Questions on Brand New Arrivals


10 Years
May 27, 2009
I am a very newbie whose chicks just arrived this morning. They are all supposed to be females. I had everything ready to go and the chicks are all eating, drinking and pooping as expected. I have been trying to get the heat lamp (red) at the perfect temp. I have 2 thermometers which are reading 2 different temps but in the same ballpark. I have 3 Easter Eggers and 2 Plymouth Rocks. It looks to me like the Plymouth's are doing alot of pecking of the others. All of them are scratching themselves and I don't know if this is a normal behavior or not. They were shipped yesterday and arrived this morning. I have been reading and learning as much as possible in the past weeks to be able have a basic knowledge of the how-to's. Any advise would be greatly appreciated as I am already in LOVE.

Thanks so much!
My first chicks arrived today too! The heat lamp is driving me nutty - I think I finally got it at the right height. I'm also looking for good advice, thanks for posting!
OK guys, take a deep breath, The temps are a recommended guideline. If they can move closer or away from the heat they will be fine as long as your close. In life mommy chick gets up to eat and drink for short periods. Her chicks do just fine for a little while.
Scratching is normal, it's kinda like growing a beard, it's itchy for a while, the chicks are trying to grow feathers thus itch. Pecking is common even as 2 day olds. As long as they don't draw blood your fine. I would recommend getting No Peck or Blue Kote or something like them. It is availiable where you get your feed. Just dob it on pecked spots. Don't freak out if they come up with bald spots cause they will, If it bleeds treat it.
I was just like you guys when we got our first chicks in feb. We got another order 6 weeks later and just made sure they had food water and no blood. They actually did better than the ones we fretted over.
Good Luck, Welcome to Chickenhood, and Welcome to BYC. We are always here for ya.
Our peepers are 9 days old today. The heat lamp struggle is something we can relate to. Our chicks seemed to take a while to warm up and get over the stress of travelling 1500 miles for 2 days in a box. I think I would need to de-stress, too.

I agree with the other post, temps given are a guideline at best. We watch how they huddle or spread out and adjust according to that. We started at 90 degrees, they seemed too hot otherwise. We used paper towels on the floor of the brooder the first 3 days, then switched to pine shavings. They seem to enjoy "nesting" in them and stay warmer so the light has raised. My husband made low perches for them and they are on them a lot. They get their feathers quickly, and grow like weeds. Less heat =more feathers.

As for the pecking, I put in a cage bird hanging toy with a mirror and bell I bought at Walmart for 99 cents. Good investment, they peck at it, look at themselves in the mirror, and ring the bell. I have owned parrots and I figure birds are birds, and chicks seem to like to play, too. I have heard shiny things are good distractions from pecking their roomates, some people use shiny buckets or metal bowls for them to peck. I suspect the pecking is instinctual, they will peck at dark spots (like the markings on EEs) just like they would food. Mine are pecking a little, but no problems yet.

And yes, we have fallen in love with ours, too!
Great info Rendonroo'

Sounds like you've been doin this awhile.... I gotta question.... I hadda lil hen hatch out an egg and i quickly got her into her own lil cage area....with the baby of course. How long before they can rejoin the general population? It's only 1 lil baby and so far so good. Barring a snake or racoon the babe should make it ok. temps a lil hot already here in Texas, but area is well ventalated....
I became a new mommy this morning too!
4 EE
4 Barred rocks
4 Australorps
I put some (very few) blades of grass in with them to peck at, they seemed interested in each others toes, but now I am freaked out wondering if they need grit. If so is regular grit ok? I too am in love and can't imagine how I'll deal with it if something goes wrong.
On the heat lamp issue, I found it helpful to aim the heat lamp towards one side of your brooding area. That way, they have options. If they are cool, they can get closer to the direct light. If they are too hot, they can back away. The chicks will be able to make up there own minds! Good luck.

from Cape Cod, MA!!!

Thanks so much for some great idea's. My babies are doing great for now. I had raised that ---- light yesterday evening because it got pretty hot but this morning since it was cool last night the temps were only about 80. I will get the hang of it sooner or later. The bird toy is a great idea!! I used to have a few and remember how much they did enjoy things like that. I will go and see what I can find. I am sure as time goes on I will be asking for more advise. Thanks to all of you for such great ideas!!
exactly! i have a heat lamp in my brooder and right underneath it is exactly 95 degrees. (the "perfect" temp)... however the chicks have decided that it's too warm there and have moved halfway down the brooder to a spot that is about 85 degrees! go figure! your chicks will decide the right temp for you!

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