Newbie looking for some help

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rik, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. Rik

    Rik Hatching

    Jan 14, 2007
    Queensland, Australia
    Hi guys, We have not long bought are own house and now have the freedom to have pet. I'm going to pick up some chicks today 3 or 4 of them I've been told there layman Browns if that's the right spelling. Anyway Ive a nesting box from the plan on there and Ive also set up a place to keep the little chicks. I live in Queensland Australia so the colds in not a problem for me. I would like some info on how best to look after the chicks.

    Things like as chicks what do they need for bedding? (Sawdust, hay, straw)
    Do i put the nesting box of the floor for them now and move it up late? if so when do i move it?
    How are chickens around swimming pools? i mean will they just walk into them and drown? The reason i ask is my pool is fenced off from my house to stop my son falling in but its not fenced from the rest of the garden, will i need to look at fencing it off?
    i know chicken don't fly like bird but will i need to go and get them out of next doors garden if i have the free roaming?
    If there's anything else i need to know but haven't ask please let me know
    Any help would be much appreciated

    Thanks Rik
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2007
  2. BonnieMiranda

    BonnieMiranda In the Brooder

    Jan 17, 2007
    Hiya Rik! Welcome to your new addiction. [​IMG]

    I'll try to answer your questions in order. If you are getting brand new baby chicks, you will want to have a light to keep them warm. Get a thermometer and place it on the floor of what you are keeping the babies in to read the temp. You'll want to start them off at 95 degrees Farenheight and take it down 5 degrees a week until you get to about 75 degrees. I don't know how warm it is where you are, if they are outside and it's very warm you may only need to use the light after dark. (Also I bet you are on Celsius for temps but I don't have my converter on this computer.)

    For just a few chicks, (three or four) a large cardboard box with woodshavings in it would be fine to keep them in. Just make sure they are not cold, if so they can smush up in the corners trying to keep warm and possibly smother. You will want to keep them away from cold drafts, so something with solid walls is best. (Also contains the mess.)

    If you are getting babies, you don't have much need for a nesting box right now. If they are older chickens, nesting boxes can be on the ground or mounted a few feet up, depending on how well your chickens fly. Some are very adept, some don't really fly at all. When your chickens are grown they will want to sleep on roosts - I use tree branches, you can use wooden boards, though, or any number of things. They should use the nesting boxes just to lay their eggs in, although it's not unheard for them to try to sleep in or on the nesting boxes if they don't like their roost location - makes for messy eggs.

    I don't have any experience with chickens near pools or open water - but they can get waterlogged and drown pretty quickly. I would take a better safe than sorry view on that one and assume they might get in and not be able to get out. Also, you may want to keep them out of your prize areas of the yard - they can tear up a flower bed to use it to dust bathe. Cute to watch, except when they've ruined your best flowers. They'll also eat most anything.

    As for them wandering off to see the neighbors, that is a real possibility. Always feed them in the same place, and make their home attractive with nest boxes and roosts, and they will usually come back there in the evening. They will dust bathe and poop in your neighbor's yard also, so I would go for some sort of confinement. If you are only getting hens they are pretty quiet unless they get startled or they are singing the "I just layed an egg" song. Roosters crow, so be prepared! I LOVE to hear my guys crow, but not everyone does. I don't know if you have many predators where you are, but a stray dog can kill a small flock of chickens before you can get outside to save them, so you might want to pen them up at least somewhat for their own safety. Large birds of prey will kill and eat chickens, also.

    It can sound a little overwhelming at first, but it will be very worth it once you get going! There's not much cuter or sweeter than a baby chick, and fresh eggs will be wonderful. My flock follows me around in the yard and pen pretty much like a bunch of puppies, they are just great.

    Good luck and well wishes on your new adventures, and welcome to the forums! If you have any more questions, ask away, there are some great people here with lots of chicken sense.

  3. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator

    Wow, Bonnie... great first post!!!! Welcome to you both. We really do have a great community here.
  4. Rik

    Rik Hatching

    Jan 14, 2007
    Queensland, Australia
    Thanks bonnie your reply was really helpful. As for predators i think everything that live here in oz would eat a baby chick given the chance.
  5. bigredrooster

    bigredrooster In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2007
    N.E Ga.
    I am going to get 2 blue brazzy back batams today,but I dont have my pen ready yet,but I do ha about a 2' x 3' wooden box ,Will that be big enough to put them in tempory?Also what size pen would you build for just the two of them?
  6. ChrisnTiff

    ChrisnTiff In the Brooder

    Jan 11, 2007
    Crane, Missouri
    Thats plenty big enough for very short term. You will have to clean it up alot theough. Chickens do poo alot. You could probably build them a pen about 4x4 but you will need to give them access to some outside for healthy happy chickens. Maybe you could fence in a small area for them to scratch around in. Good luck and you came to the right place for advice!

  7. Servant

    Servant In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2007
    Aberdeen, NC
    What I did to keep predators out of my pens and chicken house. When putting the fenceing up i dug down about 2 feet and out from pen about 3 feet and bent the wire out word in a l shape. In doing this if any animal trys to dug under it. Most dug at the fence where it goes in the ground and in doing this they are standing on the wired and can't dig under the fence. On my chicken house well it is a memedal building i placed it on 4 by 4's and before setting them i placed wire on the bottom and then flipped it so no predators could dig under the walls and enter my chicken house the pens are covered with wire to and to keep the high flying one's out.
  8. stake

    stake Songster

    Feb 5, 2013
    Malvern, pa
    I an a newbiie so I am just repeating what I was sawdust....the chicks may eat it....I am using pine shavings...same stuff as for rabbits or guinea pigs...hope this helps

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