Proud new mama to 8 baby chickens!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by familyfarmers, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. familyfarmers

    familyfarmers New Egg

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    Feb 5, 2013
    Arkansas
    My husband and I have just welcomed home our 8 new little fuzz-balls, and are very excited! We have never raised chickens before. My thought is as long as they have heat, shelter, feed and water, how hard can it be? Then I started reading a lot of the posts on here about chicks dying and brooders being too small, and all the other awful things that can happen to my new baby chicks, and now I'm nervous. Am I missing something!? Here are pics of my brooder and my little fuzz-balls. Two of the chicks are a week older than the others. I think they are going to turn out to be white leghorns...? The others are 3 Red Sex Link pullets, and 3 straight run (I think that is the correct term) Plymouth Rocks. My husband is also going to get 6-8 grown hens from a friend who is giving away his chickens (he is military and got orders). My husband has the idea that we will cull (i.e. - supper) some of the older hens when the little ones grow up, as well as any roos we get out of the straight run chicks. Not sure how this is gonna work out! Anyway, any advice for a newbie would be greatly appreciated!
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  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
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    Your brooder is a bit small for 8 chicks, though not so much at the moment. They will outgrow it quick! The recommended brooder size is:

    Up to 2 weeks: 0.5 sq ft per chick
    2-4 weeks: 1 sq ft per chick
    4-8 weeks: 2.5 sq ft per chick
    over 8 weeks: 4 sq ft per chick
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    The best advice I got for raising chicks is to add a splash of organic apple cider vinegar to their drink water. I used to have problems with pasty butts (poop clogging up the chick's bottoms, making it impossible for them to relieve themselves, can be fatal) but since I started using the ACV I've had no more pasties.

    There is some great information in our Learning Centre on raising chicks and taking care of older chickens that you can look at also:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center
     
  3. familyfarmers

    familyfarmers New Egg

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    Feb 5, 2013
    Arkansas
    Thanks for the reply. I got some vitamin/electrolytes for their water, and some medicated starter feed. I keep hearing a lot about the Apple Cider Vinegar from others. How much do I put in their water, how often, and should I use that instead of the vitamins/electrolytes?
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I use a ratio of 4-5 tablespoons per gallon water. You can give it to them frequently, I give it almost daily while there are very young. Vitamins and electrolytes are better used for shipped chicks to help them recover and for sick/weak chicks, not as a regular supplement. Too much of a good thing...
     

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