Newbie questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by silvertitan, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. silvertitan

    silvertitan New Egg

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    Sep 21, 2014
    Oops, I posted this is the Newbie forum but it appears it should have been posted here, so here it goes...again... So my kids pleaded their case to dad and dad gave in, now we are the owners of 6 baby chicks! My 3 kids did all the work at the local farm store from finding out what they would need to get setup, how much it would all cost and the upkeep and paid for it with their own money. We have 2 golden sex links, 2 black sex links, 1 silver Wyandotte and 1 Ameraucana. I have to admit I am not a bird lover but these little chicks are cute and my kids are beyond happy.

    Since I never expected to own these little chicks I know nothing! We have them setup in my front room. They are in an enclosure with a light, food and water, and we put some bedding pellets on the ground and mixed it with the shavings from the box we brought them home in. It didn't occur to me to ask how old they are, dang it. With that being said, here are my questions:

    ~ Is it normal for them to peck at the pellets and shavings and/or eat them and is it ok?
    ~ Do they sleep at night or whenever they want, like a newborn?
    ~ A gold one appears to be bullying the others, as in she pecks and pulls feathers from the others. Should I be concerned?
    ~ What do I need to be watching for or is there any advice you all can give me?

    Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    My main suggestion is to read through the Learning Center above, at least the one on raising baby chicks for now. Feed store employees are not usually trained in chick care and sometimes some pretty glaring misinformation comes out of them.

    Yes it is normal for them to peck at the shavings. It's ot too good for them to seallow them, though,. Hopefully they will learn what is food in a couple of days. Chicks raised by momma hens are taught this by their mother. You may want to cover the shavinggs with paper towels or rags for a couple of days to help them learn what is good to eat.

    When young they sleep in naps around the clock. If your heat source puts out light, they will be more wakeul at night until it is turned off -- then they will cheep in protest for a night or so, then quiet down and sleep more.

    They will do some pecking. It is part of deciding the pecking order. If they are drawing blood or pulling feathers, you may have to separate the "meanie" for a day or two. You may be able to prevent this behavior by giving them a lot more space or by lowering the temperature. They need 0.5 sq ft per chick from day one, and 2.5 sw ft per chick by week 4. They will also do a lot less pecking if they are on grass, at least part of the day. You can brood them outdoors from day one with a little planning.

    Welcome to our forum, and good luck!
     
  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    You have them in your front room. They create a lot of dust, not a problem if you plant big cleaning and dusting jobs? If you have a garage think about a move? As they grow quickly, the dust will become more of a problem.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I have to agree, having brooded chicks both indoors and outdoors, I will never do it again indoors. That dust is not just chick dander, bits of fluff and skin, it is dried poop as well. If it is summer where you are, chances are they can go outdoors quite soon. Once they have recovered from shipping stress, which the farm store probably already took care of, they quickly tolerate cooler temps. You can begin getting them adjusted to the outdoors by taking them on short outings, within a few days of age if summer. (Be sure they are confined with some sort of makeshift fence, an upsde down playpen, etc.)

    The last time I brooded chicks, it was spring, with night lows around 55 and days in the 80s or so. They had a large area so that they could escape the heat lamp if they wished, or sleep under it for warmth. At 3 weeks of age they wew completely avoiding the heat lamp, even in the middle of the night.

    If you can, it helps with questions if you will go into your Profile and add your location (I guess you can't do this from a phone, though.)
     
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    The only thing I will add is that if you haven't started on their coop you might want to get on it right away lol! They grow really fast and by 4 or 5 weeks they will be ready to move and you will be way more then fed up with them in your house by that time!
     
  6. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Ditto. To have it ready in 5 - 6 weeks sounds easy, but weather delays, having to order materials and underestimating the time to finish the details can be surprising.
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Truth is, I would recommend having it ready before getting the chicks -- and brooding them in the coop.
     

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