New Chicks


6 Years
Jan 13, 2014
Northwest Ohio
BYC Crew,
I'm looking for any insight on raising chicks. We just purchased 4- Calico Princess and 4- Sapphire Gems. We currently have them set up with food and water in the proper bedding along with a heat lamp. They are approximately 10 days old. We are new to having chicks and have some experience when they begin laying but this is the first time with chicks. Is there any thing we need to keep an eye out for and are there and recommendations for nutritional care in order to raise a healthy hen. We are open to any suggestions.

Make sure your waterer isn't one they can drown in, and if possible position it a bit taller than the bedding so they're less likely to kick stuff into it. Same with feeder actually. Sounds obvious, but it's my biggest pain with brooding chicks lol

I'll second watching them closely for pasty butt. And if one seems to be failing to thrive for any reason, don't hesitate to separate it in such a way it can still see and hear the others...trampled chicks are no bueno and it's easy to happen.

As far as nutrition goes, starter->grower->layer feed is the progression. You can buy a starter/grower combination most places which you can feed from day 1 until they're ready to lay. Medicated or not is your choice; I'm sure different people have different opinions on that. If you plan on giving treats when they're older it helps to introduce them now. Some hens are naturally curious and will try anything new; others are suspicious of it unless they grew up recognising it as food. I've heard if you plan to feed them apple cider vinegar or garlic in their water it's helpful to start that while still youno as well because some don't like the taste, but mine didn't have an issue with the ACV at least.

Of course when feeding anything other than feed, make sure chick grit is available. That includes if bugs have a ready way to get in their brooder...the bugs will fly to the light, the chicks will jump, catch, and eat every last bug they can find. Great entertainment, but give them something to digest the bugs if so lol

I won't bore you with the breakdown of when to take outside...that's discussed in a thousand places when you first Google it. If you already have adults outside, when you do introduce them make sure the littles are safe but they can all see and hear each other. There's a lot of ways to accomplish this, but it's the basic goal.
Hi and congratulations on getting your now 10-day old chicks! I had some sapphire gems, and they were great! Started laying at week 18 to the day. The biggest thing, since you already have experience with laying-age birds, is that every week, your chicks' abilities and needs change a bit. Adaptability is the thing, being able to adjust the amount of time the heat lamp is on based on the chicks' age and the weather/temperatures in their coop, and being able to raise the water and food dishes as the chicks grow. I use a hydroponics timer, but you could just as easily unplug or turn on/off the heat manually. I use a paracord that I re-tie to adjust the feeder and waterer, but sometimes have just had an extra carabeener in it that i take out when the birds have grown enough, so the food/water is about the height of their backs. Enjoy the experience!
We are open to any suggestions.

Welcome to the BYC forums :welcome

I think the suggestions already offered are good. If your chicks are 10 days old, you are past the first 3 day period where baby chicks seem to die for no reason at all. So you are off to a great start.

There are many good YouTube videos that you can watch on raising chicks, from day old chicks, through the teenage period, and then caring for the laying hens. I watched lots of videos and seemed to pick up a few points from everyone. I picked up a few Raising Chickens books at the library and also bought a book or two for my own. Believe it or not, you can still learn lots of good stuff just from reading. And, of course, the BYC website has many great articles and threads on chicken care and experienced people who are willing to offer suggestions and help.

At 10 days old, I just made sure my chicks were dry and clean, warm without drafts, had fresh food and water at all times, and observed them for any abnormal signs. Best wishes.

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