Mar 5, 2012

Baby Chick Basics. What you need to know to get started.

Baby Chick Basics, what you need to know to get started
I was more nervous anticipating my first chicks' arrival than my first child's birth. I read everything I could find, only to learn ultimately that caring for baby chicks is not complicated. All chicks need to thrive is a caring chicken-keeper with safe, warm housing, food and clean water. There is no need to over-think baby chick care.
Marans chicks, Black Copper and Wheaten
Baby chicks grow at an astonishing rate, an important consideration to bear in mind when planning a brooder set-up.
Baby chicks grow at an astonishing rate, an important consideration
to bear in mind when planning a brooder set-up.

BE PREPARED
It's important to prepare before chicks arrive. Having housing set up and supplies on-hand makes for a stress-free, enjoyable experience for everyone. Their immediate needs will be water and heat (food, a little later).
When baby chicks are expected by mail, arrange for the post office to call you for immediate pick-up.
Arrange for the post office to call you as soon as the chicks arrive for immediate pickup. 
Chicks arriving at the post office should be picked up in order to avoid an all-day tour around town in a postal truck.
Picking the chicks up at the post office allows them to avoid a tour around town all day with the postal carrier.
Chicks should be inspected at the post office to verify their condition in the event not all of the chicks arrived safely.
My first chicks arrived in perfect condition from My Pet Chcken. Mailing chicks is possible because the last thing a chick does before hatching is absorb the egg yolk into its abdomen through it's belly button.  This first meal supplies nutrition to the chick for up to 3 days.

Shipping is hard on chicks, some do not survive the trip. It's a good idea to open the box at the post office to verify their condition. It may be best not to open the shipping box in front of small children.
BROODER
A brooder is an enclosure that serves as the chicks' home until they are ready to be moved to the coop.
A chick brooder is an enclosure that serves as their home until they are ready to be moved to the coop.
Happy, warm newbies do not huddle together.
Brooder Type
The options are limited to your imagination. I prefer strong cardboard boxes because they're free, they can be added onto to increase living space as chicks grow and they're disposable. A large, plastic container, bathtub, rabbit hutch, and even a kiddie pool will work for a limited period of time.
All brooders should be capable of being covered to keep chicks inside and unwanted guests such as well-intentioned family pets out. Even very young chicks can escape from an uncovered brooder. I rest a spare piece of hardware cloth on top of my brooders beginning in week two. While this is adequate to keep chicks from escaping, a more secure method would be needed to keep pets out.
Brooder from chick corral.
This is a Happy Hen Treats Deluxe Chick Corral that I bought online. It's has a wonderful, lightweight design, easy set up and break-down and has a handy L shaped arm for hanging things such as poultry nipple waterers.

Plan on 2 square feet per chick, which will seem excessive initially, but they grow at an unbelievable rate . It's important that they have adequate space available to avoid problems that result from overcrowding, such as picking and cannibalism.
Columbian Wyandotte chick.
Brooder Location
The brooder must be in a draft-free location where a heat lamp can be hung safely or an alternative heating device plugged in; ideally the brooder will be located in a room with a window to allow chicks the benefit of natural day/night conditions.
Polish crested chicks.
Brooder Bedding
Chicks require a flooring surface that is safe for walking on and absorbent. I recommend paper towels over puppy training pads for the first 5-7 days.
Paper towels help chicks grip flooring with their toes, which reduces the risk of spraddle leg.
Tiny feet require traction.
 The puppy pad keeps the brooder protected from water spills and the paper towels provide traction for stable footing. Paper towels should be changed frequently. Newspaper should never be used as flooring; it is not absorbent, which can expose the chicks to conditions ripe for disease,  and newspaper is very slippery, which can cause spraddle leg

The most common bedding for chicks is pine shavings. I don't use any bedding until day 5 because it's easier for chicks to identify food sprinkled on paper towels and I want them to be able to see the feed easily and eat it, not the bedding. Sand is an excellent and economical alternative to pine shavings. I have used sand in my brooders with great success for years. I wrote about the pros and cons of sand in the brooder here
Pine shavings in brooder replace paper towels after chicks learn to eat.
Sand is a wonderful alternative to pine shavings as litter in the brooder.
Hardware cloth riser helps keep water clean.
Hardware cloth riser helps keep pine shavings out of the water.
Water
Chicks require access to clean water at all times. Upon arrival, it's helpful to quickly, gently dip each chick's beak into the water to encourage them to drink. If chicks had a rough trip and look wilted, a vitamin/electrolyte solution can give them a boost. A little sugar added to the water will suffice in a pinch, but it's much better to use the vitamins & electrolytes.
Chicks quickly learn to drink from poultry nipple waterers from day one.
Chicks learn to use poultry nipple waterers naturally from day one.
To avoid the risk of drowning, it's best to use a traditional waterer or poultry nipple waterer versus a shallow dish or bowl. Elevating the waterer will help keep shavings out of it but it must be changed regularly, particularly if they have pooped in it- and they willCoccidiosis, which is spread in droppings, breeds quickly in wet, warm conditions and can very quickly kill baby chicks. Use of a poultry nipple waterer eliminates all concerns about dirty water. I use a variety of poultry nipple watering systems including the Brooder Bottle Cap, the BriteTap chicken waterer and the EZ Miser.
Chicks using poultry niplpe waterer in brooder.
Poultry nipple waterers deliver clean water to chicks consistently, which makes them a healthier choice than traditional chick waterers.
Medicated chick starter feed.
Chicks should have access to starter feed at all times, which comes in medicated and unmedicated varieties. Starter feed is nutritionally complete and specially prepared to be easily digested by chicks without grit. Chicks do not require access to grit if their diet consists solely of starter feed, but if they are given treats, grit is necessary to aid in digestion

Medicated starter feed contains amprolium, which protects chicks from the progression of coccidiosis, a common and deadly intestinal disease that is spread in fecal matter. Chicks that have received the coccidiosis vaccine should not be fed medicated starter, as the amprolium will render the vaccine useless and the chicks vulnerable to the disease. When purchasing 'vaccinated' chicks, it's important to know which vaccines they received.

