New mama chick questions...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Just chicken, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. Just chicken

    Just chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 15, 2013
    Hi there.. I just got my 12 new chicks today from TSC. I noticed they had the chicks all in brooders with the pine shaving bedding. I've read online that you shouldn't put chicks in this until they are a few weeks old. Which is correct?? I have moved them onto papertowels at this point but they did seem to like messing with the shavings better.



    Also I'm concerned about the correct temp. I"m using as my brooder a 105 qt clear sterilite tub. I have a dome light with a red 250 bulb partially pointing into them. It seems to have the temp at about 95 degrees on the light end of the brooder. The chicks are laying around kinda in the middle... not all under the light but not all out of the light. Not on top of each other or necessarly touching although some are. The thermometer is on the light end so I guess that is a pretty accurate read. Oh and the room is about 60 degrees and I don't have a full top on the tub. Its currently covering about 1/2 of the tub but not tightly.

    Another question... when should I think about moving them into a bigger brooder or should I split them into 2 brooders at some point?

    Last question... what indications of possible illnesses should I be looking out for?? Thanks for all your input in advance. Also feel free to give any advice on things you think a newbie would need to know. I've read here and there but am no way an expert.
     
  2. kalson

    kalson Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 14, 2013
    Spring, TX
    We also got 6 chicks from TSC. We are using our spare bathtub as a brooder. We are using the pine shavings and as far as I have heard it is ok, just don't use the sawdust type because the chick can't tell the difference from food or shavings. We just got through wiping 'spackle butt' off 2 of our chicks. The forum here is great and is full of knowledgeable people. Welcome aboard.
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Use paper towels over the pine shavings for the first few days, so the chicks won't eat it. After a few days you can do away with the paper towels.

    Your brooder temp is correct. The chicks sound comfortable. What you can do is raise the brooder lamp a bit every week, reducing the temperature in the warmest spot by roughly 5* every time. This gets them used to cooler temps and encourages them to feather out faster. I would suggest you cover the brooder completely, without compromising ventilation and letting the heat escape. some kind of mesh would be good. Chicks can fly from a very young age and before you know it they will be out of that brooder!

    In your brooder aim for 1-1.5 sqf per chick. It sounds like a lot, but they grow up incredibly quick and will need the space to run around.

    Look for bloody poop, signs of listlessness, pasty butt (poop stuck to their bottom, clogging them up). What you can do is put a little organic apple cider vinegar in their water. (4-5 tablespoons to a gallon water). This helps prevent coccidiosis and pasty butt. There are some great articles on raising chicks etc in the Learning Centre here that you can look at also:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I start brooding at 95F too and decrease temp every week by raising light and then turning it off for periods of time and eventually take the light out completely at 3 weeks. Our house ambient temp is 65F.

    Unless your going to get or build a larger brooder the 250W heat lamp you'll find to be over sized for the job. It'll be out and far above the tote to lower temp. You can use a red incandescent bulb in it's place. I don't even use a tinted light just a normal 100w bulb in a clamp light with metal reflective shade. It's said normal bulbs agitate them but I've not noticed them disturbed and they sleep just fine under it. That said, if your buying a bulb might as well get a tinted if you can find one 60-100w.

    They grow fast, your tote is fine for a week or so but you'll easily see the need for a larger brooder or another tote as they grow. With overcrowding they'll start to peck one another to point of drawing blood. I had 17 in a large tote (4'X2', 0.5 sqft per bird) and there was a definite need to get rid of some in two weeks. Sold 7 and the remaining 10 were with that space to 4 weeks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  5. Just chicken

    Just chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 15, 2013
    Thanks for the tips. I did cover it last night with chicken wire. It sounds like I'll be switching out to a bigger box so I guess I won't worry about making the wire too permanent. I checked on them several times last night and the temp seemed to stay between 90 and 95 in the lit corner of the brooder. Oh and I did purchase some pkgs of electrolytes to add to their water. Will this suffice or do I need the vinegar you spoke of??

    Its amazing watching them this morning. They already seem to be moving around more and looking for trouble. This is going to be a fun/interesting experience. I need to get started on their permanent home this week. :)

    Thanks again for all the great info!
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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  7. HayleesChickens

    HayleesChickens New Egg

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    Try using shredded paper from a cross cut paper shredder,
     

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