HWC for the coop/run).

My questions:
  1. Chicks are being shipped with GroGel B+ but not in the box. I would need to mix and feed once they arrive. Should I use BOTH the GroGel and PND the first day or two? Any problems with using both?
  2. I plan to provide a chunk of sod after the first few days. Should I pick up some Corid to have on hand?
  3. Still debating medicated vs. non-medicated feed. If providing sod and having Corid available, does it make sense to feed medicated
I feel like I’m missing something still or maybe it’s just me being paranoid about not being prepared. Any thoughts/suggestions/comments would be appreciated.
Thanks, Medda (Sharon)
Welcome to byc and chicken keeping. I do in fact think you are worrying too much but I think we all did that the first time. I can not give you any true advice as I am by no means an expert but I can tell you what I did. Which is, I did not give my birds any gel, I did not get them any medicine of any kind nor any medicated feed. I have only lost two birds out of 50 and both were in transit. They are more hardy than you think!

However, I have to note that when I ordered from Metzer they did include grow gel in the box for my ducks and that was a good thing because due to weather there was a delay and my birds spent an extra day in the mail. Only lost one due to this. That gel was a life saver. If ever you order more and grow gel in the box is an option, I would opt for it!

Good luck and I am sure someone will be along shortly to better answer your questions.
I ended up getting 20% flock raiser instead of starter/grower. I hope that’s okay for the chicks. The person st TSC advised against chick grit for now so I didn’t get any to start.
I'm a newbie and you sound very well prepared. My two cents is that one ought to talk to talk with one's mail delivery people a couple of days before the chicks are expected. There is a lot of luck in exactly what weather your shipment will face. And there also seems to be some luck in their travel, what time of day they get moved, and where and how long they wait. It seems best if all potential package handlers are looking out for them.
Looks good to me! I'm another one who doesn't give any "extras" to chicks UNLESS they need it. If they are active, learning to eat and drink, learning where Mama Heating Pad is, and exploring their surroundings, then they must be healthy. Healthy means their little systems are in balance, so why give them anything to change that balance? I do like Nutri-drench, and have used it for chicks that are injured, ill, or suffering from shipping stress. Even sugar water will help in a pinch! Sometimes that stress doesn't show up for a few days, so your own two eyes will be your best guide. But it's for short term use only, and if you need to doctor their water with it to treat multiple stressed chicks, then please also provide clean, fresh water in another container. I so often see folks giving every water additive known to man, no fresh water, and they give that stuff daily. Even the back of the packages for those products, like Electrolytes and Probiotics, say to provide additional clear water and that it's only to be used until the chicks (or chickens) are recovered.

I can't advise you on the Corrid. I've never had to use it. And I didn't feed medicated starter or anything either. Since I raise my chicks outdoors in a wire pen in the brooder, mine are fully integrated with the rest of the flock by 4 weeks and the brooder is taken completely out. Since there's no way to keep the Bigs out of the Little's food or the Littles out of the Big's, it was just easier for me to use Grower or All Flock from the start and have the entire flock on it. If your chicks are very small you might need to put some food in something like an empty ice cream bucket or plastic butter container and give it a bit of a mash to break up the pieces and make them smaller. I had a mixed flock of roosters, layers, freeloaders, and chicks of various ages so the logistics of separate foods would have been a nightmare! I provided oyster shell on the side in a separate container and never had an issue. You don't have a pre-existing flock, so that's not an issue for you...I only mention it to point out that even raised on the same ground as every chicken I had was using, medicated food wasn't necessary. The clump of sod will give an early and gradual boost to their developing immune systems since it contains all of the pathogens and fungi that will be present in their long-term environment, but even it isn't a guarantee. The first time I did it was more for the boredom busting benefits and the teeny bits of grit they got from it, although I'd be lying if I didn't say that the immune building didn't enter into it too.

Me, I keep them inside for a day or so to watch for injuries or stress, either from delivery or hatching, then OUT they go! That means I miss hanging in front of the brooder not ooohing and ahhhing at how adorable they are, and laughing at their antics, but I also miss the noise, the dust, the mess....yeah. ;) Everyone's tolerance for that stuff is different....mine is non-existent!

You seem very well prepared. Now RELAX! The sad reality is that sometimes chicks die and we don't know why. Could be something genetic. Could be some internal defect. Could be shipping. Could be...could be.....lots of those. Truth is we can't always save them all. So if you lose one or two, do try to identify the issue and if it's correctable, fix it. Then move on and focus on the healthy chicks you have! They really need you - the lost ones don't. Can't wait to see pictures of your new babies!
Thanks all. Finally decided to get in gear and “mostly” finish the brooder for the garage. Got all the framing done and the poultry wire attached on 3 sides. The front will have hinged panels for access. But, I don’t have any hinges or latches today and I’ve got to head out of town tomorrow (so packing, etc the rest of the day). Here are a couple of pics:



Thanks, Medda
Nice job~ I really like the fact that you won't be swooping down on them from above, that they'll see all of you as you approach rather than just arms and a head coming at them like an overhead predator!

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