I no longer give my baby chicks medicated feed after having learned that it is unnecessary when chicks are being kept in clean, dry conditions with adequate space per bird. When conditions become overcrowded, filthy, wet and warm from traditional heat lamps, coccidiosis can thrive. These types of unhealthy conditions are significantly less likely to occur with pet chickens than they are with commercial poultry operations, for example. Chickens build up a natural immunity to the organisms that cause coccidiosis with or without medicated starter. Allowing chicks to build up an immunity in clean, dry conditions will serve them well when they are ready to head out to the big kid coop.
Brooder clamp lights should have their wing nuts tightened frequently.
Brooder clamp lights should have their wing nuts tightened frequently.
250 watt heat lamp bulb
Heat
A heat lamp with a red, 250 watt bulb is inexpensive and the most commonly used heat source. It is also the most dangerous. Red is preferred to white as red light is less harsh than white, allowing chicks to rest better and is thought to reduce picking.

If using a heat lamp, the brooder should be be kept between 90-95° F for the first week of the chicks' lives. A thermometer located approximately 2-4 inches from the brooder floor will indicate whether the lamp needs to be raised or lowered to achieve the target temperature. Each week after the first, the temperature should be reduced by five degrees. That's what I call "The Formula.*" I do not subscribe strictly to The Formula except in the first week.
The Formula
Week 1= 90-95°
Week 2= 85-90°
Week 3= 80-85°
Week 3= 75-80°
Week 4= 70-75° etc
The Formula is a general guideline, the behavior of chicks is a much better indicator of their true comfort level. Happy chicks are quiet chicks. Content chicks will be dispersed throughout the brooder, happily going about their business. When they are too warm, they may pant and stay far away from the light. When they huddle together or cheep noisily like the one in this video, they are not warm enough. Simply adjust the lamp in either case. Or, better yet, use a safer heat source that will allow them to regulate their own temperature with no risk of ever overheating.
Heat lamp in rabbit hutch brooder.
Baby chicks huddle together and cheep noisily when they are cold.
Cold, unhappy chicks upon arrival home from the feed store.
Baby chicks contemplating a winter trip out of the coop with their mother hen.
I cannot stress enough that the priority in keeping chicks warm should be safety. Heat lamp parts can loosen, chicks can fly and knock into them, lamps can fall, get knocked over and swing into flammable objects; they can also shatter from a single drop of water. If using a heat lamp, secure it in several different ways, anticipating the failure of any one and keep it clear of anything flammable.

This barn fire was caused by heat lamp.
This barn fire was the result of a heat lamp that fell. 
Had someone not discovered it in time, baby chicks, goats and ducks would have perished.
Brinsea Products EcoGlow  Brooder
HEAT LAMP ALTERNATIVES
There are much safer alternatives to heat lamps and  I highly encourage chicken-keepers to consider them. I have written about the potential hazards of heat lamps in my blog post here as well as explored an alternative heat source, the EcoGlo Brooder. I own two EcoGlow brooders and will never again brood chicks with a heat lamp. The EcoGlow is infinitely safer and more energy efficient than a heat lamp and performs more like a mother hen. The chicks spend remarkably little time underneath the EcoGlow after the first few days, which indicates to me that we routinely overheat our chicks with heat lamps, the warmth of which they cannot fully escape.  The EcoGlow must be used in a space with an ambient temperature of 60°F.

THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR AND GUARD AGAINST
Day old chick with spraddle leg, also known as splay leg.
This day old chick hatched with spraddle leg, also known as splayed leg.
Two of the five most common conditions to watch for in baby chicks are spraddle leg and pasty butt. The other three can be found here.

Spraddle leg, also known as splayed leg, is a deformity of the legs, characterized by feet pointing to the side, instead of forward, making walking difficult, if not impossible. The most common cause is slippery brooder flooring. The deformity can be permanent if unaddressed and is easily fixed, I discuss how to fix spraddle leg  here.
Normal chick vent vs belly button.
Normal looking vents like these will not have poop caked on them.
The belly button area beneath vent may have residual umbilical cord attached & should not be pulled or removed.

Pasty Butt also known as pasted vent  is a condition where loose droppings stick to the down surrounding a chick's vent, building up to form a blockage that can be fatal unless removed. Pasty butt can be caused by stress from shipping, being overheated, too cold or from something they have eaten. All chicks should be checked for pasty butt upon arrival. If droppings are caked onto the vent area, they can be loosened with a dip in warm water or a damp washcloth or paper towel and gently removed, being careful not to pull as the skin can tear. After cleaning and drying the vent area, the application of petroleum jelly or triple antibiotic ointment can prevent the droppings from sticking to the down.
Chick with pasty butt or pasted vent
If several chicks develop pasty butt after a few days in the brooder, it may be too hot and the temperature should be adjusted. According to The Chicken Health Handbook, to remedy pasty butt, feed scrambled eggs with some of their starter feed and if it clears things up, switch brands of feed after that. Always provide grit to baby chicks when supplementing their diet with any food other than starter ration. Grit can be sand, a clump of weeds with the root ball/dirt attached or grit that is sold in the feed store near the poultry feed bags and online.
Black Copper Marans chick
Tiny Diva.
Warmth, a clean brooder, fresh water and proper feed is all chicks require to thrive. Enjoy your baby chicks and keep those cameras handy!
Disclaimer, The-Chicken-Chick.com
Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick®

178 comments :

  1. What fabulous information. I am a nervous wreck! I will be keeping my laptop on, this page loaded and sitting right next to my brooder. Thank you. P.S. Do you have a 24 hr Hotline? LOL

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    1. You'll do just fine! They are a joy, truly. Feel free to subscribe to my blog via email so you don't miss anything.

      You are welcome to ask any questions on my Facebook page at any time! You can also email me at service@CustomEggCartonLabels.com but I check my FB page more often than email.
      Enjoy your new babies!!

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  2. After reading this post last week, I did 4 things...1) cleaned their bottoms to get rid of pasty butt. Almost all of them had it and I had NO idea that I should clean it off. 2) I switched to the infrared light 3) I switched to the medicated chick feed. Only after asking if my chicks had been treated prior. 4) I removed the newspaper bedding and replaced it with pine shavings. I REALLY appreciate all your effort. I've learned SO much! THANK YOU!

