New to BYC and seeking advice!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LizGled628, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chirping

    Jun 13, 2010
    Rhode Island

    What an amazing site. Since I ordered my chicks a few weeks ago, I've been checking out these forums and I'm so impressed with everyones helpful advice. It's also nice to see there are other people as obsessed with raising chickens as I am :)

    I'm expecting an order of twelve to arrive on Wednesday...4 RIR, 4 BR, and 4 Easter Egg chickens...I'm only keeping six ( two of each), as Rhode Island state law mandates that you must order 12. A friend of mine has chickens, and will take the six after a few weeks.

    I just want to run the set up I have by some of you "experts", to ensure that I'm doing everything I can to keep healthy, happy chicks. I've had chickens but never from chicks, and Im really excited to see them from the start!

    I have a giant bunny cage with a red heat lamp positioned over one side (thermometer reads 94 degrees on the ground of the cage). I have paper towels down now, but I was going to switch to shavings after a few days. The store I ordered the chicks from recommends dipping their beaks in water as soon as I bring them home, to ensure they will drink. I also have medicated chick starter to feed them. I've read a lot about putting sugar/vitamins/electrolytes in the water...should I do this?

    Any tips on ensuring a safe and happy flock would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  2. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY

    Yes, I was giving my chicks organic ACV but when one chick was acting funny, I started using electrolytes (powdered) from TSC and it really made a difference. Now, first two weeks they get electrolytes, then I switch over to ACV. The medicated chick starter is what I use
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  3. write2caroline

    write2caroline Songster

    Jun 21, 2009
    ACV is apple cider vinagar - I think too much sugar is not good as it makes the waterer nasty and could ferment and mold up under that heat lamp. A little ACV a tsp not a tbspn per gallon is helpful and good for the chicks. I gave mine plain water and they were fine. Mine came with green gel in thier box. I think you will be fine.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  4. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Sounds like you'll make the perfect mom. [​IMG]
  5. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chirping

    Jun 13, 2010
    Rhode Island
    Thanks! What kind of green gel was it? I am so excited for the chicks, but so nervous I'm going to do something wrong!
  6. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    the green gel was probably the "gro-gel" some hatcheries add to make sure they have enough moisture, and I think it also has vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes to help them get off to a good start. WELCOME to BYC from western Kentucky!
  7. Chicks&Chihuahuas

    Chicks&Chihuahuas In the Brooder

    Apr 5, 2010
    Tulsa, OK
    Sounds like a great little setup! I have 8 babies that will be arriving on Tuesday or Wednesday as well. My initial brooder is much simpler than yours, just a very large rubbermaid tub (one of those trunks with the wheels on one end) with a heat lamp clamped on the side and thermo hanging. It has been fine for all of my girls (well, and the 3 "surprise" boys) for the first few weeks, but your setup will be much better for a longer period of time. I use wire screen on top as soon as they get feathered enough to flutter out. The one thing I will say is make sure your waterer is setup so that they can't drown. If the base is more than about a half inch deep I'd fill it with marbles or vase stones to prevent any accidents, at least for the first week or so. I've never had any trouble with plain water, but Electrolytes or ACV won't hurt. I also usually use medicated starter at least for the first few weeks. I did have a couple of banties that didn't get it because they were brooding with 3 little ducklings (ducks can't have the med) and they did just fine anyway. Best wishes on the babies, and post pics! [​IMG]
  8. evhammond1200

    evhammond1200 In the Brooder

    Apr 16, 2010
    Canaan, NH
    We used electrolytes with ours and they are now 4 weeks old and huge in comparison with what they started out as. Good luck with your chicks. Be carefull not to start to small they can have a mortality rate? We started with 13 and lost two in the first couple days but the other 11 we have are doing well! We are in NH and have the same 12 minimum too but if you look around sometimes you can find private sellers who will do small orders.
  9. chickee

    chickee Songster

    [​IMG] Just be sure you have a towel or cardboard around the outside bottom of your cage as a draft guard. Also make sure the chicks have an area to get away from the heat lamp in case they get too warm. [​IMG] I just started using a vitamin powder in the chicks water that I bought at the feed store, called GQF Vitamin Plus. I had a sluggish chick and it imediately perked him up! [​IMG] I was very impressed with how well it worked! Good for you, doing all the research to be a good chickie momma! [​IMG] HAVE FUN WITH YOUR CHICKS! [​IMG]
  10. ekemily

    ekemily Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    Fairhope, AL
    It sounds like you've already got everything under control. Dipping their beaks in the water is super important when they first arrive. Watch them for a little bit and make sure that they know where it is. Also, remember to check their booties for crusty poop. If they are pasty, just dab them with a warm, wet paper towel to clear their vent.
    and [​IMG]

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