Things I Have Learned :)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Henicillin, Jun 27, 2011.

  1. Henicillin

    Henicillin Pill Counting Pullet

    Apr 12, 2011
    East Nassau, NY
    I'm expecting seven newbies from Meyer tomorrow, and am in the process of sterilizing one of my redneck Walmart Sterlite tote brooders so I can set it up for them. I thought about putting them in with my four Speckled Sussex, but those guys/gals (I suspect at least one is a cockerel, who will be promoted to Flock Roo if this is the case) are hyperactive as heck at two and three weeks, so they'd be far too much for tiny babies. I have a 250W heat lamp that hangs from a convenient bar in the garage, and it's more than up to the task of heating the noobs and the SS.

    At any rate, I got to thinking about what I've learned in the seven short weeks I've been raising the Gang of Fourteen, which is my very first batch of chicks.

    - Originally, I had ordered the Gang of Fifteen. However, one of the BLRWs didn't do well in shipping, and ended up needing to be culled within an hour or so of arrival, as it was evident that she was very ill and wasn't going to make it. Sadly, I had to learn right off the bat that I am capable of culling a tiny baby chick. Not a lesson I wanted to learn so soon, but life happens.

    - The babies aren't going to drop dead instantly if the brooder isn't exactly 95/90/85/official temperature of the week.

    - The babies who look dead while sleeping are just out cold.

    - I can indeed handle baby chicks without dropping or squashing or otherwise somehow breaking them.

    - I can clean pasty butt as well as the next rookie chicken wrangler. My most persistent pasty butt case is now a fat, feathery Salmon Faverolle pullet who is none the worse for wear except for the tendency to eye me like I'm going to grab her and manhandle her (womanhandle?) in the sink at any moment. Can't say that I blame her, really...

    - Baby chicks will survive the night without me looking in at them every half-hour to make sure they're still alive.

    - Chicks like treats. A lot. Treats convert the Giant, Scary Hand into the Food Goddess who is to be greeted with enthusiasm.

    - NOBODY around here seems to stock chick grit regularly. Grr...

    - BYC is the Font of All Chicken Knowledge. I've lost count of the number of times I've searched the forum for answers to a question and found just what I needed to know.

    - Chickens are addictive! I mentioned that I want a small incubator. DH sort of looked at me and said, "can we get everybody grown out first?" I didn't say no - but I didn't exactly say yes, either.

    So, fellow rookies, what have you learned? [​IMG]
  2. chickensinwasillaAK

    chickensinwasillaAK Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011
    Wasilla Alaska
    Good luck with group two. My first order was 38, 2nd order was 75, now over 200 in the incubator. See where this is going? Tag, you're now it!

    I learned during my last hatch that ended tonight, you don't need to look at the incubaor every day. Mine is a set and forget, they weren't kidding. I'm going to invest in the water bucket, or make one for myself but either way I'll have one. Also learned then they get about 6 weeks, the dust will cover EVERY surface. I had them in my garage, everything has dust on it. Now I'm going to order 75 meat birds, my garage may never recover. With day old chicks, more that will be out in 3 weeks, then the meaties, I'm seriously going to have to expand the brooder. It's 8x16 right now.
  3. urban hen momma

    urban hen momma Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 17, 2011
    Tacoma, WA
    I have learned my back yard is not nearly as large as I wish it could be with all the "chicken math" spinning in my head. 8 will have to do ...for now [​IMG]
  4. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    Good luck! Waiting is the hardest part! I absolutely love my SS. She is so sweet to us and the other chicks. My SS was a chick herself, but would let any chick younger then her stay warm under her wing. So sweet.[​IMG]
  5. remuda1

    remuda1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2011
    Granbury, Texas
    1) That a 2 foot by 3 foot brooder is a joke when you're getting 18 one day old chicks. They outgrew it in one week. [​IMG]
    2) That the original 8 chicks that I got as 7 week olds caused a LOT less stress, worry, work, expense than the day olds. [​IMG]
    3) That the 18 chicks I got as day olds were a LOT more fun, cute, and entertaining than the 7 week olds. [​IMG]
    4) That it's probably a lot better idea to start a flock with birds that are ALL the same age. I now get to stress out over *****INTEGRATION*****!!!! [​IMG]
    5) That it's okay to put 1 and a half week olds outside in a brooder as long as you can provide the right temps and protection for them. [​IMG]
    6) That the chicken wire that I so confidentally had hubby install on the new run is worthless against a) racoons, b) coyotes, and c) stray dogs. OH YES.... AND determined sparrows! [​IMG]
    7) That when you think that the work is close to done, LOL, it's just started! [​IMG]
    8) That I love being able to see my coop/run from my office window. [​IMG]
    9) That sometimes the right thing to do for the welfare of the birds is the most difficult thing to do for us. [​IMG]
    10) That once again, my husband never ceases to amaze me at how tolerant, supportive and helpful he is to me in my many endeavors [​IMG] .[​IMG]
    11) That these forums are an absolute wealth of knowledge, compassion, and generosity. [​IMG]

  6. KDailey

    KDailey Crazy Cochin Lady

    Jun 27, 2011
    Bronson, Tx
    Unfortunately I've learned you can't always save all the little chicks, especially if it's your first batch, no matter if it's your favorite little baby.

    Also, that to little chicks, the freckles on your arms are actually edible and they WILL try to eat them....ouch!
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I learned chickens are an addiction. I started out with 6 chicks and now have well over a hundred birds and another 300 eggs in the incubator. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

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