Ordered Chicks for farm pick up but how do I get them home? + negative Nacies suck....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Northie, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Northie

    Northie Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm so excited, after so much planning and researching we're actually going to make this chicken thing happen! I've placed an order for chicks with a breeder and we have a day set when we will be driving to their farm and picking up our first batch of little Chickie's!!! I'm still working out the details when it comes to the drive home though, it's going to be a long one thanks to the fact that we live in the middle of stinkin no where :/

    But, we'll figure it out. (Advice on packing would be awesome :) )

    Tonight while I was excitedly telling someone about our proposed venture they dissapointedly said; "oh... Well don't get to excited they probably won't make it home alive.... And if they do a bunch will probably die and then the ones that live will probably get eaten by the dog or a fox... So don't try too hard...."

    I didn't expect chicken keeping to be perfect ... Some losses are acceptable but I so want 100℅ survival rate just to spite this silly person...

    They have had nothing positive to say about me getting chicks since I started with the idea. According to them chickens are vile, filthy cannibalistic, ammonia producing, egg eating, stupid things that are good for nothing and pointless to have around because if the dogs don't eat them they'll just freeze to death in the winter in their coop that reeks so bad it burns your eyes..... Moral of that story was... They sucked at keeping chickens... Poor chickens...

    Anyway they don't live here so their opinion is more annoying than anything.... Sorry for the
    Rant.... Got my feathers all flustered!
  2. MadMarmoset

    MadMarmoset New Egg

    Aug 3, 2013
    Ignore the naysayers. Be one with your inner chicken and enjoy your raising your little fuzzies! :)
    1 person likes this.
  3. shmccarthy

    shmccarthy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2013
    Oh my, what a bitter outlook. I'm sorry but they must've had a bad experience. :(
    Well aside from that, all that is worst case scenario.
    How long is your drive exactly?
    I've driven home with baby chicks (1hour) car ride and had no issues. What I would do, is bring a large box with a lid and put holes on each side. When shipping chicks, hatcheries have minimum orders because the chicks body heat helps to keep each other warm during the journey. Because you are going to get the chicks and they are riding home in a nice toasty vehicle, and you can moniter them, you shouldn't have to worry much about losses on the way back unless they are already sick ect. I would use newspaper or towels for the bedding in the box rather than shavings for very young chicks but that is just a personal preference. :) make sure your vehicle is kept warm, it doesn't need to be hot because the chicks will keep each other warm, but you don't want it to be cold in there so they get chilled and could get sick easier.

    As for the other things, just read up as much as possible. Invest in a predator proof run and coop. Make sure every inch (literally every inch) is covered and secured. Make sure to have a top on your run and an apron made out of wire around the perimeter to deter digging predators.
    Chickens won't cannibalize if they're fed proper food and have enough room so they don't feel crowded.
    Make sure to keep the coop and run clean. Chickens are actually clean animals and like grooming themselves and prefer to stay clean. :)
    Egg eating is a bad habit, but is usually the cause of lack of calcium in a hens diet and can be corrected. Collect eggs a couple times a day and make sure everyone is getting the right food that they need to help prevent egg eating.
    Unless you live in some really arctic temperatures, chickens won't freeze to death if they have proper shelter. My chickens have been in a week straight of -35 to -40 weather this winter, all are alive and well, none got sick. A couple got the tips of their combs frost bitten, but with the extreme temperatures, it isn't the worst thing in the world. I cover my run with tarps on the windiest part so when it's windy, it doesn't affect them nearly as much.
    I also use deep litter in the coop and run to keep ther feet warm :p
    Make sure to have a coop with adequate ventilation. Frostbite is mainly caused by moisture+cold air. Ventilation helps to keep the moisture out. I also don't believe chickens new heat lamps. In extreme temperatures, it may be necessary but 9/10 times, it is not necessary. Heat lamps don't allow their bodies to adjust properly for winter, and in the event of a power outage or bulb going out (which happens easily) the chickens are unprepared for the sudden cold weather and could easily succumb to it. Remember, they have big fluffy down coats and what feels cold to you, doesn't necessarily feel cold to them. :)
    And if the coop stinks so bad it's burning your eyes, I think it's time to clean out the coop! Lol

    Having chickens is a great and rewarding experience. They each have their own little personalities and preferences. They're fun to watch and interact with. I frequently go outside for hours on end and just watch them do their thing. Not only do you get entertainment, but you get healthy and natural eggs that you know where they came from and you know the hens that laid them are treated very well and are very happy. I will never, ever eat a store bought egg again! The most important thing is to have fun, above all else and remember that we're all still learning new things about chicken raising and it's okay to make mistakes as long as you can learn from them! I hope this helps.
    3 people like this.
  4. Northie

    Northie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks, :)
    The trip home will be 5 hours plus pit stops. I have a couple ideas for bring the chicks home, but I'm not sure how big of a box or what kind of bedding would be best.... We're getting 10.

