Questions from someone who is VERY new to this....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by theacw, May 7, 2011.

  1. theacw

    theacw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, so my boyfriend bought two baby chicks because he didnt think before he did it AND he knew i would fall for them at first sight!!!! But I only know the VERY basics that I find around the site and what I have found and I have some questions.

    The chicks were obviously bought as "pets" until they get older, we have a place for them to go. They are egg layers and named Stephanie and Debbie.

    1. I read and heard a lot about "pasting up" and last night, stephanie had some hard poo and I put a warm paper towel on it but it didnt really soften but I picked on it and it came off and it didnt seem to really bother her, but its a little red in that area and a little bald, is that normal? Is it open to bacteria that will make her sick? Anything I should do? I feel bad [​IMG]

    2. These babies are in my APARTMENT, yes, thats right. How long will I realistically be able to keep them in there? I want to keep them as long as I can, but when would you say enough is enough? I have no idea if that is 1 week or 3 months and I cant really find any info on sites about this.

    3. Anything to put in their bin to entertain them? I assume not since they arent really pets but I thought Id ask so I can enjoy them as much as I can!!!

    4. We have family who lives on a lake with no other pets, is it easy to raise chickens? It would be great to have them when they are older so I was wondering if its relatively cheap and easy to start up an area and if they need a lot of care. What am I looking at here?

    5. When I take them out of their heated area and hold them on my couch with a towel, is this ok? They dont seem to be cold or anything but just want to make sure. Obviously its no more than a half hour....

    Man, I slowly am turning into a crazy animal person! Cats, aquariums and now CHICKENS!?!? They are just little sweet hearts as babies too. Are they somewhat calm as adults or are they crazy like they are portrayed? [​IMG]
    I know he did this without thinking, but understand I am very good with animals and eager to learn about these so I can care for them as well as I can. We do have somewhere that we plan on bringing when they get bigger but now I am starting to wonder if its possible to keep them (out of town somewhere) so we can have them forever.

    THANKS!
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  2. Ms.Frizzle

    Ms.Frizzle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could check your animal shelter to see if the'll take them. Idk what type of an area your in, rural/city. Do you have a heat lamp on them? What kind of feed are you giving them? As they get older, they will smell, so it depends on how much you want to clean after them, and if you can tolerate heavy smells.
     
  3. theacw

    theacw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I am definitely willing to care for them now that I have them, I just wasnt expecting it. We will bring them to the farm once they need to, whenever that may be. We are from MN so its VERY easy to know somewhere to bring them.

    They are in a large storage bin with 2 inches of wood shavings (not cedar), a heating lamp, and water and food. Their food is what they had where they were sold. It was an actual "farm store" rather than selling them as pets. They seem very happy, comfortable, and warm.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  4. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Sounds like you are doing the right things! I keep my babies in a bedroom so I can't think that an apartment would be worse. They'll smell in a few weeks, but honestly, that part doesn't bother me. What you will notice, however, is an extreme amount of dust. With two it may not be bad, but just be aware that the dust is way worse than the smell IMO. Don't give them anything but chick starter for a few weeks - if you give them anything else like people food, they will need grit (sand will work for babies).

    If they paste up again, try vaseline on a q-tip. That works best for me. [​IMG]

    I think it's ok to keep them on your lap but if they start peeping really loudly they may be cold.
     
  5. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    Some people keep house chickens. [​IMG]. You can hold them all you want. They will let you know when they are cold. They peep loudly. People have been known to make chicken diapers. Actually, I'm going to try and make one just in case one gets injured or sick and needs to stay in the house.

    Make sure you check with the city to see if chickens are allowed. The longer you have them, the harder they will be able to give up. I've read on here others having chickens in apartments.

    I use DE in their bedding to keep the odor down. There is a poultry safe lime to use as well. Not sure exactly what it is. I'm from MN too. I wonder if we got our chicks at the same farm store? What kind did you get?
     
  6. zookeeper15133

    zookeeper15133 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! Welcome to chickens! You can probably keep them in your apt. for about 8 weeks. You may want to let them run around the bathroom during the day after 4 weeks. You can probably build a coop for about $100 or much less if you scrounge for materials. Click the link at the top of the page that says coop designs then browse small coops and chicken tractors to get some ideas. They are easy to care for as long as they are properly protected from predators. Good luck!
     
