when to add roosting poles and other things

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by xanaxnation, May 15, 2008.

  1. xanaxnation

    xanaxnation Songster

    Apr 8, 2008
    my little guys showed up yesterday. i only have the 3 of them and theyre in a large rabbit cage until theyre ready to go outside. it has a wire bottom, so its on the counter right now on top of puppy pads. i had read that putting litter in right away could confuse them with food or whatever. so.. when should i add litter, or do i not need to if the poo falls out the bottom and on to the potty pads?

    also, when should i add a roosting pole/bar? right now, i have the girls in the cage, a shoe box with a door, the feeder and waterer-er-er-er (that word gets me in real life too). the lamp is on the outside hung a few inches off the top of the cage to make it the right temp.

    any suggestions, or do we seem to be ok so far?
  2. mmajw

    mmajw Songster

    Jan 31, 2008
    Can you post a pic?

    I have had a roost in mine since the day I got them. They will use when ready
  3. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Congrats on your new babies!

    I would find something to put over the wire so they are not walking directly on the wire. You could put a flat board down with some pine shavings and then paper towels on top of that until they learn the difference between food and shavings.

    I also put a perch/roost in right away. They won't use it for a while but it's there and ready when they start to try. If you don't have anything to put in yet, no worries... once you get something in there later on they'll figure it out then also.
  4. backintime

    backintime Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    Northern Wisconsin
    Hi! I'm new to this "sport" too, and was a bit scared my chickies would eat their shavings! My chicks are in a bathtub lined with plastic. I put about 2 inches of shavings in the bottom (with a little DE to help dry up poo later on) and covered the whole thing with a few layers of paper toweling for about 4 or 5 days. Kept changing the paper toweling as it got poopy. Then I gradually began removing the paper towels from both ends, finally getting down to 1 square of paper towel under their feeder area. They never ate any shavings at all! They are 8 days old now. Maybe you could make a bottom with some short sides for your rabbit cage out of cardboard, to hold the shavings inside. I am leaving the paper under the feed dish, because they sling a lot of food out and don't find it in the shavings, but they do see and eat some of the stuff that's lying on the paper. Good luck!
  5. Chicken Cluck

    Chicken Cluck Songster

    May 12, 2008
    I've heard that some people put the roost up even when they're a week old!
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My chicks initially started out in a plastic wading pool with a PVC framed draft guard around the pool. Since by the end of week one they were jumping out of the pool, we took the pool away and made the draft guard their brooder. By age 1 1/2 weeks some of the chicks were "roosting" on the edges, sitting on the 3/4" PVC pipe. Now @ 5 weeks they all do it. Two of my girls are even brave enough to jump/fly up to the bar that holds their heat lamps to roost; which is 3 ft. above the floor. They've been doing this for a couple of weeks. You'd be surprised how young they are when they want to start roosting.
    Last week we built them two roosts out of the same PVC (we have lots of it laying around) and some use it. Some still prefer to roost on the light bar.
  7. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Songster

    Mar 8, 2008
    Are they doing okay walking on the wire? You don't need a roost right away. Just last night was the first time all my chicks were actually using it to roost. They are four weeks old.
  8. Jubaby

    Jubaby Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    West Texas
    My brooder has two roosting poles in it. My chicks are a week old and a few are already starting to roost on it. And i used paper towels only for a couple of days, and then added the pine shavings. I've never seen them eating the wood.
  9. xanaxnation

    xanaxnation Songster

    Apr 8, 2008
    they do ok with the wire. they walk like normal and are even running at break neck speeds from one side to the other already.. ill throw some wood shavings down and see how they do with it. they dont seem to like the little carboard box area, but it may be that its directly under the heat lamp. my little theromemter is showing just over 95 directly under so that might be why. all in all they seem pretty happy compared to what i read about little ones... ill see if i can add a pic too.
  10. Chicken Cluck

    Chicken Cluck Songster

    May 12, 2008
    I've seen some pics and baby chicks already have roosts in the cages!

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