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Questions about new chicks

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1 Questions about new chicks on Fri May 29, 2015 10:42 am


Hi all -

I have three new chicks, and haven't raised them before.  

One is a Bienefelder, who is marked like a chipmunk, and so is called Elanor. Two are Black Copper Maran x Cream Legbar, and so are called Green Eggs, and Ham.  Green Eggs and Ham could fly at three days old, which seemed a bit precocious, and led to a lot of loud peeping from Elanor, until she learned too.  Green Eggs has the most feathers, and is starting to look like a small teenaged dinosaur.  I'm sure it will pass.

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Anyway, today is coop cleaning day.  How long to I need to wait after I dust the coop to put the little chicks in their room?

How much heat do they need?  Just at night or in the daytime too? They are two weeks old, growing like weeds, and are at various stages of feather development, as you can see.  They move in and out of the heat area, but are spending less and less time there.  The temp in their pen is currently about 27.  The forecast for today is 23 and between 12 and 15 at night for the next few days.

The "walls" of the room are regular chicken wire, and the chicks are very curious.  Do I need to add a layer of hardware cloth or small mesh chicken wire?

Thanks once again for sharing your experience with us greenhorns.  sunny


2 Re: Questions about new chicks on Fri May 29, 2015 9:31 pm


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Congratulations, your chicks are lovely! It's best to give them an other heat source all the time until they are fully feathered in. My chicks are three weeks old now, even when it's 25oC out they still nip under the heat lamp in their outdoor brooder once in a while to bask. They are indoors at night in the coop brooder.
Once the dust has settled the chicks can go back into the coop. What are you using for bedding?
Chicken wire is fine for keeping chickens in but it won't be adequate for predator control.
A good rule of thumb is a minimum of a square foot per chick from day 1 to 8 weeks. Then they will need more space per bird.

3 Re: Questions about new chicks on Fri May 29, 2015 10:55 pm


I put coarse shavings where they will be - I've been using the same shavings in the tub that is their brooder, and they seem fine, not eating them.

The room with the chicken wire walls is in the coop. The coop has hardware cloth window and vent screens, but that's not going to help in the daytime when the main door is open.  I'll have to replace the chicken wire with something else.  

I wired the run fence into the horse fencer (raccoons, grrr) but again, it won't help in the daytime when the gate is open.  

The babies will have 24 square feet for the three of them.  The total coop is 66 sq ft, for 10 chickens in total, including the babies.  

What do you have for an outdoor brooder?


4 Re: Questions about new chicks on Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:07 pm


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Bessie my outdoor brooder is not predator proof, It's just a couple of dog play pens attached together with a 3' tall 1/2" mesh hardware cloth wired to the inside with a plywood and chicken wire roof. The chicken wire is only to keep the chicks in, it won't keep a racoon out.  I hang a brooder heat lamp in there for warmth and have a tarp for wind protection on the sides, which gets moved depending on which direction the wind is coming from. I move the whole contraption daily so the chicks get fresh grass.  I only put the chicks out when I am home and around to make sure no predators are checking out my chicks.  My coop brooder is predator proof, it's a solid plywood box with 1/4" woven hardware cloth ($$$$ but worth it) inserts on the lid for ventilation.  I am using the Quick Pic ultra fine shavings for the chicks, I find it easier to separate it from the poops (I use a cat litter scoop with the tiny tote brooder for chicks less than a week old). The larger size wood shavings are bigger than the chick poop so I find that if I use that, with three week old chicks, I have to  scrape all the bedding  out and bed with fresh stuff without trying to save old shavings.  
Your coop sounds very roomy so you shouldn't have any problems  with adequate space.

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