Raising Chicks for the first time...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lindsmurphy, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. lindsmurphy

    lindsmurphy Out Of The Brooder

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    May 2, 2011
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Hi all,

    I have just today placed an order for some chicks which will be ready on April 1st. I have never raised day olds before, I did keep some layers a few years ago but bought them as mature birds, and so have no experience with raising chicks in a brooder.

    I went out and bought the necessary materials to make them a nice brooder, a large tote, a heat lamp and bulb, a waterer and feed station and wood shavings, and medicated chick feed.

    Now originally I had planned to raise the chicks out in the horse barn, where there is electricity for the heater, however I then realized that they may require more attention than I can give them if they aren't in the house. So my plans are now to raise them in their brooder in my house, until they are big enough to go out in the coop and run that is being built for them.

    Anybody have any tips/tricks/advice for a first time chick raiser? When can they be put outside in their run/coop? The chicks I ordered are RIR, Black Australorps and Buff rocks. I have ordered 3 of each to start and hope for the best![​IMG]
     
  2. BLT79

    BLT79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2013
    Western MA
    I too will be a first time chick raiser, first time for chickens period! I have found this website very helpful, answers are all over this forum. I wanted Black Austrolorps as well, but my feed stores don't have them. All the hatchery sites I saw need to be ordered in minimum of 15, unless I wait until April and then have to pay $43 just in shipping, not including price of chicks. I could wait longer and try to go in on someone with an online order, but I was made aware of another store offering two breeds I am also interested in. And the woman that let me know is going to add to my order, so it benefits us both! We are really excited for our new venture to begin! I have been taking notes off this site as to necessities. Heat temp seems to be crucial in the brooder and you lower the heat each week by I believe it said 5 degrees. Just explore this site and you will find a plethora of information! good luck!
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    My advice is to use a thermometer to check your heat at brooder floor level under the heat lamp. You'll want it 95F first 3 days then down to 90F then 5-7 degrees less each week to acclimate them to cooler temps and promote faster feathering. Keep the heat source on one side of brooder so they can move away from it to monitor their own temp. You may find a heat lamp is far too warm for small areas so just switch over to a 75 or 100w incandescent bulb. That's all I use in a tote.

    I've found putting a few layers of paper towels on bedding makes for less constant maintenance cleaning out the water dish. Also if your dish type is too deep or big you'll want to add marbles or stones so they can't fall in and drown. As they perk up the first few days will start to destroy the paper. I continue to put in another layer of towels until they destroy in within a few hours. Then you can put the water and food on small blocks to hold up out of the bedding. Will save you having to clean out the water 10 times a day.
     
  4. BLT79

    BLT79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2013
    Western MA
    thank you! I didn't get the chicks from TSC. In two more weeks I will be hatchings from a friend of mine! Two of them will be 4 weeks old and others will be few days old!
     
  5. BLT79

    BLT79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2013
    Western MA
    when I get my chicks they will be 4 weeks old. Do I continue them on the medicated chick starter feed? when and what do I switch them to? thanks
     

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