New chicks to ship today - Nervous!

sphillips

Songster
6 Years
Feb 18, 2013
225
229
156
New Mexico
My new chicks are supposed to ship today, 25 of them! I had chickens years ago, but had forgotten most of everything I learned, and have found that lots has changed since then! My husband bought 6 chicks from TSC several weeks ago (I think they are about 8-10 weeks old now. I've done lots of reading here and in books trying to learn all I can. My first batch of chicks have been healthy, no issues. I'm just so nervous about this new shipment. It's a lot of chicks to take care of, and I want to make sure I'm doing everything right! We split our 12 x 12 coop down the center with a chicken wire 'wall' with a door in it to keep the old chicks separated from the new. I will be brooding the new ones in bath tubs, with probably another plastic tub brooder, as I'm not sure all the chicks will fit into two tubs after the first few days. I've done the best I could with setting up my coop, and we have a small run. I am afraid that my run is not nearly big enough, and my husband is making plans to enlarge it for when my new chicks get older. I have probiotics, and electrolytes on hand, as well as Corid (hope I won't need that). Was not able to find nutridrench for chicks. Today I will disinfect the tubs with a bleach water mixture to make sure they are as clean as can be. I have a feeling I will have too many chickens for the space I have, and will probably have to get rid of some, of course that's only if they all make it. Initially I thought my run was going to be 20 x 25, but there was an issue with covering it, so my husband made it smaller for now. I've done the math, and I think my coop is plenty large, 12 x 12 = 144 sq ft divided by 4 sq ft per chicken = 36. So if I've done that correctly, there is plenty of room. My outside run at this time is only 10x15, which is plenty big for my 6 chickens, but I know it's not enough space for them as well as the new ones. It's only about half the size it needs to be. If I can get my husband to double the size of the outside run, will I have enough space? I hate to get rid of any of my new chicks, but will if it means the rest of them will be healthy. Free range here is not an option due to dogs, coyotes, and large prey birds. Sorry so long, just need to make sure I'm doing all I can to keep my babies happy and healthy.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,664
24,808
927
Southeast Louisiana
First, take a deep breath and relax a bit. You are going to do OK. As far as the chickens go, nothing has really changed. What probably has changed is your circumstances. If you knew how to take care of chickens then you know how to do it now. And plan on all of them making it. They normally do.

I don’t know where you are in New Mexico, with altitude being most important because of it cooling off at night, but don’t be too shy about putting them in the coop if you can safely provide heat. My brooder is in the coop. I provide heat in one place and let the rest cool off as it will. The first few days they normally stay pretty close to the heat but before very many days they are roaming all over, going back to the heat when they need to warm up. Just make sure they cannot get through that divider to where the older chickens are.
 

sphillips

Songster
6 Years
Feb 18, 2013
225
229
156
New Mexico
Thanks Ridgerunner for the words of encouragement! I plan to brood them for the first few days in their tubs inside the coop, but I know with my first batch of chicks they were hopping out after a couple of weeks. The chicks will have a 6x12 space in their side of the coop, and was wondering if I could take the tubs out after they grow a bit and just keep them on their side of the coop with a heat lamp available to them. The floor in the coop is dirt right now, would they do okay on that? I plan to put sand in, but wanted everyone to be grown up a bit first. I'm in southern New Mexico, the nights have been high 40's low 50's, with they days in the 80's, but we're in for a cold snap for the next few days/nights with about a 30 degree drop in temps. The coop is an old metal barn, and does heat up during the day already, so we have plans to insulate and provide some type of A/C for the chickens before summer comes. There is good ventilation with the main door and the pop door, as well as some openings at the roof line. The wire 'wall' my husband put up is secure, with no holes to allow small chicks to go exploring. So, I guess most importantly, I need to know if I can move the chicks to the coop floor once they've outgrown their brooders? My chicks I have already came from TSC, and I think they were already a few weeks old, and partially feathered out. They are now fully feathered, and don't use a heat lamp anymore except on cold nights I make it available to them just in case. Also, will the new chicks be able to eat chick crumbles right away? Sorry so many questions, but this is what keeps me up a night, lol, much to my husbands dismay. Poor guy, I'm sure he's sick of hearing about my chickens, and all the projects I still have for him to do, but he is so good natured, and takes care of it all for me.
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Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,664
24,808
927
Southeast Louisiana
I don’t see where the dirt floor would create any problems at all. Plenty of people have dirt floors.

That’s what the chick crumbles are made for. It’s possible the first few days they will pick out the little bitty pieces, but within a very few days they should be eating them all. With one batch I ground the crumbles up in an old blender, but that was just for a couple of days. After that, they picked the bigger chunks out and left the powder behind.
 

bbchickies

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 16, 2013
89
3
41
Make sure you don't OVER think it. A lot of times when people over think thing, they get stressed out. And its not good to stress out with a bunch of little chicks on the way! And chicks should be able to eat the crumbles right away, but you may want to consider chick mash. But don't sweat it if you don't have any and use crumbles. I alway say this, but REMEMBER GRIT!!!! Thats one thing thats really important. Good luck with your chicks! -bbchickies
 

sphillips

Songster
6 Years
Feb 18, 2013
225
229
156
New Mexico
bbchickies: Thanks. Yes, I tend to over think things, and I stress myself out. I feel a bit better now, got the brooders cleaned and sanitized, thermometers hung, heat lamps up. I was a bit concerned about drafts, as we've had really high winds this week, and the coop can get a bit drafty when this happens. I cut up a large box, and taped tall pieces around each tub to make sure that the chicks are draft free, and also so that they can't jump out at first. My last brooder cover turned into the door for my outside run, and my husband hasn't had time to make me any more. All I have left to do is rinse my waterers and my feeders. They're clean, but covered in dirt from the wind. So, with the exception of the bedding, which I will put in closer to their arrival, we're all set! Thanks guys for all your encouragement. I'm glad I started with the six I have instead of waiting, so at least now I feel a bit more comfortable with knowing what to expect.
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