New to chickens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by llombardo, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. llombardo

    llombardo Crowing

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    i have been thinking about getting chickens for a while. Last fall I had a stray rooster. I couldn't catch him but what a personality. I was hooked after day 2. He ended up with my neighbors and their older chicken. They didn't want him originally but he kind of didn't give them a choice.

    So today I went and got a coop and 4 chicks and 1 baby duck. 3 are about a week-week and a half and one is about 3 days old. I have them in the brooder but I have some questions. They seem to be eating an awful lot. I filled the feeder and after a few hours it's almost gone. They are drinking fine too. I got them eating out of my hand on my last visit with them. They are in an upstairs bathroom and I know they need to be warm, but every now and then I notice their mouths open. The lamp is as high as it can go and I repositioned it so they can get away from it, but even with mouths open they are staying put and huddling together. I move them, they go back. From what I am reading, the heat lamp can go off during the day(makes me nervous having it on when I'm not home) at about 4 weeks and on at night?

    I'm super excited to learn and watch them grow. They are super sweet and I want them friendly, so I'm handling them often. A couple will now come to me when I put my hand in there.

    I also have questions about ventilation once they are in the coop. There is a sliding door up near the roof. Should that be open all year round as long as it's not raining or snowing? The rain can get right in and I dont want them wet.

    I'm thinking ahead and I think I'm going without a heating source in the winter. If anything I would consider those heating pads versus heat lamp. From what I understand, straw in roosting boxes and chips in tray?

    I'm sure I will have more questions. I just want healthy and happy chickens that are safe.
     
  2. Farmgal101

    Farmgal101 Songster

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    Hi,Welcome to BYC!!We are glad to have you here...And answer any questions you may have about your flock!!The chickens are opening there mouths because they are to hot...heat lamps are usually what new to chicken people normally get,but alot of people suggest getting a heating plate because there safer and provide the chick to go under if there cold or move out if there hot.Here is one on amazon ://www.amazon.com/Premier-Chick-Heating-Plate-Kit/dp/B01N137A5O/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1520830248&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=chick+heating+plate&psc=1
    in winter i just use straw to keep them warm and i use hay in the summer,Chickens need alot of ventilation,so i would suggest leaving it open.Chickens are going to go out in the pouring rain for no reason,so a little water does not hurt them as long as there is a place they can get dry at.:):welcome
     
  3. llombardo

    llombardo Crowing

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    That is kind of neat. I'm going to see if the local place has it. What about those heating pads? Will that work or is it all about the heat coming from above?
     
    Farmgal101 likes this.
  4. Farmgal101

    Farmgal101 Songster

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    tbh,I have never tried heating pads,but it sounds like you would have to clean up chicken poo off of them alot and they do poo alot!!...so i would probably recommend the heating plate because its not as messy and gives you the right temperature they need also want to mention that there are heating plates with flat and triangle tops the one i recommended has a triangle top so if you do decide to get one get one with a triangle top...they will be able to jump on top of the flat ones and poo on it,it will save you the hassle of cleaning up all the poo!!
     
  5. Farmgal101

    Farmgal101 Songster

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    Are you talking about when there full sized chickens? even in winter they dont need any type of heating source once there fully grown..they have there feathers to keep them warm they also bunch up together...So in winter put straw in there coop to keep them a little bit more on the warmer side and in summer just use hay or wood shavings/chips.Where are you located?
     
  6. Farmgal101

    Farmgal101 Songster

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  7. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

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    MHP by Blooie search & it's all about using a heating pad not heating plate. Heating pad cost way less (Sunbeam 732-500), should be one without the automatic shut off. You'll need a "skeleton" out of stiff wire, wrap it with a pillow case/plastic wrap ... It's safer and beneficial for the chicks & your sanity.
     
    Farmgal101 likes this.

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