New Chicks / First Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by acsempronio, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. acsempronio

    acsempronio In the Brooder

    Jan 3, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    I got my first chickens this past Friday:
    • Barred Rock
    • Buff Orpington
    • Rhode Island Red
    • White Leghorn

    I picked them up at 1.5 weeks old (says the guy) but they already have small primaries and upper covert feathers; they seem big for 12 days but I'm new so what do I know.
    I put them in a plastic HD storage bin, cut window in the lid and zip-tied 1cm hardware cloth to it. I'm using the popular red-hole circle feeder and the popular 1 gallon red tray waterer. I've bedded them with pine shavings and use a 250 watt red lamp (about 1/2 power.) Right now they seem to like it at about 85 degrees. Chick starter as normal.

    The Leghorn seems runty (read, smallest) and is the only bird that scratches at the food. She managed to empty the entire feeder by the end of the day. I've since raised it and now she just scratches the shavings while she eats.

    The Rhode Island Red is a bully; she runs full speed into the other chicks sometimes.

    The Barred Rock is wimp; she is the largest and by far the most scared of everything.

    The Orpington is a loner and likes to sleep away from the group regularly.

    My daughter (10 mo) stands at the bin and just stares at them.

    My other daughter (3 yo) has already said she likes "the black one best" and she didn't want to go to her grandmother's house last Sunday because, "and so I haffa wait for the baby chicks to get big and pretty and so I haffa stay here."

    Other notable gems:



    I now have 6 weeks to finish the small retaining wall into the neighbor's yard so I can erect the fence corner so I can place the pallet-project compost bins in the right spot so I can finally place the little coop/pen in the right spot so I can build the larger exterior pen so I can figure out where the water source is going so I can finally dig the trench and run water to the other end of the yard so I can water the chickens.

    I call this the "Backyard Chicken Effect."

  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Welcome to BYC from California wine country in the Western Sierra Foothills!

    Sounds like the chick acquisition snuck up on ya, huh? :D

    RIRs get a bad rap - deservedly so. :lol: Every RIR I've had, chick, pullet, cockerel, hen or rooster, has been bossy. Some were bullies. The only RIR I have left in my flock is the original, now 3 years old. She's bossy, but not a bully.

    Orpingtons, yeah, well, they're laid back, docile birds. ;)

    Couple of things to be informed about: when you see chicks splayed out and dead in the brooder, tap the side of the brooder. Guaranteed they'll all leap to life again. Chicks can fall asleep in mid-anything, in any position. You didn't kill them.

    When you see a chick convulsing, on its side or back, flapping wings and kicking, RELAX: that's "dust bathing" behavior.

    There! I just saved you from some heart attacks! :lol:

    One more warning: as much as you are besotted by the little velociraptors now, you will eventually be totally smitten by their individual personalities and behaviors. Chickens. Who'd a thunk?
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013

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