Tips to raising chicks please?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by marioman567, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. marioman567

    marioman567 New Egg

    Sep 12, 2015
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I am a 12 year old boy who is going to start raising chicks in the spring and I was hoping if anyone had any tips for me.
    Like is there any other things that are healthy for chicks to eat besides chick food and are there any things I should keep my chicks away from. I was also wondering what things would things would be essential for a homemade brooder. Also if any of you live in or near Omaha Nebraska do you know if any chick stores that sell the chicken breed Amber Whites. Thank you for coming on to my thread.
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Until they reach 4-5 weeks, I would feed exclusively starter feed. It's not that feeding them treats at that age would necessarily HURT them, they simply aren't likely to recognize them as food and probably won't eat them.

    Be sure your brooder is large enough that they can get away from the light if they need to.

    Always place the waterer at the opposite end of the brooder from the heat source, or it will become warm and nasty very quick.

    I'm curious, why choose Amber Whites as opposed to other hybrid production layers?
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  3. marioman567

    marioman567 New Egg

    Sep 12, 2015
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Thank you so much for the info![​IMG]

    P.S. I chose Amber Whites because I looked at a lot of reviews and they said they lay a lot of eggs and they are sweet. Also I was wanting to take them to the fair because they look like beautiful birds.
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I always start my chicks on a layer of paper towels over shavings, it gives the chicks some traction to help their legs grow strong, I also scatter chick feed on the towels for a few days, and I start my brooding temperature at 85 degrees, but use the chicks as my guide, raising or lowering the temperature depending on their behavior, happy chicks peep quietly and are scattered about the brooder. I get mine outside when the weather turns nice and they will spend the day in the grass in a small movable pen.

    My home made brooder is just a wooden box that has a divider.

  5. JessLonn

    JessLonn Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 3, 2015
    Bedford, PA
    Sorry the picture is blurry but my son was a little anxious. But this is my first chick I have one more arriving you to today or tomorrow, we can hear the chick chirping inside second egg so it shouldn't be long. It's the end of September, I plan to allow the chicks to stay in the coop with the other chickens. Is it okay to let them and the coop with the other chickens or should I remove them and keep them in the house? And if I keep up with the other chickens, how should I feed them their appropriate food or will the Mom take care of that? Please if anyone can respond quickly I really need to know before the other chicks hatch, I have probably about another 8 more eggs are going to hatch in the next week.
  6. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Well, as a hybrid breed they should be good layers and show a median temperament, but I will tell you that they won't compete in a fair. They're hybrids, and they are bred for laying, not appearance. It's important to remember that beauty doesn't win a show - correctness does. A Naked Neck, for example, might be considered ugly by many people, but if it has perfect color and confirmation, it will surely win out Best of Show even in competition against gorgeous birds like Sumatras or Wyandottes, if the latter do not meet the standard. If you want something that will place in a show, seek out breeder quality birds.
  7. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    The correct place for this is on its own thread in the "Raising Baby Chicks" section, however I will do my best to answer your question.

    What's the mama hen's status in the flock? If she's a dominant bird, you can leave them with the flock, but if she is submissive, you need to separate them as she will be unable to defend her babies if the others come after them.

    When chicks are raised with adults you need to switch everybody to non-medicated chick feed. Chick feed will not harm adults, but adult feed can harm chicks. But be sure to purchase non-medicated starter, as medicated will make your other hen's eggs inedible. Be sure to supplement with a small amount of oyster shell mixed into the feed. A good non-med starter should be 20% protein. If you can't find a non-medicated 20%, use an 18% grower/raiser feed instead. But definitely do not use layer feed until they are at least 16 weeks old.

    By 8 eggs, do you mean 8 more under a different hen? If they are under the same hen who is already hatching chicks, you need to move them to another broody hen or an incubator ASAP. Hens will not sit that long. They abandon the nest 2-3 days after the first chick hatches, regardless of the state of the other eggs. This is why hen-hatched eggs can never be staggered, as the hen will abandon those who do not hatch the first time around.
    1 person likes this.
  8. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2015
    North Carolina
    I used a clear plastic storage bin (medium size) for the first few weeks. I used a heat lamp with a low watt bulb in it because I didn't have/couldn't find anything else (I ran a test run before getting the chicks home, that way I was able to move the lamp to a level that kept the appropriate steady temp), but I don't recommend that (if I had better I would have used better). Temperature is important. Not too hot, not too cold, and I kept mine in 1 corner so they could get away from it if needed. You don't want the dishes to be something they can drown in. I used tiny dog dishes I got from the grocer and made sure to check the water all the time and keep it clean. I used a starter/grower feed. Bedding was important too. Keeping the brooder warm, dry, and clean is important, and so is making sure there is appropriate ventilation. There's a lot to cover, and I learned a lot this Spring getting my chicks. I wish you luck!

    Oh, and for treats, I waited several weeks before mine got anything other than the starter/grower feed. Once they were several weeks, and big enough I found bugs I knew were safe, moths, worms from the yard (and then I bought some night crawlers when they got bigger). I waited before giving them small amounts of foods cut extremely small like fresh fruit, fresh veggies, scrambled eggs, and that's about it when they were younger chicks. Now I have 4mos and 5mos 1wk olds and the love fresh fruit, veggies, scrambled eggs, a little bit of bread, a little bit of cut (small) meat. I don't feed them much per day, probably 5% or less of their daily diet. Like today they enjoyed a banana and a scrambled egg between the 11 of them.
  9. allosaurusrock

    allosaurusrock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2015
    Near Seattle, WA
    I see, another middle school aged person on BYC! [​IMG] I have only raised babies once, (I'm also doing it in the spring) but I would say, start handling them as early as day three. Handle them EVERY DAY. We messed up on our first four when we left them with my aunt for a week. The chickens were not handled, and ended up being really mean.

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