What do you wish you knew before your first chicks arrived?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Secretlyspotted, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Secretlyspotted

    Secretlyspotted Chirping

    Sep 22, 2013
    Carrollton GA
    I have an order of 15 babies coming the first week of February! I am so excited. I am trying to get everything planned as best I can, but I know there must be a steep learning curve. What do you wish you knew before your first batch of babies?

  2. NinjaRooster

    NinjaRooster Crowing

    Dec 27, 2013
    The Corner
    Hmm, thinking back on it, I guess I was really well prepared.

    OK, here goes: Get everything set up before the birds arrive.

    Oh yeah, do LOTS of reading about raising them...
  3. Gonzo4Chicks

    Gonzo4Chicks In the Brooder

    Jan 12, 2014
    New Smyrna Beach, FL
    OK, my first post (I've had my chicks since Thursday). I got 12, wish I had MORE. They are just TOO cute.

    I did think I was going to lose one yesterday, she was very lethargic and NO pep to her at all. Today all are fine. Friend that has 30+ years chicken experience said the first 5-6 days they cannot regulate blood sugar well, and when they get lethargic like that, give them a little Gator Aid.

    Good luck with yours!!!
  4. Secretlyspotted

    Secretlyspotted Chirping

    Sep 22, 2013
    Carrollton GA
    Good idea about the Gator Aide! I will have some on hand. I ordered 15, which was the minimum from the hatchery where I placed my order. I have a coop that will probably hold 25+ and a huge yard for them to free range so I wanted to leave room to get some more one day! I am counting the days until they get here!!
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    What I wish I knew when I first started.....

    How addicting they are....I'd have had my husband triple the size of our coop :oops:
  6. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Crowing

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Your friend is wrong. This is coming from someone raising birds for 30+ years also.
    Gator Ade has way too high of a sugar content, in addition to food colorings and caffeine, to be given. Table sugar or honey dissolved in tepid water has been recommended for the first hour, but 5-6 days is not wise. Water dispersible vitamin powders containing electrolytes which are formulated & labeled for poultry should be used according to manufacturer directions.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  7. Secretlyspotted

    Secretlyspotted Chirping

    Sep 22, 2013
    Carrollton GA
    I did order some of that green grow gel stuff for their first feeding after I pick them up. I have more honey than I could ever eat (my parents are beekeepers) so that might be a good reference for the future. I've given Pedialyte to a sick chicken before, but I can't assume that it helped- she went to chicken heaven after a few days of being at death's door.
    One thing I've noticed in the horse world is that there are 1000 ways to do something. Everybody has things they would never do- but it seems like no two horse people have the same "never" list! Live, learn, and do the best you can.

  8. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    I did TONS of reading before I got my chicks. Lots of great online amazon Kindle books on raising chickens! Thinking back what I wish I'd known. .. hum... Well how very important it is to give them their Mareks vaccine if they didn't get it from hatchery already. That's a big one. .now if I buy the chicks From a breeder and have them shipped to me I always vaccinate for Mareks and keep them in side for at the very least 6 weeks without contact to outside or adult birds while their bodies build up immunity and antibodies from the vaccine..I do wish I'd known about that with my first chicks. Mareks is everywhere and highly contagious . It's good to get them vaccinated at the hatchery but if that's not possible do it yourself! ! But now I've learned and give all my babies the Mareks vaccine because it's soo important.
  9. Secretlyspotted

    Secretlyspotted Chirping

    Sep 22, 2013
    Carrollton GA
    I am very pro-vaccine so I totally had my chicks vaccinated against Mareks. I wish they had offered a vaccine again coccidiosis! (Forgive me if that's misspelled.) I will be feeding medicated feed, just in case. I totally respect folks who want to be organic, but I'm not that girl.
  10. Fentress

    Fentress Songster

    Mar 22, 2012
    Chesapeake, Va.
    Give them some natural foods to supplement their feed, they don't need to be a certain age, start as soon as possible. Go out and spade up a thick section of turf, I grow clover so that works great but any thing will do, leave the clod whole and put it in the brooder, do not shake off the dirt. They love the fine little roots and they will break up the clod of turf who knows what they may find to eat, whatever it is they will go nuts for it. It is natural better food and gives them something interesting to do, instead of picking on each other.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
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