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    1. I'm so happy to know that this helped you and your chicks, Joei! Thanks for letting me know. :)

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  3. I just got 2 chicks that had pasty butt. Can it also be because they have not drank enough? One did not want to drink, even with a dropper, and died last night. Her bum had been getting better & I thought we were in the clear.

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    1. Molli, I'm very sorry to hear about the little one. As long as you are clearing the pasty butt so that they can't get blocked up, they should be in the clear as far as that condition goes.

      Sometimes the stress from shipping can be too much for chicks who might otherwise have been able to survive without the long, rough ride. Even some hatched at home with no travel involved just don't make it. There's no way of knowing what may have been going on with the one who died, it could have been anything. Just continue to keep an eye on the others for pasting up and make sure it's not too warm in the brooder. If any of them seem weak, you can put some Sav-a-Chick type vitamins and electrolytes in their water to try and give them a boost.

      If you ordered these chicks, you should report the loss to whomever you purchased them through. Keep me posted on the progress of the others and share pics on my Facebook page when you get a chance.

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  4. I have learned so much from Egg Carton Labels by ADozenGirlz and now here is a book that will complete my education. I hope I am selected for the giveaway - the 4 Ednas will be all the better for it! Thanks for the opportunity.

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    1. I agree and what a fun way to learn.

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  5. Love your Blog. So much information. Will be adding you to my Favorites! Thanks much.

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    1. Thanks so much, it's nice to have you with me!

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  6. I love this blog. Oh and BTW nice vent!!!! :swoons:

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  7. I have my coop all built now and just waiting on saving the money to get the chicks and brooder......I had looked at older hens but they are 30 -40 each here for any bbreed and just cant swing that right now
    I have really been learning alot by reading your blog and FB page . I really appreciate you sharing with us . I love all the photos and storieslisabrawner59@gmail.com

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  8. We are a military family that has finally been stationed in a location where we live on a property big enough to allow us to do the things we have wanted to do. Growing a garden and starting a small flock. We decided we want to raise chickens of course for eggs, but also we LOVE animals and want to become more self sufficent, especially in this economy. It is hard at time to make ends meet and growing our own food is a step towards independence that will be invaluable for us and our children.
    Your site is very informative and I look forward to learning so much more.

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  9. i don't just think i want chickens, but know it! our entire family of 5 has committed to making it happen this summer. we've been on two 'field trips' to fellow backyard chicken owner's coops to show the kids what we're getting into and my animal loving 3 year old is elated after getting to hold a chick just last week.

    we are looking at coops and i just finished 'a chicken in every back yard' and enjoyed every page-this particular blog post reiterated much of what i read! your blog and facebook community have been super helpful and enlightening...i'm very thankful for all you share!

    i should mention our top reasons for wanting to add chickens to our otherwise complete family is primarily to keep our refrigerator well stocked with *real* eggs as opposed to the sorry-excuse-for-eggs they sell at the grocery store. bonuses to chickens in our backyard are the great opportunity to teach new responsibility and food awareness to my children first hand. i, personally have been enlighten through social media as to just what great pets hens make & can't wait to watch our future chickens develop their own personalities (and photograph them!)

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    1. I'm sure you'll be a chicken-keeper before too long, Lindey!

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  10. Having chicks would be good for me and my 3post yr old right now. Im looking to find a way to have her learn responsibility and so that she can watch them grow up. She would love to have them and its an amazing way for us to bond. Well hopefully we can get chosen for this.

    I don't have an account but my email is jlheilman08@yahoo.com

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  11. Hopeful Chicken Owner3/17/12, 8:35 PM

    We recently acquired a coop and are in the process of fixing it up -I have also learned quite a bit from the blogs and the FB page! Am currently reading also some books from the library. We live in an area surrounded by commercial poultry farms, and the chicks are only there 6 wks and go to market. We intend to get chicks who will have forever homes and be pets, and eggs would also be quite nice!

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    1. I'm hopeful for you too! They're wonderful pets.

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  12. I have long adored chickens and knew their reputation as dirty, unintelligent creatures was totally wrong. I've ordered my first 10 chicks and a coop, but I ordered BIG so I have room for plenty more!

    Our family is looking forward to fresh eggs and a happy flock of lovely pets.I hope I'm the lucky winner, but even if I'm not, I sure appreciate all the great information I'm getting here!

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    1. Thank you Coco. I know you are going to love your new pets.

      Thank you for joining me here and on Facebook. ☺

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  13. I do already have chickens but I love to have many different breeds. Would still love a Buff Orpington, Polish, Blue Andalusion, Favorelle, Silie, and any breed of bantam would be fun too! I would also love to hatch some of my own eggs and I don't have a brooder....Yet, but I will! :)

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    1. Polish hens are on my 'must get' list this year too, Amy!

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  14. I am planning on starting my first flock this year. I really want 2 RI reds and one easter egger. I have the plans for a brooder but will be putting them together later. So chicks and a brooder would start me off great. I already have a coop being built too, large enough for 3-5 hens! I want to move away from industrial farming as backyard chickens are happier and lay healthier eggs. I also plan on gardening too. My neighbors love the idea as it will be a great learning tool for their children when they come over.

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    1. Good for you! We'd love to see your coop if you'd like to share it on Facebook with us!

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  15. Martha Waugh3/17/12, 10:28 PM

    I would love to win the Chicken Encyclopedia. My husband would really love it too because he's tired of all pages from my chicken research cluttering the coffee table. It's become an obsession really. I didn't want to start a hobby without knowing what I was getting into. What better way to combine all that knowledge than in one book.

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  16. My 7 year old twins attend a parent partnership school under the Public School System here in WA state, and parents are required to volunteer so many hours each month. As our first personal experience raising chicks is going so well, I am thinking how fabulous it would be to host chicks/raise chickens there @ the school (there's a protected, unused area) to teach the kids of all ages (k-12) PLUS, the building is home to under-privileged programs like Head Start, WIC, Birth -3 Development Delay... Think of how cool the exposure for "Schoolyard Chickens" would be! My husband is a Reservist, whom is Activated to a military installation 2.5 hrs away. He's been able to use his carpentry skills and build hen houses/poultry (chick) pens on the weekend with our daughters. A real win win!

