Things I learned ih the first ten days of raising chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ShanandGem, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. ShanandGem

    ShanandGem Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2016
    I'm completely new to chicken keeping, but did a ton of research before picking up my chicks. These are a few things that I didn't know or expect:

    1. They would always prefer to scratch around to find their food to eating it out of a dish.
    2. From about a week old on, they will spill their water or fill it with bedding, almost hourly.
    3. They try to fly the moment they start to get wing feathers. Get a lid on those brooders, or at least make sure they can get back in!
    4. Talk to your chicks. The sound of my voice wakes them up in the morning before I turn on the coop light. When I am outside calling dogs they peep for me.
    5. Directional skills? Not so much. Mine frequently get stuck around the side of the brooder. They figure it out eventually, but it takes longer than it should.
    6. Mine prefer me to come in from below rather than above ie: they like having their chests rubbed, not being picked up or backs stroked.

    Can anyone else remember learning something by experience their first time around?

    Edited to add: 7. Their crops are alarmingly full at bedtime.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    #2 - raise the waterer up using a paver stone, block, etc -- keep the rim at chest height by continuing to raise it as they grow -- this reduces the bedding/etc that gets into the water by great measure and can allow you to give the waterer more stability as it is sitting on a solid base. *OR* use a nipple water system

    #6 - this stems from the fact that most predators come in on them from above (think hawks) - so, yes, coming in from below is much less likely to cause a panic and be a pleasant vs. scary experience for them.

    #7 - this is one that leads to frequent panicked posts about the "weird growth/huge tumor" on a chick's chest noticed by a new chicken keeper.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    #8 Sleeping chicks look like dead chicks [​IMG]

    #9 dust bathing or sun bathing chicks look like they're having seizures or dying of some neuro disease.

    #10 they explore the world with their mouths just like human babies do. Brooder chicks don't have a momma to tell them what is good to eat and what isn't, so they wind up tasting pretty much everything they can reach or fit in their mouths.
  4. Gnarled Carrots

    Gnarled Carrots Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 17, 2016

    #8 OMG yes. Chickens look like they're dead when they're sleeping. I can't tell you how many times I've poked at talked at a chicken to make sure that they're still breathing!

    #9 continued. Chickens on their backs also look like they're having a seizure and/or dying. Although that's not a normal position, if you hold them sideways, don't be alarmed by their going into a trance-like state.

    #3 Give them something to roost on above the ground. They instinctually like heights and will enjoy something off the ground.

    #11 Chicks will peck at each other. They're figuring out a pecking order (no pun intended). This is normal and will lesson as they grow. However, bullying can be a problem if the more dominant chicks keep the weaker ones from eating/drinking.

    12 Look out for pasty butt, especially if your chicks are in a brooder! From the time they hatch until they're full grown, pasting up can be a problem. Just wash it off and make sure that they can discharge normally. Also, diarrhea can be a sign of ill-health, so pay attention to their poop, especially if they look like they're in distress.

    13 For friendly chicks, make sure to handle them often! Like most animals, they'll like people more if they're used to them. Although like #6 it helps to come in from bellow and not be perceived as a predator!
  5. minifarmmom

    minifarmmom Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 5, 2016
    Love all the comments! I am also a new chicken mama and have only had them since Saturday. These are helpful tips- thank you!
  6. Gnarled Carrots

    Gnarled Carrots Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 17, 2016
    Chicks make noise when their young, too. They walk on top of one another, peck at the ones that discover where water and food is, and all over have sibling rivalries! All of f this is normal. Just watch out for LOUD peeping. This can be a sign of distress. My newest flock are a week old and had a hard time in shipping (random snow storm in March!), so I'm overprotective! :th
  7. ShanandGem

    ShanandGem Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2016
    #14 For the most entertaining three minutes of your day buy your 2 week old chicks 30 live crickets. They went from frightened to full fuzzy butt predators in about ten seconds flat!
    2 people like this.
  8. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO

    Just wait until you get worm tug-o-war! Works best with red wigglers. Also results in "quarterbacking".
  9. andrea2chicken

    andrea2chicken Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 7, 2016

    So dead on! First time I seen mine like I was like WTH and the sound of voice she popped up I was so relieved now I just laugh at how the sleep my whole group was passed out last night like a bunch of drunk sales lol
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Or live meal worms. It's the first 'treat' I give my chicks. It's so funny to watch them chase each other around with worms hanging out of their beaks.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by