Yikes, unexpected chicks-is cardboard bosx OK?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by magdalen13, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. magdalen13

    magdalen13 New Egg

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    Sep 27, 2010
    It's a long story why we are getting chicks unprepared, but they have arrived. Just 6, and right now they are under a heat lamp in the cardboard box they came in on the unheated front porch. DH thought that was better than the drafty unheated entry to the main coop.

    Bad thing here is, we have to leave this weekend for business out of town and won't be back till sunday. we have houseguests who know how to look after the chickens, but neither they nor I have ever tended new baby chicks before. We are working late tonight and can't get to the store, and have to leave before stores open in the morning. They are going to have to stay in the box for the weekend. I would bring them inside but we have 5 housecats so I don't see that going well!

    What can I do to keep them safe, warm and well, keeping in mind I only have a few hours tonight and in the morning, and they will be tended by total newbies all weekend :-( We will have time to research more and take care of them better next week--will they be OK in the box on the porch till then? It gets down to freezing here at night still. :-(
     
  2. Chihuahuamom444

    Chihuahuamom444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What worried me was the cardboard box and heat lamp.....Not a good match I don't think, those lights get pretty hot and a cardboard box not far from it is dangerous. Maybe other people do it though, Idk.....My babies are in a guinea pig cage and I see a lot of people use those large rubbermaid tubs
     
  3. magdalen13

    magdalen13 New Egg

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    Sep 27, 2010
    hmm good call. I think I have an empty rubbermaid tub somewhere [​IMG]
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Actually a large cardboard box can be used temporarily. The safety comes in the mounting of the heat lamp.
    Frankly, the cardboard is no more flame sensitive than the wood chips down below, just sayin'.

    Hundreds of folks use large cardboard boxes. The issue of safety is a REAL ONE. Make sure the heat lamp is secured safely and do NOT simply use the silly clamp.
     
  5. magdalen13

    magdalen13 New Egg

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    Sep 27, 2010
    Thanks Fred. I know what you mean as I have had a heat lamp fall in the coop once this winter and it was very scary. Now they are double & triple secured. I don't know what the one on the chicks is like right now but I will be sure it's secure tonight.
     
  6. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    Are your houseguests able to get some chick starter for you? You can use paper towels for bedding, but they should have a water font (so they won't drown or get wet and chilled) and chick starter. As long as you can move them to the rubbermaid 'brooder', keep them warm and fed, they should be fine.
     
  7. TouchO'Lass

    TouchO'Lass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oroville, Wa
    My brooder is a large plastic bin with half the lid cut out and metal screened to let the heat in and keep the cat out. A small window screen across the top would work, but I wouldn't use the nylon mesh type because of the lamp.

    Ditto on the heat lamp clamp!! I added a simple plant hanging chain ($1 at Wally World) because those clamps just have a mind of their own.

    Could they stay in the bath room or a laundry room rather than a freezing porch but still be closed off from the cats? I don't know about the box your gals came in, but mine were in a REALLY small box and couldn't even lay down.

    In place of a standard waterer (if you can't get to the store) a small heavy dish with marbles to keep the peeps from drowning would prolly do if your guests are willing to check and clean it frequently. If they MUST stay outside, ask your sitters to use warm water (85 - 90*) to help keep the peeps warm.

    Don't know what to tell you about food if you can't get starter/grower. Maybe your sitters could make a quick feed store run and you could add TBSP sugar/qt water until then, but I don't know how long they can survive on that. [​IMG]

    Wow, tough one! Good Luck!
     
  8. magdalen13

    magdalen13 New Egg

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    Sep 27, 2010
    Wow, I knew asking you guys would bring great results. So creative... I can do the window screen thing easily, there is a spare hanging out in the shed. Thankfully on the waterer/feed they were delivered with one of those Tractor Supply starter kits, not great but it will do for a few days, and there is chick starter feed until we can get some more. Still thinking about where they could go inside... we have a 600-square foot trailer so very few spots on the floor are free! But since we won't be here, I think we could put them in the bedroom pretty easily, where the cats can't get in. we do have some pine shavings, as we use those in the regular coop to keep the floor nice and dry in the winter. OK, now I feel much better about this. I think we'll be good. Thank you so, so much, Touch O'Lass, Kansaseq, Fred, and Chihuahuamom [​IMG]
     
  9. Chihuahuamom444

    Chihuahuamom444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As long as they have food, water and heat they're happy...good luck with them [​IMG]
     

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