when to handle baby chicks?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mommy3, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. mommy3

    mommy3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2011
    Plantsville, CT
    We are new to this and have 8 eggs- barred rock chickens, that are due to hatch in 2 days if all went well! I read on one site that you have to be very careful handling the chicks- my kids- 15,11 and 7 are very excited to hold them as well. When is it safe for them to hold the chicks? We obviously have to move them from the incubator to our bruder. Any tips and helpful hints would be great! also, how do we find out where to get chicken feed? Our Agway has very little and only small bags-not sure how to go about finding a larger supply- we live in CT.
     
  2. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I am not a pro but just hatched 7 less than a week ago. 1st, are they under a hen or in an incubator? If in an incubator, they should be ok to handle as soon as they are all hatched and dry. They are safe in the incubator without food or water for at least 36 hours. Mine were all at least 12 hours old before I handled them. Fascinating and resilient creatures! I repeat though, if in an incubator please don't attempt to handle till all that are going to hatch have had the opportunity. My batch hatched on day 20 and 21. Several of the ones I threw away have chicks in them that had I given them another day or two.... who knows?

    Do you know any farmers in Wethersfield, Cromwell, Rocky Hill, South Glastonbury, or anywhere down rte 9? It's been 20 years since I lived there, but I'll bet there are some backyard chicken folks there who would know where to buy chick starter/grower.
     
  3. mommy3

    mommy3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2011
    Plantsville, CT
    Thank you- they are in an incubator. homemade. i was thinking of going to the Durham Fair and asking around in the poultry display! Not sure how else to go about it. Have made a contact in Bolton- I will try and email her as well. Good to know about waiting on moving until all are done. I had thought to take a few out at a time if they were dry. I am so nervous! I had read that they are ok in incubator for up to 36 hours. I think I will be reading as much of these forums as possible!
     
  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    mommy3 Welcome to BYC!

    I have 2 boys 7 and 9 and we learned the hard way that handling can be too much for the little ones. SO my rule now is, move the babies from hatcher to brooder and then NO picking up for a week. Only exceptions is if a chick is in trouble and needs help. I do allow the boys to sit and see if the chicks will come visit, then gentle petting is allowed. Hope this helps. I've not lost any more chicks/ducklings/poults since following this protocol.

    You might try posting on the "Where are YOu?where am I?" for Connecticut. THis is the area for state threads. Ask for feed stores. Some one is sure to direct you to a feed store. THere are a zillion sheep farms and poultry owners in CT, so there must be a feed store with 50# bags of grain. Are you near Wauregan, CT? If so, PM me.

    Welcome to chickens!

    IF you go to a fair with chickens, remember to follow good biosecurity precedures so you don't drag home an illness to your babies. You can google for more info.
     
  5. ChickiePieGirl

    ChickiePieGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 13, 2011
    Where in CT, I get food from Enfield tractor supply, and East Longmeadow, MA AW Browns.
     
  6. mommy3

    mommy3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2011
    Plantsville, CT
    Thanks for the suggestions, I am in Southington. Not sure about where the town is mentioned-never even heard of it! I am between Hartford and Waterbury on 84. I am figuring there is something closer, but Mass border is only 40-45 minutes away. does anyone know any locals selling rhode island red chicks or eggs? Am I braking any rules asking that? Our barred rocks are due to hatch tomorrow and we were told it might be easier to get the other breed as chicks and put them in the brooder together?
    Thanks!
     
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Hatching is winding down. If you want 25 RIR from a hatchery like Mcmurry or Ideal, chicks are available. Otherwise try the CT thread and ask if anyone has RIR chicks.

    Did you find a source of grain?
     
  8. mommy3

    mommy3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2011
    Plantsville, CT
    I did get some names of places on the CT thread for food. I also asked if anyone local knew about rir chicks- no replies yet. We have 4 wiggly eggs out of the 8 in the incubator- have not seen the other 4 wiggle yet! I am going crazy! We may just do another batch of eggs- we only want around 8 chickens or so to start so we can not place a big order- we can only have 12 chickens I think is what my husband read- so we'll see if all 8 hatch and how many are girls! I have a home for the boys- thank goodness! [​IMG]
     
  9. wbruder17

    wbruder17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2010
    Portland, OR
    As I'm sure you know, many times kids think they are being gentle, and are actually not. I would allow the kids to sit in an enclosed area and let the chickies wander around with NO touching or holding for at least a week. That way they can interact without any harm to the chickies. ALWAYS WASH HANDS WITH WARM WATER, as the cold hands could chill the chickies. Then make sure your kids know just how fragile they are. Chickies move and jump around a lot, and sometimes we squeeze them harder than we think to keep them from hopping out of our hands. If the kids need to hold them, have them do it while sitting down, so if the chicks jump, they don't have far to fall and the kiddos won't grab them too tightly to stop them from jumping out.

    They are so tiiny and fragile, I would try to wait as long as possible to avoid the risk of an accidental catastrophe that would prove to be traumatic for the kids, and possibly deadly to the chick. Washing hands is very important for both kids and chickies, so your kids don't get salmonella or anything as well as so they don't pass anything on to the chickies unknowingly.

    This is my advice. Hope its helpful.
     
  10. mommy3

    mommy3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2011
    Plantsville, CT
    thanks wbruder17! we have told the kids that they will need to wait until after the first week- that seems to be the popular waiting period! You really have quite an assortment of chickens! The kids seem to be good with waiting a week! This forum is fantastic! It is really nice to be able to get so much information in one place! We are very excited, the eggs are wiggling- one has actually spun around a little it wiggled so much overnight! Any idea how long they wiggle before we might see them breaking through? we are really hoping that today is the day we see some action![​IMG]
     

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