newbie needs an idiot check

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by stake, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. stake

    stake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2013
    Malvern, pa

    My local supply will be getting chicks in in a day or two. Its my intent to get 4 for starters.....

    I have a large dog crate, and will purchase: feed, feeder waterer, heat lamp(trying to find a 125 watt red lamp). The target temp under the light should be 85-90 and the chicks should have an area to move away from the heated area.

    I intend to raise the chicks in a plastic laundry basket with a towel on the bottom and pine shaving inside the dog crate for approximately 3 weeks(in a spare bedroom)...then to remove the laundry basket and give them the full 40"x30" crate...when they get bigger to move the crate to the basement. A few weeks later to the coop and pen....

    I've been told to 'dunk' the chicks into the feed and water to identify it to them and if they don't respond add a bit of sugar to the water and dunk again...

    When they move outside get chicks some oyster shells .....

    Please let me know what I'm missisng......TIA!
  2. theotherfoote

    theotherfoote Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2012
    Newberg, Oregon
    We started with 4 chicks in September. We didn't bother with the paper towels because they all had shavings in their tubs at the feed store.

    I think by three weeks the laundry basket will be way too small for them. I was really amazed at the amound of growth I saw day by day. After about a week, they can jump, so be prepared to have some sort of lid for your brooder. We started with a medum sized dog crate (the black wire kind...and we used cardboard on the sides so they couldn't squeeze through the wires). After a few weeks they were too cramped, so we ended up getting an extra large crate (like, great dane large!) to hold them over until they were fully feathered. We also put a small perch in the brooder after about a week and they loved it.

    I wouldn't worry about oyster shells until they start laying.

    Here's some pics of our little flock and brooder...

    This is the medium crate. The cardboard really helped to keep the shavings in. It was a pain to clean the garage floor every day once they got big enough to remove the cardboard. I was tired of seeing the bedding tracked in the house, too! Something you might think about is getting two heat lamp bulbs. Our first bulb burned out about half-way through our "brooder journey." I was glad we had a spare!


    It was easy to use the medium crate to give the girls exposure to the "great outdoors." As you can see, they've almost outgrown this medium crate and the extra large crate was a much needed upgrade. We just slid the black tray out of the bottom. (Ignore our dead grass!!)


    Here we've moved to the extra large crate and added a few perches. The cardboard on the bottom helped to contain the shavings somewhat. Expect to get dust on everything! Our shop-vac was our best friend!


    Even at a young age, they loved their perch. I had no troubles with them when they moved to the coop. They were already perching pros!


    Good luck with your chicks! Don't worry too much. Chickens, for the most part, are really easy. We had no problem getting them to eat and drink. All it took was one little dunk of the beak and they were good to go. We checked on them and handled them several times a day.

    Here they are all grown up and laying eggs!


    Make sure you post some pictures when you get your chicks!
    1 person likes this.
  3. Ladybug2001

    Ladybug2001 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2012
    I agree. By three weeks they would be jumping out of the basket and running around. My first flock I moved them about 5 different times because I didn't realize how quickly they grow. Now I block them off in half of my closet space, put down newspaper, and then pine shaving (the flake not fine). Then as they grow give them the full space. When they are about a month old, at least for Barred Plymouth Rocks and Red Sex Links, they can go outside. Wait any longer and you won't be able to keep them confined.
  4. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 12, 2013
    Eastern WA
    I have my babies in the house for the first couple of weeks after 2 weeks you will want them out of the house. I have mine currently in a dog kennel set up with the cardboard for draft and because little ones can crawl out. sometimes you can buy an old cubboard and put them in the coop. coubbord is nice because it keeps them warm and has doors.
  5. chicknhawaii

    chicknhawaii Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2008
    Honolulu, HI
    I love this thread AND the pics posted in reply. I've been thinking about building a coop however an extra-large dog cage may be the answer for our 2 girls by next week. Thanks for sharing!

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