Supplies for baby chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chixruleboysdrool, Oct 1, 2011.

  1. chixruleboysdrool

    chixruleboysdrool Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 22, 2011
    [​IMG]I put my eggs in the incubator today but I want to be ready for when they hatch. Does anyone know what they'll need?[​IMG][​IMG]
  2. chick007

    chick007 secretagent chickenman

    Sep 25, 2011
    anchorage, alaska
    chick starter, water , bedding,and heat lamp
  3. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    And probably a couple extra memory cards for your camera [​IMG]
  4. AngelzFyre

    AngelzFyre Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2007
    Pell City, Alabama

    Also I like to keep on hand:
    Poly Vi Sol liquid children's vitamins WITHOUT iron, these can be given 3 drops along the beak 2-3 times daily for at least a week...then wean off gradually. I use them 2 weeks to be safe and then wean off.


    Paper towels for first few days in brooder. They shouldn't be on shavings until they are eating regularly and know where food is. Otherwise they'll pack up on shavings and die.

    Poultry RX

    Poultry Nutri Drench
  5. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

    Aug 3, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    Do you own the special waterers/ feeders?
  6. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2011
    Foothills of NC
    They need lots of things to survive.[​IMG]
  7. chixruleboysdrool

    chixruleboysdrool Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 22, 2011
    I have starter feed, pine shavings, and a homemade brooder box. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    From your question, I'll assume you never brooded chicks before. If you did and were successful, just do the same again. There is no real difference in chicks from an incubator and shipped chicks as far as needs.

    Go to a couple of hatchery websites. Most give good instructions on how to handle baby chicks. They want the chicks you buy from them to survive and do well so they can get your repeat business. If you read a couple of those, your have a prettty good idea of what you need.

    The chicks' needs are pretty basic. They need to stay warm and safe. Like many babies they can wander off and get in trouble if allowed, so you need to keep them confined in a brooder so they can't wander. You do not need to keep that entire brooder a constant temperture. You need to keep one area of the brooder in the correct temperature range. The rest can cool down a whole lot, 30 degrees or more below the recommended temperatures is OK as long as they have that warm area to go back to. I'd go nuts trying tyo keep the entire brooder the same constant correct temperature. Wind chill can be a factor so they need to be protected from breezes and drafts.

    So number one, you need a brooder that has a warm area, that is draft-free, that they cannot escape from, and that is safe from predators.

    They need water. If they get wet they can chill and die. If the water container is too big, they can get in and drown, especially their first few days. Those chick waterers where a jar screws on work OK, but you can use other things. One of the tricks is to put marbles in the water so they cannot fall in. Supposedly, they will try to peck the brightly colored marbles and learn to drink that way, but I've always used the chick waterers that you screw on a jar and never had a problem. One trick to keeping the waterers and feeders cleaner is to put them up on a brick or something to get them above the bedding.

    You can put a bit of sugar in their first water to give them a bit of an energy boost and help them over that first stress of hatching and being moved to a brooder. But that is only for their first water. Rinse it out and use pure water after about 8 hours so it does not go sour. I usually don't add anything to the water, but it is a good thing to know if they had a highly stressful start to life. You are not trying to give them a sugar high or anything like that. Just a bit of energy to help get them started. Try to avoid excess.

    They will need food and something to eat from. The best food is chick starter. This is in a form that contains all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients they need to grow well. I have occasionally had chicks that pick out the smaller chinks and leave the larger chunks behind. When this happens, I use an old blender to reduce it to smaller chunks. I only had to do this for about three days before they caught on.

    There are a couple of different stages of them learning to eat. For the first three or four days, I find they do better learning to eat if they can peck and scratch at it instead of eating from a feeder. I took a piece of plywood and put strips around the edge to kind of hold the food in. I scatter feed on that to get them started. With shipped chicks, some people just rip off a piece of cardboard from the shipping box to use the first few days. They waste a whole lot of that feed that way. But I also have a chick feeder in there filled with food. By about the third or fourth day, they should be able to eat fine from a regular chick feeder.

    As far as what you NEED, that is it. A brooder, waterer, a feeder, and feed. A lot of us go to extra lengths but that very quickly becomes personal preference. Not that there is anything wrong with that, just that it is not really needed for the chicks.

    One example of that is that after the third day, I feed them grit. If all they eat is the prepared chick starter, they really don't need grit and a lot of people do not give their chicks any. I just feel that it helps set their system up to operate the way it should, but that is only my personal preference. Some people will put additives to the water, crumble up boiled egg yolks for them, do a lot of other stuff. You can get a special gel pack from some hatcheries to provide energy those first couple of days and some probiotics to get their internal system started. Most of this stuff will not hurt them and may actually help them., but they don't really need it.

    I'll give a special mention to medicated feed. I don't use it and I don't think most of us need it at any time. It does not hurt to use it, but it is usually not really necessary. It is intended to decrease the chances of your chicks suffering from Coccidiosis. Cocci is a disease that can kill chickens, caused by a protozoa that can live in the ground but lives and reproduces in a chicken's intestines. There are actually several different strains of the protozoa. Chickens can develop an immunity to a specific strain but immunity to one does not mean immunity to all. The Amprolium that is usually the medicine in the medicated feed does not kill the protozoa. It is not an antibiotic. The Amprolium slows down the reproduction of the protozoa in the chicken's system. The protozoa causes damage when the numbers get out of hand. If the protozoa are present in small numbers, the chicken will develop an immunity to that specific strain. They develop this immunity easiest when they are baby chicks as opposed to when they get older, so I actually introduce dirt from the run to them by day three so they get exposed. That becomes their first grit.

    The protozoa can also live and multiply in wet manure. Where you normally get in trouble with it in a brooder is when you allow the brooder to become wet. The chicks peck at it and consume large amounts of the protozoa. If you keep the brooder fairly dry, you usually don't have a problem from Cocci. Usually. There are some strains that can still cause a problem. It just depends on the strain. You really need to be aware of the signs and look for it, whether you feed medicated feed or not. The medicated feed does not stop it, just reduces the chances of it becoming a problem. Obviously, if the have never been exposed to the protozoa, they are in no danger from the protozoa. If they have never been exposed to it, the medicated feed will do no good. I'll mention again, it does no harm, but it is usually not really needed.

    For most people the biggest time of danger from Cocci is when they first see the ground when they leave the brooder. I don't do it, but if you feel you have to feed medicated feed (and if you have a history of Cocci it is a real good idea to feed medicated feed) the time I'd suggest it does the most good is when they first are exposed to it.

    Longwinded I know to just say you need a brooder, feed, feeder and waterer. Anything else is just extra. Good luck on your adventure.
  9. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

    Aug 3, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    For the first few days, I put paper towels on top of the shavings. After they get a little "smarter", they can live on the shavings.
    First off, they won't eat the shavings as they learn which is food.
    You will be able to monitor the color of the poops.
    They will get traction on the towels, wood chips just kind of get bounced around. Better for growing legs.
    Do you know about the temperature you need to keep them at?
  10. dwegg

    dwegg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here is my set up...paper towels on top of shavings, marbles in a baby waterer, chick starter, heat!

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