  7. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are fine with you on the towel, just be careful, the can move really fast. I got my chicks in a couple of days ago and I have a couple that love to be held. My best piece of advice is to read...read...read...read some more. 95% of everything you can think to ask, is in this forum. They grow very fast..within 4 weeks they will look like small chickens...they SMELL, they eat..they poop! Now if you have a second bathroom..I could see me using mine as a room for chickens when I was in an apartment..but they need ventilation..the smell will knock you off your feet. We clean the brooder 2-3 times a day since they are in our laundryroom with the door open and ventilation coming thru the screen door.


    I posted a thread the other day about those disposable aluminum bread pans, like those turkey pans at Thanksgiving..I put a bread pan in upside down and they ADORE IT. They thump on that thing all day..climb on, fall off...they also have a couple of plastic cat balls with a bell inside..they love that too..anything to climb on or peck on. They really are not pecking at each other too, which is nice to not have to worry about. I had one that constantly treated other chicks' toes as worms and it drove me nuts..this has stopped that.

    Do you have any idea what type these are?

    There are lots of small coop ideas on the coop page but your family has to want these chickens and be able to care for them..if not, call the shelter or put an ad on CL..and tell your boyfriend..NEXT TIME CHOCOLATE [​IMG]
     
  8. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Well you came to the right place to get info and depending on where you live you might be able to find someone near by to adopt them. I'll address your questions:

    1. did right thing with pasty butt, if anything you can put a little neosporien without pain relief on it

    2.With only 2 chicks you could keep them around 4-5 weeks.

    3. some one put tin foil pie pans in with chicks and said they loved it as long as the pecking sound doesn't drive you crazy

    4. It is pretty easy to raise just a couple of chickens-make a little coop with a fenced area. I have 12 cooped chickens and I normally check on them every day, but I can give them enough food and water for a long weekend and they are fine as adults.

    5. they are fine on your lap for half hour

    They are pretty calm as adults. I'm not sure you will have hens or not or what breed they are, but I enjoy my adult chickens.
     
  9. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:Imp- Welcome to BYC
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    1. I read and heard a lot about "pasting up" and last night, stephanie had some hard poo and I put a warm paper towel on it but it didnt really soften but I picked on it and it came off and it didnt seem to really bother her, but its a little red in that area and a little bald, is that normal? Is it open to bacteria that will make her sick? Anything I should do? I feel bad

    Don't feel bad. If the poo hardens and blocks their vent, they can die. You need to get it off. Sometimes down comes off with it, leaving them bald. No big deal. Same with redness. As long as the skin is not broken, they are fine.

    2. These babies are in my APARTMENT, yes, thats right. How long will I realistically be able to keep them in there? I want to keep them as long as I can, but when would you say enough is enough? I have no idea if that is 1 week or 3 months and I cant really find any info on sites about this.

    They should be fully feathered out at about 4 to 5 weeks old. You can put them outside without any supplemental heat then, as long as they have a safe place and are out of drafts. But adult chickens need to be out of drafts too when they sleep. It is not just a young chicken thing. Some people keep them inside a lot longer than 4 to 5 weeks. Among other things, the dust can get real bad, but how long you can keep them depends on your tolerance. You may also have some legal problems keeping them.

    3. Anything to put in their bin to entertain them? I assume not since they arent really pets but I thought Id ask so I can enjoy them as much as I can!!!

    You can put stuffed animals. They often like to snuggle with them. A mirror is often entertaining. The real toy is a perch. I just put a thin strip of wood nailed onto a couple of pieces of 2x4 to raise it a little. It took all of 2 minutes to make and they love it.

    4. We have family who lives on a lake with no other pets, is it easy to raise chickens? It would be great to have them when they are older so I was wondering if its relatively cheap and easy to start up an area and if they need a lot of care. What am I looking at here?

    Too much here to go into detail. It can be very involved or real easy, depending on how you make it. As long as you provide them food, water, protection from predators and protection from the weather, they will do fine.

    5. When I take them out of their heated area and hold them on my couch with a towel, is this ok? They dont seem to be cold or anything but just want to make sure. Obviously its no more than a half hour....

    A broody hen can raise her chicks with snow on the ground. The chicks play outside and go back to Mama when they want to warm up. If the chicks start doing a persistent, loud, aggravating peep, that is the distress peep. They are probably getting cold, so put them back in the heated area so they can warm up. As long as gthey are doing the cheerful happy peep, they are not in distress.
     

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