What to do with two chicks given to me unexpectedly?


7 Years
Oct 27, 2012
Help! A neighbor just gave me two chicks, and I'm unprepared. One is a Rhode Island Red, about 1 week old. The other is a mutt Bantum, which might be about three weeks old. I have two laying hens, but I've never raised chicks before.

I have layer crumbles on hand, and kitchen foods and wild greens available, as well as Purina oyster shell, the little white pieces, as well as sand for grit, but I don't know what to feed them. I am in a remote area and won't get to town for days.

The whether here: The high is usually in the eighties now, with the low in the sixties. I put them outside, away from the hens, in the daytime, so they have more space and a little sunshine. I put them in the hen's little house after the hens have laid their eggs, and I wired off the door so nothing can get to them. In the evening, I put them in a room in my house that is unheated (no electricity) but well insulated. They are in an old insulated ice chest with a hole in it.

Is the housing O.K.? What should I feed them? How long will they need this food and protection from the weather? When can I put them in with my hens?

Thank you. I do so want these little chicks to thrive.

Hello!!! If you are unable to get to town and get anything for them, then what they have, is fine. Do you have anything in the bottom of the cooler? Maybe get some grass and a little dirt from outside. They like to peck at dirt. :) and also, they can eat bananas, greens, berries etc... There are certain things you can and can NOT give them. Being as small as they are, I'd cut the food into small pieces. They would need chick starter. When you get to town, that's what you need to get that could be at Home Depot; I'm not sure. Check bird stores and hardware stores. Make sure they have water available for them all the time. 87% of their body is made up of water and they can't survive without it. They will began to smell and you need to clean out their cooler every other day or daily depending on how bad it is. You also probably need a light shining on them to keep them warm. Hope this helps. Enjoy your chicks!!! :D ;) :)
Thank you, My3Chicks,

That was helpful and reassuring. I do have hay in the bottom of the ice chest, and I cleaned it out already twice today. I have no way to warm them with a light when the generator goes off at night. It's warm enough right now inside the room for me to sit here naked typing, and the chicks aren't huddling together, so I think they are O.K. I hope. I'm giving them water and changing it eight times a day. Messy little things, Thanks, again.

You're welcome! Glad I could be of help to you! :D And I don't even change my chicks water eight times a day and I have three of them! Haha. But they do tend to get pine shavings in it to where they can't even drink the water. :/ But again, so glad I could help! :)

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