Question about raising chicks

Jessikers

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 23, 2013
9
0
9
Pinole, CA
Hi everyone!

I've never raised chicks before, but I am doing a lot of reading and have some questions.
Some of the reading material has said that you have to check on your chicks at least 5 times a day, all day long for 4 weeks at first.
So this would mean that I have to take a month off of work? If someone's working full time, maybe raising chicks isn't for them, huh?

What has your experience been in raising new chicks? Do you work from home or work part time, or what?

Thank you very much! :)
Jessikers
 

SobbaChickens

Songster
6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
642
49
128
Kansas
Well I'm a full time student, doing mostly online classes and I have a job but I don't get very many hours so I'm home a lot. My chicks are around 2.5 weeks, I've had them for 2 weeks 1 day. I check on them every morning, first thing, and again around lunch, and then in the evening around dinner time and again before I go to bed. I change water daily and pick bedding out of the hanging feeder. Mine are outside in a dog crate turned brooder so I can't really crawl in and have bonding time right now :) and the weather has been bad but starting Sunday it should be nice enough that I'm going to spend some time playing in the yard with them.

I've read that too about "Clearing your schedule for the first 4 weeks" I really think that means no trips, you have to check them every day and multiple times a day.

And
frow.gif
I'm a newbie too

-Katie
 

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,557
6,887
516
middle TN
What have you been reading?! You might want to watch them all day long but you certainly don't have to. Chicks don't have to be a full-time job.
 

PrairieChickens

Songster
7 Years
Jun 29, 2012
1,682
333
221
Kansas
If you have a secure brooder that can't be broken into by other animals or escaped by the chicks, sufficient heating, and fresh food and water, you don't need to check on your chicks more than a couple times a day. Since all of my chickens are on the other side of town at my parents' house, I rarely got to check up on them more than twice a day--before and after work--and they did just fine. The only casualty we have had on my watch was from a very sneaky case of pasty butt, which I suspect would have still happened if I'd been able to watch them all day.

It's more important that you check on them correctly than check on them often. When you do check on your chicks, interact with them. Make sure they're alert and energetic. Watch for signs of illness like discharge from the nostrils or lethargy. Check bottoms for pasty butt and deal with it promptly, and watch for overly-aggressive behavior, as pecking can lead to cannibalism. (A little curious pecking between friends is ok, but anything that obviously distresses the other chick or might draw blood needs to be dealt with) Food and water should be fresh and easy to access at all times, and the brooder lamp should be set at the correct height to give the chicks the amount of warmth they need. (Cold chicks will huddle and peep loudly in protest. Chicks that are too hot will avoid the brooder lamp and each other.)
 

ImaChickenGirl

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jan 31, 2013
54
5
43
I check on my chicks twice a day once in the morning and once in the evening! I don't see any need to do it more then that, as long as your brooder is safe from other animals you should be fine:) Good Luck!:)
 

FarmerMama7

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 26, 2013
71
4
33
The only reason you'd want to check on them often is because they'll get poo and wood shavings in their food and water. But as long as you change it right before you leave, and again as soon as you get home from work, they'll be fine.
 

Jessikers

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 23, 2013
9
0
9
Pinole, CA
I read it on this site:

http://smallfarm.about.com/od/farmanimals/a/htraisechicks.htm
and this site:
http://www.avianweb.com/caringforpoultrychicks.html

"Keep in mind that even the relatively independent poultry chicks require tending to at least 5 times a day. Their litter needs to be changed, their food and water dishes may need to be cleaned and topped off several times a day."

and
http://www.mypetchicken.com/backyard-chickens/chicken-care/chapter-4-caring-for-baby-chicks.aspx
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]"[/FONT]Clearing Your Schedule
Baby chicks require constant care and monitoring, so make sure your schedule is clear for the first 4 weeks! Don't plan on vacations or even day trips unless you have a seasoned baby chick pro on standby. Make sure you or a member of your family are available to check on them at least 5 times a day."
 

Jessikers

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 23, 2013
9
0
9
Pinole, CA
And thank you so much for your help, I"m glad that if I want to raise chicks I won't have to take a sabbatical from work! haha
wink.png
 

debid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,557
6,887
516
middle TN
Meh. As soon as I'd switched them from a dish of rocks with water in between to a container with nipples and observed long enough to know they were eating/drinking/pooping normally and the heat was right, I quit worrying. The brooder is very secure, the baby chick food dish holds a quart, and the waterer holds almost a gallon. With only four chicks, they can go several days. Now, I wouldn't suggest that but really, you can have a job and a life while raising peeps.
 

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