three 24 day old chicks in a plastic box...too small?

zumachicks

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 12, 2008
53
0
39
i'm new at this...i have three 24 day old chicks and at night i have them in a plastic bin (file folder size wide and about 30 inches long) - is this too small?? they seem to be fine, but are getting so big, so fast! i also have a small water feeder and a bowl of food in there...newspaper on the bottom (for easy clean-up) and a bit of straw...am i supposed to have straw?? sorry if this question seems pedestrian, but i am learning so much from all of you!!!
 

airmom1c05

Songster
11 Years
Feb 3, 2008
954
3
151
Raymond, Mississippi
Use paper towels until you are sure they won't eat the straw. Don't use hay because it can cause respiratory problems if it gets damp and moldy. Newspaper is too slick for their footing and you risk having leg/joint problems. Otherwise, you will probably have to upgrade to a larger container pretty soon. Just make sure they have enough room to comfortably get closer to the heat source or farther away as necessary. When you are sure they know the difference in their food and straw (I prefer pine shavings/never cedar; its vapors can kill them) you can stop using the paper towels. Hope this helped. Best wishes!


Just re-read your post. Your chicks are old enough not to need paper towels. Straw is OK. Some folks use straw and others prefer large pine shavings. You probably just need a bigger box!
 
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ruth

Life is a Journey
12 Years
Jul 8, 2007
4,273
118
271
Woodville, MS
Hi Zumachicks and welcome. Is it only for night/sleeping purposes? If so, that's o.k. But, in my opinion, at almost 4 weeks they need as much room to run around during the day, especially on grass in fresh air and sunshine, as possible. Then they are so tired at night they sleep like babies. I rig up small runs for mine starting at one week old if it's at least 70 and sunny outside. In which case, they actually need something shady to get under because that's where they go when they get hot from the sun shining on them and all that running around. I don't use any kind of heat light during the day outside - I let the sun do that.
 

zumachicks

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 12, 2008
53
0
39
Thanks for the advice! This is only for at night. During the day, they have about two hours (total) of supervised free roaming in my garden and when they are not free ranging, they are outside in a sunny/shady pen that is big. Then, I bring them in at night when it gets cooler (50-60's). The daytime temp hovers around 70...and sunny (sorry for those in the snow)....
 

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