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  17. Paula Goulston3/18/12, 1:20 AM

    Hi, I am almost ready for new chicks! I have my "coop-deville" a shed I found on craigslist,some fencing to make a run,just waiting for warmer weather to get it all set up. I would love to win the brooder package and incubate some eggs for my first flock, to experience the little babes from egg stage to laying stage and beyond. Please consider my entry for your contest, it would make my year!!

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  18. I’ve always wanted to keep chickens for egg laying. I grew up a city girl but there’s always been a farm girl inside just waiting to get out. So recently, the opportunity knocked when I approached my husband about the idea and he, too, thought it was a good time to look into the possibility of having our own backyard chicken coop. As I read, researched, and talked to friends, I was lucky enough to have one good friend direct me to your facebook site. It’s filled with an amazing amount of insight and direction! I began to keep checklists and save valuable information. I first started this desire because I thought how nice and healthy it would be for my family to have fresh eggs from my own chickens, but now, after all the research and preparation I’ve done, it even means so much more to me!

    First, I’ve developed a much healthier compassion for the animal which, by the way, I’ve always thought I naturally had; however, reading and watching educational videos such as the one about the little chicks encouraging the one with spraddle legs to eat, and learning how the hens love to nest with each other and understanding their socialization habits, etc. has reinforced my compassion for these wonderful animals that are often taken for granted. The greater understanding of these things have prepared me not just for a sweet little animal that can fulfill my needs, but for a loving and compassionate animal that deserves it in return.

    Second, it means developing a keen eye and willing heart for care, prevention and safety. For example, I’ve always known to keep the chickens safe from predators; however, your site has really given me an understanding in clear, easy-to-follow instructions to get from “knowing” to “how” to build proper coops with appropriate materials that will decrease the chances of heartbreaking incidences and create a secure environment for my chickens. When armed with information like this from the start, for me it means the difference between fueling a sincere compassion as opposed to trying something new that may or may not work out in the end.

    Just as important as everything else, it also means investing in quality products from feed, to hatcheries, to brooders, to coops, to breeders and everything in between. To me, a quality product is something that you invest in that will give you an advantage in your desired goal to raise and enjoy owning happy, healthy chickens. I believe that the more willing you are to listen to the experts in the industry and take advantage of their products from the start, the more productive, successful and confident you will be in the care of your chickens.

    And I certainly cannot leave out the importance and comradery of friends with like-minded endeavors! Staying in touch and trading advice with friends and supporting sites like Egg Carton Labels by ADozenGirlz is so important and healthy for me! It seems so cliche’ but it’s so true! I don’t mind being the nerdy classmate who sits in the front row when so much help has freely come my way. I recognize that the help is there, you’ve just got to be bold enough to accept it and appreciate it.

    It took an out-loud announcement a couple of months ago to realize that my family members are 100% in support of this decision and are very excited to welcome our first little brood. Some people may think, “Awww, no big deal... it’s just some chickens,” but not to me. At least, not anymore....ever gain.

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  19. I am totally in to sustainability - gardening, canning, buying stuff that's reusable, etc. My mom and one of my closest friends have chickens, but I've never quite branched out on having my own - this would be a great starter!

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  20. We had chicks years ago and am REALLY thinking I should do it again ! Love your facebook page and the contests that you offer. Thank you for your insightful help !!

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  21. We currently have 3 RIRs, 1 Dominque, 3 Marans, 2 EGGers and 2 OEggers and want to add more hens that are very friendly and lay large brown eggs. Partial to more Dominques. They are so sweet.

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  22. I would love to win the Brooder and chicks! I have a few hens but I've never had any chicks and would love to get some this spring for my kids to watch grow! Thanks for the chance to win!
    Lacey
    Lacer02 @ hotmail.com

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  23. *Technically* I don't have chickens yet, so I'm submitting my chance to win here! I am getting chicks on 4/20. I would LOVE to win the brooder and more chicks though!!!

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  24. Trisha Benjamin3/19/12, 10:02 AM

    I would LOVE to win the chickens! I just moved to a small "Farm" (still getting it going) and do not have any little chickens running around yet. Animals are my therapy, they help me forget about my disability! Thank You!

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  25. I live downtown on a really small lot and have a little flock of 5 silkies that are my babies. Last week, we just signed a contract on a home on over 3 acres. So, if I was lucky enough to win, I could get a rainbow flock with one of everything....

    Kim

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  26. We do not have chicks yet, but I am itching to get some! Last year my 4 year old daughter said she wanted a real chicken for her birthday. Her birthday was last week on the 14th, so I am hoping to get some soon. We live on 4 acres and have a ton of room for them to roam while we are outside with them. I am also excited to build a coop with my husband and to get my 2 older kids involved too. They love animals and would be great little helpers.

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  27. I would love to win the brooder kit, we are trying to become self-sufficient, and would love to teach a class on home-steading to home-schoolers next fall

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  28. Girlfriend, I was probably your FIRST pinterest follower! BTW...are you following MY "For me & my Peeps" board?
    Suzi Fire

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  29. :-) Already a follower on Pinterest AND your blog, AND your facebook! <3 your stuff & lots of good info!

    This year we added 18 new chicks (13 breeds), and 6 ducks (3 breeds) to our flock. A smorgasbord of breeds to see what type we like.

    We added a Yokohama, 2 Cochins, a Brahma, an Orphington, 1 Kraienkoppe, a Wyandotte, 1 Polish, 2 Silkies, a Columbian Rock Cross, 2 Javas, A frizzle (which didn't frizzle, so she's a Bantam Cochin), 1 Buttercup, and a Spitzhauben. Add to that 2 Buff Orphington ducks, 2 Magpies, and 2 Rouens, and I'm babied out for this year! :-)

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  30. Most recently, I walked into our local feed store (my neighbor wanted more chicks:)) I wasn't going to get any but they had the most adorable Black Copper Marans. They were number one on my chick want list! I told the guy working there that and he gave me one for free. I am so excited!! My nine year old has been carrying her around for two days. I am in love!!

