new chicks coming soon


8 Years
Aug 14, 2011
I will have chicks comming soon and have been serching for tips for care. I have found all kinds from here and other places. Problem is most places say diferent things. Some say grit some say no grit. some say medicated feed some say no medicated feed. Some say vitamin and medicated water some dont mention it. Is there any consensus on the proper care of new chicks or do I just trial and eror and see what works for me???? any help or links will be apreciated. Thanks


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 20, 2011
I'm really new to this too - I've had babies for 3 days now and I honestly think you just need to pick one reference (book or here etc) and follow it. Or, better yet, if possible, talk to the breeder/place you are getting them and ask them the important questions - what are you currently feeding them, how warm have your got the brooder at, are you providing medicated water etc? That way you can be consistent with what they have already had.

I may be wrong for saying this, but I was really scared about getting such young chicks cuz everything I read made it seem so very hard to keep them alive and well... Now that I'm doing it, it isn't as hard as I thought.

Also remember, you have a fabulous resource on here and people are very friendly and willing to help if you have any problems

Good luck and post some pics of your bubbies when you get them!


8 Years
Jul 15, 2011
This pretty much sums it up. Even people on here all do things a little differently based on climate and the type of chicks and their personal preference. Its not just what works for you its also what works for the chicks you are raising. They will give you some indicators to watch for as well.
EX: If they stay as far away from the heat lamp as possible they are to hot so move it up to reduce heat until they appear to be comfortable.
If they are not very active and you do not see a lot of eating and drinking, add vitamins to help boost their energy levels.

As for medicated or none medicated water again its up to you. I personally prefer to add "Save A Chick" to my chicks water for the first couple of days at leased. Its simply vitamins and electrolytes to help them. They will be stressed from the transition and I find they like the taste to and prefer it over plain water so it encourages them to drink more. But that is my personal preference. Some people use simple sugar and water to help boost their energy and get them active in the first couple of days so they eat and drink more....... Its all about what you want to do tho. They could be just fine with plain water and I have raaised a batch of chicks this way to.

Grit is neccesary for chickens. However as long as chciks are on just starter crumbles made for chicks they do not need it. A lot of peopl including myself start giving them grit at a week or 2 old. Once they start having access to grit they can start on other food like treats, fruit and veggies, so that is why we choose to give the chicks grit.
I find that play sand works really well. I fill a 9 x 13 metal pan with the sand and sit back........
Chicks love dust baths and they will roll in the sand and eat it and dig in it till they pass out in a clump! It commical to watch! I had 12 silkie chicks passed out in a pan of sand last night and went for the camera but some moved when I got back. They were packed so tight they were hanging over!

Silkie Pie anyone????


8 Years
Aug 6, 2011
Pacific North West
I am 3 months new to raising my girls and let me tell you, just use more common sense. Fresh water, chic feed, a good place to run around safe and common sense will go a long way. If not sure just check in here and someone with the experience will guide you or search for an answer and you will get tons on making sense advise. Love my PEEPERS and I have to say this site made being a chicken owner so easy and FUN.... Thanks to all who help here ..... Thank You...



8 Years
Jun 21, 2011
Waldo County, Maine
You're right, you'll find differences and omissions between different references, but you should be seeing a common thread emerge. To link a couple of the ideas tossed out here, it will be a combination of having one or two simple references to rely on and applying common sense.

Medicated feed? The medication is amprollium which is for coccidiosis. If you are buying your chicks already vaccinated for cocci do NOT use medicated feed. It will nullify the effect of the vaccine. If not vaccinated for it, it's your choice medicated or not.

Grit, not necessary immediately and for as long as their diet is limited to crumbles. You'll want to think about supplying grit in advance of introducing them to leafy treats, as the grit is what grinds up the long fibers to alow the to pass further and be digested uneventfully.

This would be different stuff from the various vitamin/electrolyte things like Quik Chick and others. Those can be handy to have on hand for newly arrived chicks who may have had a hard trip. Indicators of stressed chiks in the box wold include (obviously) dead or noticeably lethargic birds. In such cases it is important to introduce them to water directly, and if that water is charged with one of the vitamins/electrolytes, all the better. Check the packing date and time which will be printed somewhere on the shipping labels. If the trip was a full two days or more and the chicks are stressed, it couldn't hurt to add sugar to the vit/elec/water mix for the first couple of days at he rate of 2-3 tbsp/gal of water. I also keep a pack of Gro-Gel on hand. Another vitamin/electrolyte product, its fine grained powder swells when wetted (immediately and impressively) into a green gel, particles about the size of crumbles. The green color is attractive to the chicks and gets fluid into them as they peck at it, even if they are not figuring out the water source you have provided for them. Some hatcheries actually mix some up and put it in each shipping container to help the chicks on their trip

Once in the brooder and stable, follow the reference of choice.

A couple online references of a handy length are

In the case of the McMurray link, heed their caveat that if your birds are going to be Cornish cross meat birds, they will need to be fed differently after the first 1-3 weeks. A good reference for that is

There are others. Some find the Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow (part of the Storey imprint's seres on how to raise all kinds of critters) helpful to have on hand for everything from coop design to care of chickens of all ages. It's worth the price, especially if you're new to the endeavor.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom