The Christmas chicks are here..

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by alr2014, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. alr2014

    alr2014 New Egg

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    The post office just called to let me know that our chicks have arrived. I'm currently at work so I can't leave until lunch to get them. I plan on taking them home and getting them settled in. What are some things that I need to do when I un-pack them? Do I give them electrolytes and feed right away? Any advice is appreciated! My daughter will be so excited - this is what she asked for from Santa so I can't wait to see her face!
     
  2. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    First and maybe most important. How old is your daughter. I ask because it is not uncommon for one or more chicks to die in shipping or shortly after arrival (within 24-48 hours) due to the stress of shipping. You might want to make sure everything is o.k. before your daughter see them. Also, do what you can to prepare your daughter for the possible loss of a chick or two during the first couple of days.

    Now, have you got their brooder ready with adequate heat (around 90 degrees). There food and water ready for them in a cooler part of the brooder...not too close to the area warmed by your heat source. If so when you get the chicks home take them out of the box one at a time. Dip their beak into the water and sit them down. Do this with each one, make sure they get a little water on their beak so they will learn how to drink. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. More so than getting them to eat at first. Watch them a bit, see if they are continuing to drink and do they seem to be calmly searching about.

    You can add a package of electrolytes to their water for the first few days. That will help with the stress of shipping and to build their energy.

    They do need to eat, have food ready for them and let them know where it is. BUT if they do not eat right away do not be concerned. They have absorbed the yolk of their egg and that is usually enough to keep them going for up to 72 hours after hatching. Make sure they are eating after that time passes. Chicks are little piglets so that should be no problem.

    What sort of bedding are you using. Make sure it is absorbent DO NOT USE CEDAR SHAVINGS. Use pine or something and cover it with paper towels for the first day or two so they don't eat the shavings.

    You should be o.k. How many did you get and what breeds? Post pictures...we all love pictures of baby chicks. And, keep us posted on their progress.
     
  3. alr2014

    alr2014 New Egg

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    My daughter is 5. We have had a long talk about the chicks and the possibility of losing a few, as well as the big responsibility of taking care of them.
    I have the brooder set up for them - pine shavings, heat lamp, food, water etc. They are golden sex-link, all hens. I will post pictures as soon as I can.
     
  4. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    Also, if you notice that they are not eating after a few hours you can scramble an egg and let them have that. It is a good source of protein and they usually will gobble it up.

    Watch for what is referred to as "pasty butt" where their poop sticks to their feathers/down and clogs their butt. This can be fatal. If it happens just take that chick, gently rinse their butt with warm water and GENTLY work the caked poop out of their feathers. You can add a very little raw/organic Apple Cider Vinegar to their water to help deal with this. Another thing that has worked for me and that my chicks have loved is just a little plain unsweetened unflavored yogurt. I just put a teaspoon in a small dish and sit it in their brooder. They love it, but they also get it all over themselves.

    Something that you need to be aware of...baby chicks, like most babies of all sorts, sleep when they get tired. This is sometime as they are walking abound and they will just fall over on their face or on their sides with their little feet sticking out. The first time you see this you may think they have died. Just gently give them a nudge. They will wake up and run abound a bit. The first time I saw this I almost had a heart attack.

    There are dozens of other things I can think of but this shoud get you started. Enjoy them, they grow faster than you might expect. Handle them, but not too much.

    Backyard Chickens is my "go to" place for all things poultry. I was going to start with 5 chickens for eggs and, as you can see in my signature file below, I sort of exceeded that. Ask questions, share the learning with your daughter, and more than anything else, enjoy your new chicks.

    Best of luck and wishes.
     
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I think jtn covered just about everything. lol [​IMG]
     
  6. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    alr2014 just wanted to check and see how things are going with the new chicks. hopefully they all arrived healthy and you have your hands full with the new additions to you nest.
     
  7. alr2014

    alr2014 New Egg

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    Dec 2, 2014
    The chicks are doing great! All 13 are happy, healthy and growing fast!! Thanks for checking on us. I hope I can get some pictures and post them soon.
     
  8. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    That is great news. They should be about a week old now so they are past that first 48 hour hump. Look forward to pictures when you can. A Happy Holiday and a Safe New Year to you and yours.
     

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