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    1. Gotta love a feed store enabler! Congratulations on your new baby. :)

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  31. we added some silver sea-brights today!!!!

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    1. Lucky you!! I'll be waiting for pics on Facebook!!

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  32. I already follow you on Pinterest.:)

    Our newest addition was a cute little chick from the local co-op. He was in the Bantam pen. I believe he is a White Cochin...but time will tell.

    GREAT blog topic!!! Timely:)

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    1. Thanks Christina and congratulations on your new banty baby!

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  33. I don't have a pinterest account or I'd definitely follow you there love your blog :) I just added 5 gold sex links and a minorca today :) fld20@yahoo.com

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    1. Aw, thanks Fallon. And congratulations on your new babies!!

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    2. Fallon, congratulations! You have won the "Chicks Happen" keychain!! Please send me your mailing address: service@CustomEggCartonLabels.com with "chix keychain" in the subject line.

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    3. Oh cool THANKS :) !!!!

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  34. I'm already a follower on Pinterest.
    I recently got my first chicks. Wyandotte, Cochin, Polish, Welsumer, and 2 Easter Eggers.
    They're the sweetest things!

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    1. Congratulations on your first chicks, Julia!! I hope you're enjoying them. :)

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  35. That was a good article. I had forgotten a couple of things you mentioned. Thanks. Linda Merrell

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  36. My first ever hatch is due on Tuesday. I already have my brooder set up just in case they come early. I did lay down some pine shavings already with paper towels on top of them. Do you think it will be too "soft." for them to walk on?

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    1. Paper towels on top of pine shavings will be fine. Best of luck with your first hatch!!

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  37. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  38. Kimberly Nelson1/1/13, 9:34 PM

    Awesome article. I have several dozen hatching eggs coming in February. I am very wxcited. I am jumping in with both feet!!!

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  39. Love this!!! We just had our first hatch. My husband raised birds in his youth and had his opinions which I checked daily here on the Chicken Chick. My ideas worked because, as you say, its like having your first baby and reading all the books (before computers LOL) and all the hatchlings (day eight today) are just awesome!!!! Mosh Pit chicks!!!!

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  40. TheChickenChick1/1/13, 11:27 PM

    Congratulations Melissa! So exciting. Do yourself a GINORMOUS favor and pull the trigger on an EcoGlow if you can swing the $60. It's worth every single penny not to have to worry about your house/coop/brooder burning down AND provides peace of mind knowing that the chicks are just as warm or as cool as they feel they need to be. Cannot possibly recommend it any higher, particularly if you are going to ever hatch again.
    You can get a 10% discount off any order at Brinsea.com if you use the coupon code: ADozenGirlz (cap sensitive) I'm not on commission and I don't get anything from offering the coupon to you, btw.
    Enjoy your new babies!!

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  41. TheChickenChick1/1/13, 11:28 PM

    Good for you, Kimberly!! I just said this to another person and it bears repeating to you:
    Do yourself a GINORMOUS favor and pull the trigger on an EcoGlow if you can swing the $60. It's worth every single penny not to have to worry about your house/coop/brooder burning down AND provides peace of mind knowing that the chicks are just as warm or as cool as they feel they need to be. Cannot possibly recommend it any higher, particularly if you are going to ever hatch again.
    You can get a 10% discount off any order at Brinsea.com if you use the coupon code: ADozenGirlz (cap sensitive) I'm not on commission and I don't get anything from offering the coupon to you, btw.

    Enjoy your new family members in February!!

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  42. Debbie Bosworth1/5/13, 2:30 PM

    Perfect post for those just starting out Kathy. Thank you for sharing this... great photos as well...! 

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  43. I am excited to be hatching polish chickies if all goes well. I am also hoping to hatch some Ancona ducks.  Thanks for the information.  It is good to have a plan ready for if something goes wrong.

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  44. TheChickenChick1/8/13, 11:45 PM

    Thank you Debbie! ♥

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  45. Thanks ... that answers my questions.

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  46. Debbie I am so confused about something.  My hen Lucy Loo will be hatching in a few days.  She is in a coop with 3 other hens and 4 roosters.  I'm worried about there safety and the cold weather.  Should I leave them alone with her in the coop ( which by the way is a coop that I can get in but not stand) remove both the hen and chicks to their own little coop environment or remove the chicks to a brooder in a controlled environment. Please tell me what is best for them and Lucy.  Thanks!

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  47. KelticKreek5/15/13, 9:12 PM

    Very helpful, thanks

    www.homestead-u.blogspot.ca

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  48. do you know about duck eggs? becauae i have a few questions

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  49. my chicks wont get use to me and keeps on runnin away?!?
    my other ones use to go on my shoulder and sleep on our laps
    how do i train them like that again?

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  50. how do u get chickens not to pick ur hands?

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  51. we got 100 chickens i mean my uncle bought 100 chickens and three died next day from three of them one died very sadly and it was like that the bird cannot move at all and suddenly opens its eye and close s her eyes and then my chicken died:(

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  52. They have a nicely done storage which keeps them warm. You are doing the right way here. Southwest Mobile Storage

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  53. Ferne McAllister11/23/13, 6:44 AM

    Help! I have 4 chicks 3 wks old, 2 barred and 2 B Orps. Problem. Where to put them for winter in CT - it's going to get frigid . I just put them in little coop but afriad they'll freeze. Had them in warm basement, brooder box but they're outgrowing. They're too small for big coop 4x6 with 6 banties. I have small coop but it's not heatable,and I'm afraid they'll freeze since walls are not thick. Best option to bring them back to basement and be crowded? Put them in small coop and hope they don't freeze? Knit them sweaters? Help!

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  54. TheChickenChick11/24/13, 11:09 PM

    Make them a bigger brooder in the basement. The will die outside.

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  55. Ferne McAllister11/25/13, 6:07 PM

    Thank you - will get on it! DH will be so happy - another chicken project!  You've helped in a million ways.  Love the poop boards - whoever thought I'd be so thrilled with poop boards for under the roosts!

