Newbie questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Artemis, May 19, 2008.

  1. Artemis

    Artemis Hatching

    May 19, 2008
    Hi, I'm Artemis! I moved from the city to the country last year and I've just gotten my first chicks. I bought 6 Araucanas, straight run, and they're about 3 weeks old. Their brooder is a dog kennel! I've just switched the litter from shredded paper to shredded corncob, which looks just like their food. Should I cover it with paper towel for a day or so, so they learn it's not food?

    Second question: We bought a coop and my DH built a run that's 4 feet by 8 feet. Will that be big enough? We're thinking of making it portable enough to roll around the field the coop's in. If it's not big enough, we can use it for moving around and build a bigger one. I'm scared to free-range them, since we live in the woods and there are definitely predators.

    Third question: They're still very skittish (I've only had them a week). Do I handle them to get them used to me? How, exactly? I may be more scared of them than they are of me! But I want them to get used to me.

    Thank you so much!
  2. Jacky'sMamma

    Jacky'sMamma Songster

    May 16, 2008
    Antelope, CA
    I am still working on my first batch of chicks, but I can speak to question #3! We had one chick for everyone in the family, I can definately tell the difference between the chicks that my son and I handled frequently and the ones that the other kids were too timid to handle. With mine, I held it and put it in my *ahem...* shirt and cuddled it while it slept or just hung out. Talked to it and the whole nine yards (as did one of my sons). Brooding it, I guess. Now they are 5 weeks old and when we go out to see them in the pen/coop ours come running to us for a cuddle [​IMG] while the others are stand-offish. [​IMG]

    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Welcome to BYC.
    Covering their bedding sounds like a good idea. You want to provide 8 square feet of run per chicken (and 4 sq. ft. of coop per chicken). If my calculations are correct, you need 48 sq. feet and you have 32. Can you increase the size?
    Treats are the answer to getting your chicks to trust you. Also, sit by them and talk quietly. Handle them gently. They'll get used to you.
    You ordered straight run, which means you are probably gonna have at least one rooster. Do you plan to keep him? I wasn't keen on handling mine at first either, but now they jump all over me. My rooster likes to perch on my shoulder. When they are out in the yard they take turns jumping in my lap, just in case some treat has magically appeared in my hands. [​IMG]
  4. DTchickens

    DTchickens Crowing

    Mar 23, 2008
    Bailey, Mississippi.
    Quote:the coop should be big enough. but if not. you'll know. they'll start pecking each other and causing nasty sores... pretty much just hold your chicks every day. pet them. etc. Get some bread and break off little pieces. hold it down there to them and let them come up to you to get it out of your hand. you could toss it in their brooder to. But that'll cause a feeding frenzie. LOL.....
  5. Artemis

    Artemis Hatching

    May 19, 2008
    I am planning not to keep any roosters, so maybe 32 square feet will be enough. If they're all roosters I'm in trouble! I guess we'll put wheels on the run we have and build a bigger permanent one.

    OK, so I will start handling them more. I have so much to learn. Thank you SO much.

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