What Do I Need On Hand

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BluebirdHomestead, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. BluebirdHomestead

    BluebirdHomestead Songster

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    Hey all!

    I’m getting a batch of 2 week old chicks tomorrow and I’m wondering what do I need to have on hand aside from the obvious (brooder and feed)?
    Thanks!
     
  2. BarnhartChickens98

    BarnhartChickens98 Crowing

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    Hi! i always use Nutri-drench or sav-a-chick to give them once they arrive, it just gives them a boost.
     
  3. feathermaid

    feathermaid Egg Obsessed

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    How many chicks and how large is your brooder?
    Even at that age they'll still need a heat source for a couple more weeks, I prefer a chick heat plate or heating pad much more than a lamp.
    I've also discovered that stall pellets make for much much cleaner bedding than shavings. I had always used them until one year I bought shavings instead because everyone else used them... I couldn't believe what a complete mess they were! I actually ended up removing them and replacing with new pellets. Shavings are good for the coop and covered run, and the old pellets can just mix right in with them.

    These are some other things I like to keep in my brooder:
    • a small container of grit in case you feed treats or anything other than chick starter
    • large container of sand for a dust bath
    • a perch at 2 different levels to get them used to roosting... could also be loose branches to climb on
    • mirror for chicks to admire themselves (I put the perch in front)
    • Raised waterer to keep it cleaner, you just want it above their butt height to keep it mostly free of poop. I start with a brick then graduate to a cinderblock.
    You could keep Corid on hand in case your chicks experience a bout of coccidiosis. But it's expensive and doesn't have a long shelf life. My feed store is nearby so it's no trouble for me to get there in a hurry if I need something.

    *edit*
    • Oh! and bring in a chunk of sod from outside for some entertainment and to help them build immunities and acclimate to your property.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
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  4. Don 27

    Don 27 Songster

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    I had no idea you could do all this for chicks. Thanks for the ideas . I usually just do what is kinda average food, water, bedding and a light. Sometimes some sticks for them to play under.
     
  5. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    Chick grit is about the same consistency as sand so you can make it do double duty, just be sure it's not 'playground', dyed or chemically treated sand. Easiest way to avoid those sand pitfalls (teeheehee, see what I did there), is to buy cheap 'construction' grade sand, usually found at your hardware store near the concrete or tile installation section of the store.

    Start a round of CORID treatment the same day that you introducing that chunk of sod, as soil is where the one-celled coccidia and their eggs reside. Only use the Corid for the specified number of days, mixing fresh medicine daily, and for this treatment period do not offer any supplements containing B-Vitamins. After the full course of treatment, offer them a vitamin and mineral supplement in their water daily for the following week, again mixing fresh water/vitamin solution daily. I cannot stress enough how important it is to prevent coccidia from getting a foothold in your chicks; typically by the time you realize you have a problem, it's too far advanced to prevent deaths. Chickens WILL develop resistance to it as they age, but they need time gain that resistance.
     
  6. feathermaid

    feathermaid Egg Obsessed

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    I've never used a round of Corid when introducing sod or bringing my chicks outside for short visits, even in the spring when coccidia are more active. Why use Corid as a preventative and subject chicks to Vitamin B1 loss then dose with vitamins to replace it afterwards when you can just feed medicated chick starter in the first place? It's all a personal decision and I prefer to let my chicks gradually explore their surroundings so they can start building a natural resistance to the coccidia present on my property. Corid should be used to cure birds that are actually suffering from a coccidiosis outbreak. Keeping a clean and dry brooder that's not overheated or overcrowded is the best way to have healthy chicks.
     
  7. feathermaid

    feathermaid Egg Obsessed

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    It's fun to provide enrichment for little fluff butts!
    Your brooder looks a bit small and they'll outgrow it real quick. How many chicks do you have and do you already have older birds too? You might want to try using the largest size tote they make until you can move them out to the coop. Or sometimes you can get one of those really large cardboard produce boxes (that pumpkins come in) for free from the grocery store. If you can provide electricity to the coop for a heat source until they're feathered, you can even move them outside early:
    Start Raising Your Chicks Outdoors
    You Certainly Can Brood Chicks Outdoors


    1setupB.jpg coop-brooder-grass.jpg

    I brood in the house for about a week or 2, then chicks move to the coop brooder even if night temps are in the 30s or 40s. This helps them feather out and acclimate much quicker, it also helps if integrating with older birds.
     
  8. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    I tried it that way. I ended up with dead chicks.

    Let me start by saying that I live in Panana, it's hot and humid here, year round, both day and night. It rains every day, at least for a couple hours (usually in the late afternoon) for eight months of the year, and is bone dry the rest of the year. The ground seems overwhelmed with coccidia, and before I started them on Corid the same day their 'boots hit the ground', I was losing half of the hatch, or thereabouts. Sadly, once I discover that a baby chick is sick with this opportunistic parasite, it's usually too late to reverse the damage caused. So...

    I've since transitioned into using non-medicated feed (21% protein) so that I can feed it to my entire flock, not just chicks; this is the absolute best feed that as available for any bird in this country, and it's only carried by one feed store; the rest offer 7% protein as their top-of-the-line poultry feed. I don't worry about the loss of vitamins as I add ChickBooster (TM) to their water every day (except for the week they're on CORID), even the full grown chickens get ChickBooster. I buy this in the largest bottle they sell, 1 liter, and I buy several bottles at a time because once they run out, it's unlikely that they'll have more for a year or so. Don't ask me why, I don't know why... It's just how it is here. I stock up on Corid the same way (expiration date kept in mind, of course), as it's another item that once they sell it all, there's no telling when they'll get more (or even if it will be in-date). I've had need of Corid in the past where EVERY feed store in the city I live in, arguably the second-largest in the country, had none and didn't know when they would get more. I lost all but a couple of birds that hatch.

    So, now that I've written a book about the subject... The reason WHY I do it this way instead, is because this way worked for me and my flock better. Different locations, different solutions. Please note, I'm not saying that you're wrong, just saying that it didn't work well for me.
     
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  9. feathermaid

    feathermaid Egg Obsessed

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    :goodpost:That's perfectly understandable and you are correct! Everyone has different environmental conditions and we must all adapt and practice what serves our flock the best in our own unique situations. I feel very fortunate to have my available resources locally and you are doing excellent in planning ahead. fist-bump.gif
     
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