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  56. TheChickenChick11/25/13, 7:42 PM

    LOL! Don't tell him I had anything to do with his Honey-do List getting longer! :)

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  57. Karen Mundi2/4/14, 9:25 PM

    I just got the egoglow20 for first time are u suppose to be able to feel the heat?

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  58. I don't have any chickens at this time, and we are not getting any, but I just had to stop by to say that you provide the great info about chickens and they are all so beautiful. You certainly have a special way of photographing them. Awesome.
    Bev

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  59. TheChickenChick2/10/14, 12:49 AM

    Thank you, Beverly. That is so nice of you to say. ♥

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  60. Are regular poultry nipples OK for baby chicks or do you need the brooder bottle cap?

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  61. They carry a superior product from premier1supplies.com for half the price, and free shipping over $100. I made the mistake of ordering from Brinsea first, but luckily cancelled my order before it shipped. I'm sure it's a good product, but even with 10% off, that's a lot of money for a little plastic.

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  62. I got 3 chicks who are now 4 weeks old. One of them started limping then hopping and I've been treating her foot, then I found a circular indention in her upper leg like something was around her leg and she grew into it. I cut the bands around her lower leg when I got her. The cut is too deep now to retrieve whatever is there and now another chick is starting to limp and has the same cut around her upper leg. What happened and how can I fix it?

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  63. newtoallthis2/24/14, 10:52 PM

    Ok so I really need help! I am new to all this though I raised many birds growing up as my dad was a breeder but never of chickens! =) Both my 14 day old silkies had pasty butt at 6 days old. Both were cleaned and one was fine the next day with no issues since. Second no longer had pasty butt but had what I believe to be a prolasped vent. It was HUGE! I cleaned her with a 50/50 solution of peroxide and applied baby orajel to numb the pain and prep H 2x a day for 2 days and nothing happened! That night I applied orajel and sugar to help with issue (meanwhile chick was happy, eating, drinking, pooing and actually the bully of the bunch with LOTS of eye pecking on everyone)! 12 hrs after the suger swelling was reduced by more then 50% but still 6 days later it's the same. Not worse or better and bottom is still pulsating and purtruded! (& featherless since she plucked everything clean trying to eliminante the sugar!) Today I picked up on what might be an impacted crop. Been messaging her all day and gave her ACV in water and 2 drops of olive oil twice in food. I'm thinking her digestive tract is sensitive and the medicated chick starter was too hard for this weak one and caused constipation which caused the prolaspe which is now causing the impacted crop!? Am I right? Yesturday I started mixing her feed with electrolites and yoagrt and she started scarffing as if she hadn't eaten for 2 or 3 days. She still poops awesome and is chirping up a storm, eats and drinks but sleeps Alot compared to others her age in brooder next door to hers. Today after her crop message she started being awake more like the others and preening herself alot like she is better but crop is still hard and full. My 2 week old baby has had it rough for the last 8 days and I'm worried the little fighter she is will wear herself out due to my negligence... I need help! I read your post about vent slings but that's for adult hens??? & how ling till crop empties when you do it right? Please Help if you have the time! If not I understand and THANK YOU so much for site! I have read it SO MUCH in the last 3 weeks and learned alot!!! Your one of the few sites that is truely a blessing! Full of wisdom and I love the more natural approach versus the other!!! THANK YOU!!! (please excue spelling errors I'm terrible!)

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  64. TheChickenChick2/25/14, 10:44 AM

    If the indentation is from a leg band that grew into her leg, the damage is permanent. Sad. :(

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  65. When I spoke with the owner where I got the chicks, she said that they only had one band close to the feet which I cut off. It's interesting that both chicks have the same injury on the same leg. Is there anything I can do to get rid of the infection/swelling and close up the indentation or is it a lost cause?

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  66. TheChickenChick2/26/14, 12:11 AM

    If it's infected, I'd consult a vet STAT. There's nothing that can be done about the disfigurement. :(

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  67. TheChickenChick2/26/14, 12:15 AM

    You're lucky the Orajel didn't give her a heart attack. Products with numbing agents can cause cardiac arrest in birds.

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  68. Thank you for your help.

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  69. ChickPictures3/2/14, 9:16 PM

    What is the best age to photograph baby chicks?

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  70. TheChickenChick3/2/14, 9:21 PM

    There's no best age.

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  71. Melissa Rose West3/3/14, 12:16 PM

    I just got a lavender orp chick. Hatched Saturday 3/1/2014. The umbilical cord is very large. Size of a pea? It's not bleeding, but I've watched it eat and drink. However I have not seen it use the bathroom, no sign of there being any bms either. Not much I can do? But wondered if there was any other experience as to if it has a chance to make it. I think if not it will be running out of time soon. Just want to know what to expect

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  72. I have 3 sebright chicks all 5 days old one of them got a pasty butt and also get a pine shaving attached to its body (not on the butt exactly) please tell me how should I removed that and what should I apply on its butt for releif.
    Thanks

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  73. Anita Miller3/5/14, 5:00 PM

    I wasn't planning on buying any chicks until the ones I ordered had arrived. I was browsing at TSC and low and behold, I came home with 9 chicks! Yesterday, my chicks had arrived and this morning I always go in and tell the girls good morning. I found one of my chicks that had arrived yesterday, dead :( I was so heartbroken. I'm not sure how she died. She seemed fine yesterday. I'm thinking stress from the shipment??

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  74. TheChickenChick3/6/14, 10:48 PM

    This is how to clean her up: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2014/03/pasty-butt-in-chicks-causestreatment.html

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  75. TheChickenChick3/6/14, 10:48 PM

    Sorry to hear it. :(

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  76. My 16 babies arrive in only 12 days... My first ever! So egg-cited,

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  77. I plan on using a poultry nipple waterer for my mail orderer chicks. Do I need to also have a traditional waterer to dip the beak in for the first day or is there some way to get them to use the nipple right away?

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  78. TheChickenChick3/7/14, 8:32 PM

    No, you do not need a traditional waterer. IF they don't discover it right away, you can tap their beak on the pin, that's usually enough for them to realize water comes from the bottle and then they teach each other how to use it.

