New Chicks Coming!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by beetlebob, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. beetlebob

    beetlebob Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 17, 2011
    I am in the process of ordering Rhode Island Reds and Easter Egg Chickens. They will arrive in February and I live in a town south of San Antonio Texas. I am just about done building the chicken coop and I have bought two metal feeders for chickens, a waterer and a 125 watt heat lamp. They will arrive as baby chicks. Can I brood them inside the chicken coop instead of a brood in the house? I've read where they need to be at a temperature between 90 - 100 degrees for the first week and then reduce the heat 5 degrees every week until they are between 5 - 8 weeks of age. Is this correct? Do you need to use pine chips in the brood or can you use hay instead? I'm a beginner at this. I appreciate all the help I can get!


    Beetle
     
  2. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Upstate NY
    Welcome to the wonderful world of chickens!!! If you can keep your coop that warm, you could keep them in there. However, I really don't recommend it, at least for the first couple weeks. First of all, it is a good idea to have them in the house so you can keep a pretty constant eye on them. They seem to dirty their water at least 100 times a day! Also hard to judge how fast they will go through food. Once they are a little bigger, getting them outside will be a much better idea...Paper towels are recommended for the first couple of days- just so they don't eat bedding. After that, wood chips seem to be preferred by most... Good luck with your new chicks!!!
     
  3. beetlebob

    beetlebob Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 17, 2011
    Thanks Lesa. The wife and I both work and we have a cat in our house. I guess that's why I was asking if I could put them in the coop right away. I can get them brood to put them in and keep them in one of the bedrooms with the door closed until we get home. About how far does the heat lamp need to be at to keep them warm?


    Beetle
     
  4. Michigan Transplant

    Michigan Transplant Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2010
    Marionville, MO
    Beetle

    I raised some RIR in the chicken house last spring and I just bought one of those cheap thermometers from the dollar store. I had mine in a big wooden box with a screen over the top and the light at one end and the food and water at the other end. They can stay under the light or get away from it by going farther down the box. The box is like a mini coffin sort of. I have it up on saw horses so that I can view them easily and they are off the ground. Good luck with your babies.

    Deb
     
  5. beetlebob

    beetlebob Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 17, 2011
    Thanks Deb. So from reading your post, are you saying you had your brooder in the chicken coop? I know I need to keep them in a brooder for a while, I just don't know if it needs to be in our house or if the brooder can be in the chicken coop with the heat lamp and stuff. I think that's what I need clarification on.

    Beetle
     
  6. kittycooks

    kittycooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Good advice, Lesa. When I get chicks, I put them in an appliance box with a screen on top. (I have cats too). Every time at least one of them gets stuck inside the chick feeder, silly birds. They do need to be watched closely for the first week or so. I put a large rock in the middle of the feeder with grit on one side and chick feed on the other. The rock stabilizes the feeder so they don't tip it over. I also had my waterer on top of a brick in a square cake pan. This keeps most of the water mess from wetting the bedding. The light height will depend upon the ambient temperature of the room or coop and moves up every few days. I ended up with a 75 watt on top of the screen by week two. Around week three I was putting the chicks out into their coop during the day and bringing them into the box at night. I had a second light set up in the coop so they could warm up as needed. Use a red or black night heat bulb - find them at the pet store in the reptile section- for sleeping, a regular incandesant is fine for daytime. Good luck with your chickies!
     
  7. Michigan Transplant

    Michigan Transplant Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2010
    Marionville, MO
    Yes Beetle, I did keep my little ones down in the chicken house with a red light on them at one end of the box. Like I mentioned they were up off the ground on saw horses in the wooden box with a screen door over the top. The little boogers would try and jump out, LOL. I had the red light hanging from the rafters so that it did NOT touch the screen but was close enough they could get the warmth. Put the food and water at the other end of the (4 foot) box so they could eat without being to warm and the water stayed cool. The first set of chicks I raised, I kept on my patio in an old bath tub not being used with the same arrangement, light at one end and food not to far from that. I did put a small home built perch in there so they could roost on that even at their young age. I felt more comfortable having them close to me since I was a first timer but I will just put the RIR's down in the chicken house in the nice box with a warm light and they were fine. I will do that on the new chicks I am getting Feb 2nd and am not worried at all about them being down there. I did use the pine shavings for the RIR's and didn't have any problems with their feet or legs, knock on wood. After reading some of the other posts though I might go to the paper towels. Good Luck and relax and enjoy them [​IMG]
     
  8. beetlebob

    beetlebob Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 17, 2011
    Thank you everyone for you help with this. In a way it almost sounds like personal preference as long as you have a brooder, heat lamp, thermometer, waterer and feeder, paper towels and pine shavings. Everything I've read really hasn't said where to have your brooder other than having a brooder. I think I will keep them in their brooder in the house for the first two weeks and then move the brooder to the coop.


    Beetle
     

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