New to chicks..some questions.


In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
I am expecting my first batch of baby chicks the week of the 31st!! I am new to this but wanted to make sure I have thought everything out! I also have a few questions!

We have our coop ready and my husband has built a brooder up off the ground with a wire bottom in a corner of the coop. Should we use that or would a sectioned off part of the coop floor be better? We have no other chickens just a rabbit that also lives in the coop(obviously I would have to make sure the rabbit stays away from the chicks but thats where he is for now). Could I put the chicks in a big plastic tub with shavings for the first week or so and then move them out to the coop? Would that be ideal or should I start them out in the coop?

Our coop floor is dirt(well its just the ground the coop was built over). I should put pine shavings in correct? How deep should they be? Anything else I should do to prepare the ground?

Chick feed- I am leaning towards the unmedicated due to what I have read but is should I reconsider? I want to raise them organically but that will be near impossible since I can not afford the $40+ a bag of feed(none local so it would have to be shipped in). Whats my next best option in terms of feed(or since I can't get organic does it really matter?).

Do I need a specific heat lamp or will a reg. bulb do?

I think that is all for now! I am really excited and can't wait!!
Thanks in advance for the help!


11 Years
Feb 12, 2008
New to this myself. Obsessed over it for weeks before they came. We are on day 4 with chicks and I must say it isnt as hard as I anticipated.

Fresh water, crumbles, and a decent heat source and you will be fine. Watch for pasty butt first couple days.

As to a light, we use a red one to reduce pecking although even that isnt peck proof. Most any light will work from my perspective. The temp thing is currently being discussed in another thread. 95 degrees, from my novice perspective is not always neccessary. My 4 day olds seem to prefer 87-90 degrees.

You will figure it out fine. The only other thing I would say is to put something over the wire floor until they are bigger. I cant really see the little chicks feet really enjoying walking on the wire for the first week or two.


11 Years
Mar 7, 2008
Kelso, WA
I am new to this too. I started mine in a plastic tote, in the house, with a 60 watt bulb. The heat light was just too hot in the house. I now have nine chicks, and had to move them to a large dog kennel/carrier. This way I can keep a better eye on them, and sure enough, one of them was getting pecked, so had to be isolated.

Pine shavings are correct, but the recommendation here is to put paper towels over the shavings for the first week or so, as the chicks may try to eat them, and that can cause an obstruction in their little bowels.

I wanted organic chickens too, but the risk of cocci is too great, so I got the medicated feed. I will free range them when they are older.

Watch the raising chicks and emergencies threads, and you will learn tons of stuff you might need to know.


In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 20, 2008
I am also new to this but have gotten alot of advice from my old farming aunts they say the best place to keep the babies is in the house for the until they feather out then move them to the coop as depending on where you live right now its still to chilly for the babies my Cornish are now 3 weeks old and there still in the house


11 Years
Mar 14, 2008
Front Royal, VA
Hi! Yep, I kept mine in the house in a 30 gallon fish tank for the first 3 days, now they are in a toy box!! Rubbermaid totes work well too. Regular light bulbs are fine. You should have on hand a 100-75-60-40 watt on hand. Just watch the babies, they will tell you which are right! Don't know about the organic feed. Welcome!!! You'll get great knowledge here!!!

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