    Ideas\questions so far:
    Diaper box (9"wide x 15"long x 9"deep)
    Line it with towel? Shavings? Straw? I have lots of straw on hand....
    Should I bring some of those hand warmers in case they get cold? Should I wrap the hand warmers some how? If need be we have heated seats in our vehicle... So that might work... Of course I don't want to cook the fuzballs either....
    We also have a place to plug electronics in and I have an ecoglow20 electric brooder. Should I look for a box that it would fit in and still leave room for the chicks to get away from it? I have already been told to only (if at all) offer food and water at pit stops so no one gets soaked and chills ...
    Lastly... Clear or cardboard box does it matter?
  5. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2012
    Cardboard box. The diaper box is fine for that number. Keep the car warm enough to make humans comfortable, and don't worry about the heated seats or hand warmers. Bedding doesn't matter too much as long as it isn't toxic. I'd personally go with the towel - easier to wash it than to pick straw out of your seats for the next several years. You can also use it to cover the chicks on the way home - helps keep them a little quieter, and warmer if they get chilled.

    You say 'we' so I assume you have another person. Have that person hold the box in their lap. Keep in mind that shipped chicks experience much harsher conditions, and they are without a heat source for much longer, and still make it alive. Ten of them should keep each other warm enough, if the car is warm enough for you. So I would actually be very surprised if you lost ANY on the way home. Also, mommy hens will take the chicks out into the weather once they learn to start walking on their own feet. They only bother to stop and cover the chicks - and only every few hours - if it gets freezing cold, or if the wind is suddenly blowing really hard. You shouldn't have either of those conditions inside of your car.

    Also, keep the heat blowing onto the FLOOR of the car, not the dash or windows, unless you need to defrost the windows. The heat will rise from the floor, and help warm the chicks on it's way up.
    2 people like this.
  6. farmkids

    farmkids Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2013
    I will get my first shipment of fluffies in March, so I have no experience here....however, common sense tells me that your little ones will be just fine! Previous replies make sense to me, and especially the bit about only offering food/water during your stops to keep water from spilling and soaking/chilling them. Also, I must recommend you never bring up your chickens to that 'friend.' Sounds like a pretty miserable person to me :/
  7. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2011
    I would be worried that newspaper would be too slick, I use puppy pads for the first couple of days. And if you give them a drink of water when you pick them up it would probably be a good idea. You can get a pkg of grow gel for them for the trip, You make it like a jello consistency so they won't get wet from it and it contains electrolytes to give them a good start. If you have the equipment to give them option of heat, I would use it, less worry for you and you won't have to suffer heat stroke trying to keep the peeps warm.There's no reason you should lose any of them barring accidents. Good luck and have fun.
  8. Northie

    Northie Chillin' With My Peeps

    If I can't find grow gel would it be a good idea to moisten the food a bit? I'm not familiar with the texture of chick food or what happens if you add water... I've done it for puppies\kittens though. It would probably be simplest just to offer a bit at pit stops.

    The grow gel idea reminds me of a funny story though... We had a lizard growing up and used something similar to keep the crickets from drowning in their water. The first week I used it I kept extra in the fridge until.... My brother came up to me and asked how old the blue jello was.... It was "the worst jello" he'd ever eaten!!!! I just about died laughing and he turned all kinds of green when I told him it was actually for the crickets lol!
  9. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2013
    New Jersey
    Maybe try to get a heat mat in there if the ride is going to be excessively long...otherwise just keep the heat in the car up high and don't let them encounter any type of draft whatsoever. With that said, you should get home with all of your chicks in good health.
  10. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

    Mar 3, 2011
    The Land of Enchantment
    You have gotten some great answers - your chicks will be fine!

    Have fun with them [​IMG]

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