Noobie question on feeding/watering chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Tanichca, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. Tanichca

    Tanichca Sparkle Magnet

    May 6, 2009
    Vail, Arizona
    Ok so tomorrow is lockdown for 20 silkie eggs, and i had some questions.
    1: Can i train the chicks to drink from a rabbit waterer? To reduce the risk of drowning. We used to have A LOT of bunnies and cavies, but not anymore, and we still have about a dozen bunny waterers laying around.
    2: Any diseases i should be worrying about? Pasty butt, Cocci? How to prevent the birds from getting anything?
    3: I have a heat lamp and everything, the proper temp for chicks is about 100* right?
    Any other info would be greatly appreciated!
  2. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Start the chicks at 95 degrees then go down 5 degrees per week. 100 degrees is a bit warm.

    I've never ever had a chick drown in a waterer though I suppose it could happen. We just hatched ten Silkies a few weeks ago and they got the same red/white plastic one quart chick waterer that we use with any other chick.

    Clean, dry bedding and clean water is an excellent preventative for coccidiosis as well as medicated chick starter. Avoid wet bedding for the plague that it is. I keep the waterers on wire platforms to make it harder for them to get bedding in them and to keep them out of any wet bedding in the unlikely event they should manage to spill their water.

    Do keep an eye out for pasting. Doesn't always happen, but you never know. Three of the Silkies we hatched pasted and they only traveled eighty yards from the house to the workshop. It's easy to deal with though if you're paying attention.
  3. Tanichca

    Tanichca Sparkle Magnet

    May 6, 2009
    Vail, Arizona
    ok! thanks [​IMG]
    Is straw a good bedding for the chicks or should i use something else?
  4. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Straw is not very absorptive. Folks have a lot of differing preferences for brooder bedding but what I always use is kiln-dried pine shavings. Just the stuff they use for horse stall bedding from the feed store. Not the pelleted stuff or anything that looks like sawdust. Just shavings. Good absorbency and smells nice and fairly cheap for the amount you use in a brooder.
  5. RioLindoAz

    RioLindoAz Sleeping

    Jul 8, 2007
    Yuma, Arizona
    Definitely recommend rabbit waterers. Keeps chicks from making a soup of shavings in bowls from kicking around in the brooder.

    For bedding, I recommend finely shredded pine or cedar shavings. They're very absorbent and smell quite amazing. Make sure you sprinkle some baking soda around there too.

    To prevent diseases, a small amount of ammonia should be maintained to kill them. Do this by using the deep litter method. Add new shavings to the existing ones once they get old. Or if needed, toss about half of the old shavings and add more fresh bedding.
  6. Yeagin1

    Yeagin1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2010
    Palestine, TX
    Quote:It's my understanding cedar shavings shouldn't be used with chickens.
  7. kimf

    kimf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2011
    Seminole County, FL
    Does using a rabbit or hamster waterer help chicks learn to use a nipple waterer? We plan to have a nipple sysyten in the coop....

    Also, if I use a small dish can I put rocks in it to keep it from spilling and keep the water shallow and safe?
  8. Bantam Username

    Bantam Username Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    I use a shallow dish and have glass marbles in it. The chicks use it with no problems and the marbles are easy to clean. If you use stones, make sure they are thoroughly cleaned each day as they can harbour bacteria in the nooks and crannies. [​IMG]
  9. Peachesbabychick

    Peachesbabychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have heard that you shouldn't use pine shavings because if they eat them, it can get all globbed up in their little tummies. So I use hay or soft towels. [​IMG]
  10. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Many people put chicks on pine shavings, from day one. They will likely eat some, at least til they learn where the food is. Others put pine shavings in the brooder then paper towels or old cotton towels (or puppy pads, etc.) over the pine shavings for a couple of days. Don't use newspaper unless it is shredded; they will slip and this can damage their legs.

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