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  79. This will be my first time raising chickens. I read several books, but still felt...ill-prepared. After coming across your site I feel like I can do this! Thank you so much for all the great information!! I'm so excited for my chicks to get here!!!

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  80. Rachael Schindeldecker3/10/14, 6:47 PM

    Our coop is 8x15 but due to limited space inside our home I plan on ordering only 10 chicks to start. Once they are able to be out in the coop can I order more chicks? We are concerned about whether everyone will get along. I am not sure if staggering chick orders is ok to do?

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  81. I agree with Katie. Thanks so much @TheChickenChick!!

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  82. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 7:36 PM

    It is okay to do, you'll just need to introduce them properly in order to promote flock harmony. Here's how I do it: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/06/integrating-new-flock-members-playpen.html

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  83. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 9:24 PM

    Some chicks are not fit to make it due to some congenital defect or the stress travel through the mail puts on them. If you have vitamins and electrolytes you can add to her water, that'd be fine. Otherwise, you're doing everything you can for her already.

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  84. Rachael Schindeldecker3/17/14, 12:22 PM

    Thank you for the great information. We have a 2nd run planned next to the main run for introductions.

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  85. Renee Walls Scharning3/27/14, 8:58 PM

    I just brought home a baby and notice she has curled toes, almost a club foot. she is 5 wks old. is this too late to start treatment?

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  86. TheChickenChick3/27/14, 10:16 PM

    It may be, but it can't hurt to try.

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  87. i think my baby chick is dying.. it keeps hanging its head real low and it ios breathing heavily.. i dont know what to do.. it has water and food and i have been giving it water myself to be sure it is getting enough but it is still not helping.. I NEED A REPLY FAST!! PLEASE HELP!!

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  88. I'm concerned about a new chick, and all of my searches on your site & the web-at-large keep pulling up adult hens, not chicks. I'm hoping you can help. They were shipped via air, arrived Thursday, 3/27. All chicks seemed fine. Yesterday, 3/28, all seemed fine. 3/29, a.m., we noticed one Polish tophat was sitting often. Since she seemed to have no problem getting up often, drinking & eating, I wasn't worried. Now it is evening, and she is sitting almost all the time. Legs do not seem spraddled to me. She just folds them under her. Other than that she seems alert enough. Looks around, picks at her feathers, gets up and moves a few steps, sits down again. When she walks, she seems wobbly. Could this be the beginning of spraddle leg, or something else, do you think?

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  89. TheChickenChick4/1/14, 12:34 AM

    No, it's not spraddle leg.

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  90. Hi. I had my first brood hatch last weekend. Ons brahma chick has a problem standing, initially with both legs slightly turned out, almost like a mild case of straddle leg. I put a hobble on it for three days and it now stands fine on one leg, however it holds the other out to the side putting no weight on the foot or rests on the hock. Can you advise me what to do, please? Thanks. Jon

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  91. TheChickenChick4/8/14, 9:05 PM

    I'm not sure what effect that amount of feed will have on the vaccine.

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  92. Did you ever find out what was wrong? We have a chick with similar symptoms.

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  93. My Brinsea EcoGlow brooder just arrived (thanks to your suggestion), and I have heard that the top gets covered with chick poo. Do you cover the top with Contact paper, or is it easily cleaned when the chicks are done with it? Thank you in advance for any advice. :)

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  94. I have raised chicks for the past ten years recently I decided to try geese,I only got one to start with being I wanted him to be very tame,I put a older silkie chick as a companion and they love each other,however the goslin will run his bill across the silkies tail feathers I know your a chick expert can you tell me how to keep a goose from becoming a pain in my silkies tail feathers?

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  95. TheChickenChick4/16/14, 1:15 AM

    I do cover it with Contact paper. It is MUCH easier to clean when they are through with it. Trust me. :D

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  96. Great, thank you! I have it covered, and there are now 10 guinea keets snuggled underneath. :)

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  97. Hi, quick question. I acquired a 1.5 week old chick from the co-op today and she appears to have a foot issue. It is like it doesn't extend down all the way and she just holds it up as if she is just standing on one leg. Is this something that can be splinted and fixed or just a deformity that we'll have to do the best we can with? Any ideas?

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  98. My mama hen hatched her chick's today -yay! They are going to a new home - when should I/can I separate them? Thank you!

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  99. IS A TESTIMONY, I NEVER BELIEVED IN LOVE SPELLS UNTIL I MET THIS SPELL CASTER CALLED DR UNITY. HE IS REALLY POWERFUL AND COULD HELP CAST SPELLS TO BRING BACK ONE'S GONE,LOST,MISBEHAVING LOVER AND MAGIC MONEY SPELL OR SPELL FOR A GOOD JOB.I'M NOW HAPPY & A LIVING TESTIMONY COS THE WOMAN I HAD WANTED TO MARRY LEFT ME 3 WEEKS BEFORE OUR WEDDING AND MY LIFE WAS UPSIDE DOWN COS OUR RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ON FOR 3YEARS... I REALLY LOVED HER, BUT HER MOTHER WAS AGAINST US AND I HAD NO GOOD PAYING JOB. SO WHEN I MET THIS SPELL CASTER, I TOLD HIM WHAT HAPPENED AND EXPLAINED THE SITUATION OF THINGS TO HIM..AT FIRST I WAS UNDECIDED,SKEPTICAL AND DOUBTFUL, BUT I JUST GAVE IT A TRY. AND IN 48HOURS WHEN I WAS IN MY HOUSE IN USA,SHE CALLED ME BY HERSELF AND CAME TO ME, APOLOGIZING THAT EVERYTHING HAD BEEN SETTLED WITH HER MOM AND FAMILY AND SHE GOT A NEW JOB INTERVIEW SO WE SHOULD GET MARRIED..I DIDN'T BELIEVE IT COS THE SPELL CASTER ONLY ASKED FOR MY NAME AND MY GIRLFRIENDS NAME AND ALL I WANTED HIM TO DO... WELL WE ARE HAPPILY MARRIED NOW AND WE ARE EXPECTING OUR LITTLE KID,AND MY WIFE ALSO GOT THE NEW JOB AND OUR LIVES BECAME MUCH BETTER. IN CASE ANYONE NEEDS THE SPELL CASTER FOR SOME HELP, HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS;unitylovetemple@gmail.com THANKS DR UNITY FOR YOUR GOOD WORK. ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS unitylovetemple@gmail.com

