Total chick newbie!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by threechickies, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. threechickies

    threechickies New Egg

    Jan 27, 2014
    Western Suburbs of Chicago
    Hello there! We are just beginning our chick adventure and are looking for any advice no matter how basic! We moved into a farmhouse this fall with a 10x4 coop with nesting boxes and attached run covered with mesh wire. So, now our plan is to get chicks from our local Rural King. We were thinking of starting/raising 10 chicks. Does that seem too big of a flock for beginners? If we really only want hens is there a way to know that when buying them at the farm supply store? How do we pick chicks?

    As for the chicks, is it alright to use a large Rubbermaid bin for them to start inside? Heat lamp stay on ALL thetime?

    We live in Northern Illinois (Read COLD) so at what point do we bring them outside? Any other tips will be appreciated!

    Thanks in Advance! My kiddos are 5,4,and 3 and are really excited for this venture, which I am certain will be a mom job more than anything!
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    The chicks at your local farm supply should be pullets. They get them from a hatchery and they have disclaimer of 90% sexing accuracy. It's really much higher than that. Make sure you don't get meat birds, you want layers/dual purpose breeds. Most farm stores get Barred Rocks, sex links- red or black, and Rhode Island pullet chicks to suit your needs.

    I use a plastic tote to brood my chicks in too. It works perfectly and just put a child gate over it to keep the chicks in and cats out. A heat lamp is going to be far too much heat. It's the biggest mistake people do in getting a 250w lamp. You will only need up to 100 watts. I use incandescent builbs, some use the red bulbs in idea that white light interupts their sleep. I've never seen this to be the case. Tote, pine shavings, paper towels to cover shavings for first week to keep shavings out of water dish, water and food dispensers and a metal hood lamp for your light bulb on one end of brooder.

    With production birds 10 will be a lot of eggs, plan on selling a dozen or two per week once they come into lay.
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Chicks will eventually need 2 s.f./chick before they are out of the brooder. You start them out at 90 - 95 degrees under the heat, being sure they have plenty of room to get away from the heat, and drop it by 5 degrees/week. Most folks are finding that these numbers are conservative, and that chicks actually do great with a bit less heat. The chicks will tell you by their behavior if they are comfortable. If they are cheeping loudly, and piling up under the light, they are cold. If they are staying as far away from the light as they can get, they are cold. Happy chicks are spread out across the brooder and talking quietly amongst themselves. By the time they are 5 weeks old, they should be fully feathered. Depending on when you start them, and what your night time temps are, they may be able to go out at that time.

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