new to chickens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chad s, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. chad s

    chad s Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 11, 2011
    Hi, new to forum and chickens. Our 9 new peeps are now a week old. I have them in a converted 30 gallon rubber maid container. Will I have to make a bigger pen for them before going outside to the coop? Right now they are in our dinning room getting a lot of attention. Thanks

  2. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2008
    First, [​IMG]

    Be sure the temperature is correct, and they have enough room. Read this page!

    These are my personal notes -

    FEED: use commercial chickstarter for the first 8 weeks.

    WATER: For the first two days, add 3 tablespoons of table sugar to each quart of water for extra energy. Use plain water after that. Dip the beak of the chick in the water before you turn it loose. Your chicks will be thirsty when you get them. A taste of water right away helps them to find more water soon. Most baby chick loss is caused because the chick doesn't start to eat or drink. Never let your chicks run out of water. For best results, have either Quik Chik, Broiler Booster, or Terramycin in the water.

    HEAT: The tempurature were the birds should be is 90 to 95 degrees for the first week. Reduce the tempurature 5 degrees per week until you get to 70 degrees. Then they shouldnt need anymore heat. A good source of heat is a 250 watt heat bulb. (red bulbs are better than white - they cause less picking) Hang it 18 inches from the floor. The tempurature directly under the bulb will the higher than 90 degrees, but the birds will adjust themselves to the area they like.

    SPACE: Try to provide 1/2 square foot for a start. Also try to provide a draft sheild if possible....

    LITTER: Wood shavings, rice hulls, or ground cobs make good litter. DO NOT USE CEDAR CHIPS, SAW DUST, OR TREATED WOOD CHIPS. Sand, straw, or dirt will work but are not as good as the others mentioned. Put the litter all over the floor at least 1 inch thick. For the first day, cover it w/ newspaper to keep the chicks from eating their litter.

    GRIT: Starting the 3rd day, sprinkle baby grit on the feed daily as if you were salting your food. Avoid putting too much at any one time as the birds may fill up on it instead of their feed.

    PICKING: Baby birds will often pick at each other if they are too hot, too crowded, or without fresh air. Occasionally, bright light also causes them to pick. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to picking. Sometimes, however, they pick for no apparent reason. To stop it, try putting fresh green grass clippings several times a day and darken the room. As a last resort, debeaking might have to be done. Try cutting off about one-third of the top beak. Do not cut the bottom or lower beak - just the top.....To treat birds that have been picked, use an anti-pick product, or smear black grease on the area injured untill it is healed.

    REAR END "PASTING UP": Sometimes stress can cause the manure to stick to the back of the bird. This must be removed daily. Pull it off gently, or better yet, wash it off with a cloth and warm
    water. It will disapear after a few days, as the bird starts to grow.


    • If you have any (unlikely I suppose) add a couple of drops of Poly-vi-sol infant vitamin drops (comes in a liquid, get it at Walgreens) to the water. That is what I did with one who was really droopy and not eating/drinking and mostly sleeping. He came out of it though, but is still runty. For future chicks, have Poly-vi-sol handy. It's made by Enfamil.

    1) Increase the floor area to 3/4 square foot per bird.
    2) Make sure you have proper sized grit.
    3) Install roosts at the back of brooder area. Allow four inches per bird with roost poles six inches apart.
    4) Open windows in daytime - Leave only partly open at night.
    5) Prevent water puddles around water sources - try placing water souces under low-wire platforms.
    6) Birds can range outside on warm, sunny days - but only if clean range is avalible.
  3. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 7, 2011
    SE Wis

    ChickenWisperer pretty much said it all.

    I have my chicks in my bathroom. When they start getting too big for the brooder, usually around 6-8 weeks (I only have 4 this time around so they can stay in there a little longer), I move them out into a larger cage out in my garage. They stay out there until the weather gets warmer and they are the same size as the big girls so they can defend themselves.

    Since you don't have any other chickens, depending on the weather where you are, you could move your babies out to their permanent coop as soon as they feather out. Just make sure it is predator-proofed well. Too many species love the taste of chicken, unfortunately.
    Good luck & enjoy your babies!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by