what should I expect when I get my new chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Lisa202, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. Lisa202

    Lisa202 Songster

    Aug 20, 2010
    Long Island NY
    Hi everyone, It's me again and I have another question. After reading so many of your great questions and answers, I figured that it would be good if I knew what to expect when I get the chickens. I just read the post about how they look dead when they sleep and how scary it is if you don't know to expect it, so I would like to know if there are other things that you all have experienced and would like to share. Anything and everything would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks !!![​IMG]
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Even very young chicks will "dust bathe" in the shavings in their brooder. This looks like they may be having a seizure; they lay nearly on their sides and kick, sometimes flapping the "up" wing and moving their head in jerky motions. Just think of it as a "pine shavings angel" like a kid trying to make a snow angel. Not a seizure - but a happy chick.

    If you have a lot of chicks at one time, you might consider taping a curve of cardboard in the corners of any square or rectangular brooder box you're using, as chicks will pile onto each other in the corners, either to sleep in a pile or because they were frightened/panicked by something and they can smother chicks on the bottom of that pile. (Generally not a problem with 5 or fewer chicks.) Anyway, the curve of cardboard eliminates corners in which chicks can get trapped by the madding crowd.

    The introduction of anything new creates fear and suspicion. The first time you put down a dish with some cooked, scrambled egg, or berries, or anything different from their feed, they will act like That's Killer Stuff Which Will Rise Out of the Dish And Eat Us All! Run Away! Run Away!

    Only after a brave chick has finally snuck over and pecked at it, will anyone else investigate the Horrible Scary Thing. But after a while, they'll learn to recognize a special plate or dish you use for treats and WANT to gather around as you lower it into the brooder for them.

    Try to start them on a nipple waterer right away. It saves SO much mess and bother in the brooder! Regular chick waterers get litter kicked into the water tray, chicks poop in it, they can knock it over, and wet bedding is awful. There's NONE of that with nipple waterers, and the chicks always have clean, fresh water. Healthier and handier - what could be better than that???

    Keep a digital camera in the same room as the brooder and keep it charged, with plenty of memory free for a zillion snaps of chicks at play, asleep, or whatever. Take LOTS of photos and just delete the bad shots. You will need to take a lot to get the best ones, otherwise it's sort of frustrating to just use it now and then and never get that great and adorable moment.
  3. mommyofthreewithchicks

    mommyofthreewithchicks Songster

    Jun 25, 2010
    Lots of playtime and supervision time~ My kids loved to hold the chicks and wanted to carry them around, well until one pooped on someone, then they had to have a towel in between the chick and them.

    They eat a lot but make more mess :>) while they are eating. Take lots of pictures the first two weeks because they go into the teenage phase of life really too quickly!

    Have fun with them while you are learning as that is the best part!
  4. Luke13:34

    Luke13:34 Songster

    Aug 3, 2010
    The Naugatuck Valley
    You will fall in love with them instantly and spend hours just sitting and watching them. [​IMG]

    You will immediately start doing "chicken math" wherein you figure out how to increas the number of chicks you will have in the future and still stay in hubby's good graces. [​IMG]
  5. buildingmyark

    buildingmyark Songster

    May 2, 2010
    Everyone's response was right on the money! I actually did a post a couple of days ago with pictures of my nipple waterer for the little ones. It works well since they don't drink a whole lot and it clips on the side of their brooder. It will save you so much time! The first time I had chicks I used the old mason jar waterers and was wearing myself out cleaning and refilling them. Definitely the way to go!
  6. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    Luke13:34 :

    my hubby asked if I wrote this.
  7. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Every few poos will be darker and runnier and stinkier. These are cecal poops and are normal. I totally freaked out when I first saw these.
  8. Lisa202

    Lisa202 Songster

    Aug 20, 2010
    Long Island NY
    Thanks to all for your great replies! [​IMG] Every little bit of information is priceless.
  9. Luke13:34

    Luke13:34 Songster

    Aug 3, 2010
    The Naugatuck Valley
    They may not necessarily like 95 degrees exactly. I spent two days trying to figure out exactly where to place my heat lamp to get that pefect 95 degrees only to have all my chicks running to the other side of the brooder. For some reason mine are happier at around 88 degrees. I aim the light down a little more at night so that it is closer to 92 since the nights are chillier and the brooder is in the garage.
  10. write2caroline

    write2caroline Songster

    Jun 21, 2009
    Mine liked the cooler temps too. I had my heat lamp on a stick so I could raise and lower it. They definally preferred it cooler than 95

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