New member, new chicken owner :)

ChickyHawk

In the Brooder
Dec 23, 2018
20
48
41
Hi, we are new to raising chickens! Just got our flock this week - 4 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Plymouth Rock (all 3 weeks old). My husband and I started building the coop this fall and just finished last weekend, but these girls aren't ready for it yet. I thought we were getting older hens from a friend but that didn't work out. So we ended up getting some from a local feed store instead. I hadn't done any research on a brooder or anything like that because, like I said, I thought our hens would be older. But I couldn't brake my little girl's spirits because they have been so patiently waiting for their chickens. My teenage son reassured me that chicks would be fine in a large rubbermaid bin until we figure something else out. So we got the chicks, starter feed, waterer, bedding, already had a heat lamp, and that's it. But now one of the chicks has flown out of the bin a few times. So we placed some netting on top to help with this.
V__13BB.jpg

Basically I have a few simple questions:
Can I just use bagged sand bought from Home Depot as grit, or no?
And about the brooder.. Can I construct a makeshift brooder out of cardboard boxes. And how big would it need to be?
We live in Southern California and the temps now are 62 high /42 low. At how many weeks should I wait till they can call the coop home.
Wood shavings, good or bad? I read yesterday that they ca cause respiratory problems? What else should I use?
Would they need the heat lamp out there at night?
And, when do chickens begin sleeping on a roost?

Thanks for reading this. And Even if you could help me out with even one of these question. I would appreciate that so such. Getting the chickens the other day created some anxiety in me because usually I don't pull triggers on projects unless I research the death out of the topic. And sometimes that will cause me to never go through with it because I will get overwhelmed with information. I try to read about other peoples mistakes to avoid making them myself - but most times that just stalls the project. My point in all this is, I knew I didn't know everything about raising chicks but decided to get them anyway because I am realizing that sometimes you just have to jump in and learn as you go.
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium member
5 Years
Jan 30, 2015
45,838
126,989
1,657
Hi and welcome to BYC and congrats on your chicks. I'd imagine that most of your questions will be answered in the links below:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/how-to-raise-chickens.47660/
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/how-to-raise-baby-chicks—the-first-60-days-of-raising-baby-chickens.47691/
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/raising-your-baby-chicks.63100/

On this link you'll find lots of information on almost every aspect of keeping birds - from coop building ideas, to incubating eggs - https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/

Each week, various topics are discussed, which can be a great resource - https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/topic-of-the-week-thread-archives . Ditto the Learning Centre - https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/

This is a useful link of BYC guides to take a look at announcements-feedback-issues-guides.3 I’d suggest including your location using the guide in that link. You can use this link to contact members in your area - Find your State's thread.

Best wishes

Pork Pie
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium member
Jul 23, 2018
12,896
96,275
1,442
Apalachin, NY
My Coop
My Coop
Hello and welcome to BYC! :frow Glad you joined.
You will need to offer heat until the chicks are fully feathered. I put my chicks out in their coop when they were 6 weeks old. But I used a brooder plate. They slept under that at night when it was chilly. Then they all piled into the nest boxes to sleep when they got a little bigger.
They will fly up to roosts now but won't sleep there until a bit older.
I would go to TSC and get a little bag of chick grit.
I have used pine shavings for bedding from day one. It is a very common bedding for chickens.
I hope this helps. Have fun with your chicks.
 

hugitnotnugget

Songster
Feb 14, 2016
109
53
116
Upstate NY
Welcome!!! Congrats on your first flock!!! Chickens are more amazing and fun than you can imagine. I have so many bizarre and funny stories from my chickens. This website is fantastic for chicken owners. And illness or basic questions can be asked and I always get great answers.

I have always used shavings for my coop. There are some that are less dusty if you are concerned with respiratory issues. I haven’t had any respiratory issues with my chickens yet and I have had chickens for 15 years but I hear it’s more common than I have experienced.

I live in upstate New York so I have a heat light on mine but even with those a low temperatures I don’t think you need a heat light when they are fully grown but as babies they would appreciate it because it’s warm like their mother would make them. You can always give them the option and see what they prefer. If they get too hot they will pant and hold there wings out.

If you give them an option for roosting they will show you when they are ready.


Hi, we are new to raising chickens! Just got our flock this week - 4 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Plymouth Rock (all 3 weeks old). My husband and I started building the coop this fall and just finished last weekend, but these girls aren't ready for it yet. I thought we were getting older hens from a friend but that didn't work out. So we ended up getting some from a local feed store instead. I hadn't done any research on a brooder or anything like that because, like I said, I thought our hens would be older. But I couldn't brake my little girl's spirits because they have been so patiently waiting for their chickens. My teenage son reassured me that chicks would be fine in a large rubbermaid bin until we figure something else out. So we got the chicks, starter feed, waterer, bedding, already had a heat lamp, and that's it. But now one of the chicks has flown out of the bin a few times. So we placed some netting on top to help with this.
View attachment 1623354
Basically I have a few simple questions:
Can I just use bagged sand bought from Home Depot as grit, or no?
And about the brooder.. Can I construct a makeshift brooder out of cardboard boxes. And how big would it need to be?
We live in Southern California and the temps now are 62 high /42 low. At how many weeks should I wait till they can call the coop home.
Wood shavings, good or bad? I read yesterday that they ca cause respiratory problems? What else should I use?
Would they need the heat lamp out there at night?
And, when do chickens begin sleeping on a roost?

Thanks for reading this. And Even if you could help me out with even one of these question. I would appreciate that so such. Getting the chickens the other day created some anxiety in me because usually I don't pull triggers on projects unless I research the death out of the topic. And sometimes that will cause me to never go through with it because I will get overwhelmed with information. I try to read about other peoples mistakes to avoid making them myself - but most times that just stalls the project. My point in all this is, I knew I didn't know everything about raising chicks but decided to get them anyway because I am realizing that sometimes you just have to jump in and learn as you go.
 
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