Preparing for my girls!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by callen0912, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. callen0912

    callen0912 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The time has finally come! And I must say, I'm bouncing off the walls like a kid on Christmas morning! I have found a couple of different places where I'm going to be going around to select my girls from, and I wanted to go ahead and have their brooder and all other supplies ready for them. So for a brooder, I have two of the plastic totes that I'm planning on using for the brooder (planning on cutting out one side of each tote and attaching them so its one big unit). I know I will need a heat lamp, thermometer, and bedding, feeders and waters. What type of heat lamp should I get wattage wise? What bedding to do you guys recommend? Pine shavings covered with paper towels? Feed wise, will I need the starter feed or grower chick feed? Is that all I will need for them for now? Anything else I'm forgetting, please tell me! Thanks so much guys [​IMG][​IMG]

    Edited: I completely forgot one of my questions in my excitement lol! If I happen to get chicks at different times, will that be a big deal? One place I'm wanting to get chicks from has a breed that I want (silver laced wyandottes), but they are already two weeks old. If I happen to get day old chicks somewhere else, do I need to keep them separated or is keeping them together ok?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
  2. Wxguru

    Wxguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Heat lamp.....250 watts. Make sure if you get the clamp kind, that you by spring loaded clamps to clamp the clamp...you need to have a fail-safe system should the primary clamp fail...don't want a fire of any kind. With the bins, you might be able to do a 100W regular bulb.
    Pine shavings yes....low dust is the best variety. Cover with paper towels for 2-4 days...after that, you generally can take it off...I did, and never had an issue with them eating pine shavings at all.
    Put them on starter feed.....they will need the nutrition it provides. I put mine on the grower feed at like 6 weeks...but it was just a personal preference. They did fine, and are 15 weeks old now.
    Watch for pasty butts (check them every day..and multiple times if you can)....if you want to lessen the risk, use ACV in the water. They don't all get it. Of my 6, I had one that got pasty butt one time...I caught it quickly and it hadn't dried to her sphincter...so it was easy to get off with warm water.
    Plenty of ventilation...those bins can get really warm....you don't want to cook the girls! (that won't really happen)
    Be very careful putting older chicks with day olds...they can and will pick on them. Personally, I wouldn't do it. That could be a recipe for disaster. Try to keep everyone the same age...if not, then raise in separate pins until the day olds are a couple of weeks old and can better defend themselves.

    I am a chicken novice myself...so others will come in and help out. Happy chickening!! :)
     
  3. callen0912

    callen0912 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will either not put tops on the bins and cover the top with wire, or I will cut out places for ventilation right at the rims of the top of the bins. Haven't decided yet. Still haven't got any chicks yet, even though I really want those silver laced wynadottes, I may pass solely to try and keep the chicks the same age.
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Use hardware cloth to top the bins; make a frame or fold about 6" down all the way around to hold it on top or the bin. Double or triple attach the heat lamp; I tie mine to an overhead fixed object and to the hardware cloth at least. Use a red bulb, not white light. Set up the heat lamp so that it's toward one end of the brooder, so there's a temperature gradient t for the chicks. Set it all up before you get the babies, heat and all, so you know how it's going to work. Then have the light on as you go to get the chicks. Close to the same age is best! Do you have the coop ready? Those babies grow really fast! Mary
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Please don't brood them in a bin with the plastic top on it, even if it has ventilation holes cut in it. It's oh so easy to over heat chicks when they're in a plastic container, even more so, if there's a plastic lid on it. Those babies need to be able to get fully away from the heat, ideally, to a temp of 70* or so.
     
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  6. callen0912

    callen0912 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As far as feed, would it be worth it to buy a 50lbs bag of chick starter feed? Or should I buy a 10lbs bag? Also does anyone know how soon you can feed fodder to chicks?
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Go ahead and buy that 50# bag. You'll end up needing it. Do you have someplace nice and dry to store it? Perhaps a plastic tote or trash can with a lid?
     
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  8. callen0912

    callen0912 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do! I have a metal trash can I'll keep it in. And I need to get non medicated feed right?
     
  9. callen0912

    callen0912 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Should I put a small branch for a roost in the brooder? Or is that even needed just yet?
     
  10. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hope you saw this.

    As far as the branch it doesn't matter but it would give them one more thing to have fun with while they are babies even though they won't roost on it for a while.
     

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