TOO MANY CONTRIDICTIONS. Frustrated chicken mom

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LoneCowboy, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Ok, there are just too many contridictions out there and I need your help figuring this stuff out. I'm new to chickens, but I've been reading up on them for over 2 years now. I have 3 different chicken books. Plus the hatchery catalog and another hatchery start page, and then a flier from the local feed store. Each one has a different opinion and they are adamint about it.

    I've got my brooder coop all ready to go for my 50 little girls coming on Oct 3rd. 1" of bedding, light 18" above the brooder, thermometer that sends a signal into the house so I can watch the temp, out in the brooder etc. But here's my problem

    about 3 of the sources say put down newspaper over the bedding for 1 day. 2 say never use newpaper use paper towels that newspaper is to slick. 1 says never never never use paper at all or they will get spraddle leg and a spraddle leg chick is a dead chick.

    What is it? What should I do?

    I learned on this forum that spraddle leg can be fixed and does not necessarily equal dead chick.

    Of course, this is only one of the many contridictions I've noted. Being a person who likes firm set rules, life is very frustrating. (especially the english language) .

    Are chicks more or less fragile than they are made out to be? Maybe none of this is as important as the books make it out to be. I don't know, looking for all your experience.
  2. cadman68

    cadman68 Songster

    Feb 15, 2007
    Middle TN
    First of all don't get distressed the chicks are more durable than you would think. Actually they are pretty tough little guys. As far as the bedding goes i have never and would never use any type of surface that they might slide on such as news paper. I use some type of loose bedding or paper towels and have never had a problem. The main thing is to keep fresh water and food available at all times and some sort of heat and they will do fine. Again don't stress just have fun with them! [​IMG]
  3. eggcetra_farms

    eggcetra_farms Songster

    Jun 26, 2007
    San Antonio, TX
    Don't use newspaper because it's too slick. Other than that, cadman68 got it right on with that food, water and heat are the most important factors. You'll do fine!! Don't stress out!!
  4. Newchickenmom&kids

    Newchickenmom&kids Songster

    Apr 11, 2007
    Quote:I agree!!! I always figure if you get them from a big hatchery (especially if shipped to you) or from a local feed store...they have already been through so much stress that by the time you get them home...they are gonna think they died an went to heaven!! [​IMG]

    Good luck...don't stress...besides...when in doubt..just ask'll only get a few contradictions!! [​IMG]
  5. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    Paper towels over the shavings is great.
    Someone posted a saying on here once that went something like this..."Ask 3 chicken experts the same question, and you will get 5 different answers. I'm afraid the statement is very true!
  6. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

    Jul 14, 2007
    EXIT 109 on 95
    What I did and why
    put bedding down, then papertowel on top of that NOT slippery newsprint. You want the paper towel down so they do not eat the bedding, once they get used to where food and water is you can take away the paper towel 18 inch should be used as a starting reference point, you want to start at 95 under light, and raise light or lower wattage to decrease temp by 5 degrees per week. BUT you also want them to have the ability to get out of the light to a cooler spot if they want to, they will regulate themselves to the proper temp, if all huddled together in one spot it is too hot and they are trying to escape the heat or too cold and trying to get as much heat as possible

    mine have survied both kids and 3 dogs, so they are not too fragile
  7. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    I hear ya! I'm a detail person, too, so that can easily get frustrating.

    Trust your instincts with your babies. You'll be able to see if they are happy & healthy, or if they seem to be struggling.

    And wanted to give another vote for the paper towels-over-shavings. Just give them a few days that way (so they can learn where their food is and not pick the shavings), then remove the paper towels.

    It's great to read so much on the subject, but I do think sometimes the books overcomplicate things. My big stressor was the Temp FACTOR. I got a totally conflicting report from the store where I bought the chicks (drop temp 2 degrees every 3 days), and had a hard time getting that temp consistant.. until I gave up reading the thermometer altogether and just watched the chicks.

    Sometimes we just have to pick one and go with it. You'll do fine!

  8. Arklady

    Arklady Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    Quote:***Spraddle leg is caused by the chick not being able to keep their legs under them. Since they only have two legs its difficult to move around and they would die because they can't get to the food and water and generally get laid or walked on.

    ***You can use paper towels if you like for a day or two, use extra coarse towels. I generally only ever use pine shavings/chips mixture on my chicks bedding putting them directly into the brooder when they are able to move out of the bator. Since you are getting them shipped, then its no issue.

    Quote:***In my experience they are fragil/ yet not fragil. They are hardy little boogers. Taking a lot of punishment and keep on going. But they are fragil in that they are susceptible to injury and disease. Once they start feathering out they are a bit more hardy and able to handle more. Mostly because they have mastered their legs. Legs are their only way of getting food and water and so we pay particular attention to that. I have myself put down chicks with serious leg issues because they would die anyways.

    I wouldn't worry overly about the chicks. At large poultry grower houses, they have boxes with 250 chicks each in it and they toss them out at about a foot above the ground. They all seem to just bounce and then run away. It is a funny sight to be sure.

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2007
  9. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I always use that rubbery waffle shelf lining.
  10. Arklady
    Do you sell French Cuckoo Marans eggs for hatching?

    Sorry LoneCowboy for asking this in your post!

    I used paper towels over the pine bedding for the first few days. My chicks are doing great and I have three kids playing with them.

    Of course not all the time because when I was younger we almost "Loved to Death" our baby goose!! That is what our vet told our Mom [​IMG]

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