New to Chickens; Buying chicks in 5 days... HELP?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rezia, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Rezia

    Rezia Songster

    May 3, 2012
    Apache Junction, AZ
    Thank's all who looks at this thread and helps me! Hope this will help others as well... I need all the information I can get! I have a few questions I'd like to have answered before I get the chicks:

    How big does my brooder have to be? I'm getting 15 chicks. I have heard that you need 2 square feet per chick. Estimation is a 6' x 10' box. Not gonna happen. I'll probably get two...

    What is the best feed to get for them? They will be egg layers. NOT meat birds! (I couldn't stand for anything else.)

    What is the best bedding for them?

    How many heat lamps do I need?

    What can I feed them? (Snacks and stuff...)

    Should I give them supplements? If so, what?

    I'll think of more questions later. In the meantime, thanks!

  2. RThomas

    RThomas Songster

    Apr 19, 2009
    You don't need that much space for chicks. 15 chicks isn't that many. Two square feet for all 15 chicks would probably be fine to start. I use a plastic storage tub. You can buy them at Wal-Mart cheap and they come in different sizes. Some people use old water troughs, kids pools, ect.

    Just feed them chick starter for now. You won't have to worry about layer feed until much later.

    I use pine shavings for bedding.

    One heat lamp. Make sure they have room to move away from it. They need to be able to escape the heat if it gets too hot. I usually keep the lamp at one end of the brooder, not right in the middle. That way they can move to the cooler area if need be.

    I wouldn't feed them any snacks yet. Just stick with the starter feed for now.

    I don't ever give mine any supplements. You could add electrolytes to their water, but it's not usually necessary.

    Good luck.
  3. SamanthaBrooke

    SamanthaBrooke Chirping

    Jul 28, 2011
    Jefferson, GA
    Hi there,
    hopefully I can be a little help to you until somebody with more experience comes along.

    You can use two boxes and split up the chicks, I have to do that as well. Each brooder will need a red heat lamp and bulb at 100watts, the brooder needs to stay a consistent 95 degrees F for the first week then you can decrease this heat -5 degrees every week until your babies have all of their feathers which is usually around 6 or so weeks. I advise you to have a thermometer where your light is strongest to know your temperature at all times so you can adjust the height of the lamp for more or less warmth, you can put a little teddy bear or stuffed animal were your heat is and only heat one side of the brooder so if they get too toasty they can move away from the heat. I also believe in having a spare bulb if heaven forbid your bulb burns out, also keep hot hands handy in case you lose power.

    As for feed I am not totally sure because I raise my birds for breeding and showing so I'll leave that one for the more experienced.

    I start offering my babies a treat a one week old, usually a scrambled egg or boiled egg in the palm of my hand which also gets them to love you! If they aren't interested you can try again the next week, you can then start giving them shredded lettuce, meal worms and crickets, if your babies eat any of this you will need to supply them with grit so they can grind it up.

    Supplements, I give my babies starting at 5 days organic apple cider vinegar at 2 tables spoons per 1 gallon, this helps their gut and keeps things moving properly, when they move out to their coop I then add DE to their feed which is a natural insecticide. For more info you can look up ACV for Chickens and DE for Chickens on google!

    Bedding: Pine shavings or aspen shavings. Avoid cedar shaving as they are quite toxic!

    Good luck and I hope I have helped you even just a little.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  4. Rezia

    Rezia Songster

    May 3, 2012
    Apache Junction, AZ
    Thank you everyone! This helped a lot!

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