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  100. We are very, very new with chicks and we brought home 12 chicks on Tues. 4/22 from a local farm store. One of them had Pasty Butt so according to what we read, we tried washing it off with a warm washcloth, but it was really hard so we put the chick's butt under the faucet and took it off. We then put petroleum jelly on it. He wouldn't stand up for a while, but have watched him over the last few days and I've seen her poop today. Now we noticed that there are 2-3 other chicks who seem to have the same problem. I'm wondered that we will make them traumatized and won't recover. Anything else we can do or is this normal? The first one is a black sex link and the other two are Plymouth Rock chicks. The Plymouth rock chicks seem happy and not having a problem with their butts. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  101. TheChickenChick4/24/14, 10:39 PM

    This should help, Sharon: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2014/03/pasty-butt-in-chicks-causestreatment.html

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  102. hey, my baby chick can not poop, tries to poop but can not, belly is too big in owl shape.. and walk on knees i think she can not carry its weight.. tried belly massage nothing came out..

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  103. Ferne McAllister4/28/14, 9:01 AM

    Got new chicks 4/14/14 from Agway. Noticed after bringing them home, they were all lively, but had watery poop straight from the store since watery poop found in transport box which was never used previously. Called Agway, no other complaints from anybody. Still wet poop. Giving them a little yogurt daily now, a little garlic in water. Have not been exposed to my other chickens who also have watery poop - another story there. All act fine, but it bugs me because no other baby chicks I've had have done this. They've been on medicated chick feed from the start. Nipple waterer. Clean brooder box twice a day. Still keeping them on paper towels so I can see if any progress on poop. Any suggestions?

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  104. Ferne McAllister4/28/14, 9:02 AM

    meant to add, none have had pasty butt...

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  105. Bunny DiMiceli4/28/14, 10:33 AM

    Hi there I have a 3 wk old chick and she keeps walking around with her eyes closed. They are not crusty , have no goop . She seems to be eating fine etc. I notice ea day sheseems to close them more ..she can open them just likes to walk around and keep closed. What can I do or is she just super sleepy while shes growing?

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  106. Shannon Rowland4/28/14, 11:45 AM

    I was given some baby chicks. They were yellow when I got them, now they are turning white. What breed of chick is this? And also how do I tell which ones are gonna be hens and which are roosters?

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  107. Kathy,
    Thanks so much for the informative material. I am new at this chicken thing and I read every word and I do think I will be refering to this post often. I liked the detail and the pictures too. Very helpful. Thanks again.

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  108. one of my little chick has his beech(the thing on his neck that hods the food) cut and is injured i put some medicine for cuts that cures and stiches it up. the thing is that i want to know if he will survive?

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  109. Natalynn Smith Larsson5/1/14, 9:57 PM

    I have 3 3 week old Americanas one is holding her beak open she seems fine. Eating and drinking and running to me when I open her cage. Do I have her too hot or is there something wrong with her I'm a first time chicken momma

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  110. That is not a normal behavior. Can you call a vet?

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  111. Thank you Kathy, I picked up my new chickens today and already have lost two and expect to lose another one tomorrow. I'm pretty sure it was stress and cold from being transported. I noticed one had poop on it's butt and thanks to you I now know what to do. Just a question on the Eco Glo Brooder, do the chicks tend to huddle underneath it and how many chicks will one serve?

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  112. Kathy,
    I have never had chickens before....my daughter has joined the 4-H and now we have two baby chicks, they are now 3 weeks old. One of them has an eye that is partially closed and wet around the outside, and showed signs of pus yesterday. I have been searching online for any issues that I could find (I read about a possible eye worm infection and using VetRx). I don't know what to do to help her. She seems fine and continues to eat and drink.
    Thanks,
    T

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  113. If you can't find a vet, call your state agriculture extension service- that's what they're there for.

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  114. There is an EcoGlow 20 and a 50- they each service the number of chicks their names imply.

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  115. Cady Conklin5/5/14, 10:39 PM

    I have a question re: the nipple watering system. My older chickens use nipple waterer with great success. I have chicks now that are two weeks old. They are doing great, but their water gets very dirty quickly requiring water changes several times a day. I've put a nipple waterer in their enclosure which they are curious about and appear to drink from. But I'm new to the raising of chickens. So I wanted to give them a chance to drink from the traditional waterer periodically. Each time I put the water in, they race to it and drink ravenously! Are they getting enough water from the nipple system? Are they too young for it? Or am I just a "nervous Nellie?"

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  116. Robert Baumgartner5/5/14, 10:57 PM

    I'm very new to the chicken world. I just got 6 1-3 week old chicks on saturday 5/3/14 they are doing great. But I want to add 4 more to my flock. Is there anything I need to do to prepare the six I have for this

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  117. They are not too young for it. Rushing to the other source of water is not a sign that they are not getting enough to drink from the nipple waterers. I can have several waterers in the run of any variety, but as soon as I let my chickens out of the run they will high tail it to the nearest mud puddle. That's just what they do.

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  118. Cady Conklin5/7/14, 6:38 AM

    Thanks so much for your reply! I raised the level of the nipple a bit and they went on it like gang-busters. Looking very good over here. Thanks again!

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  119. I have two chicks only a few days old and they keep on fighting. One is pretty much dead and the other is thriving. How do I stop them fighting?

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  120. That's great! You're welcome, Cady!

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  121. Samantha Schuster5/9/14, 9:25 AM

    Good morning Chicken Chick! Quick question - after the first few days when you use puppy pads and paper towels, when you place your shavings (or sand in your case), do you still put puppy pads down under the bedding? I have been doing it, and it worked well for cleaning, but these little girls are starting to scratch around on the bedding like crazy and the puppy pad is starting to get a little torn up - just wondering what you normally do. Happy Friday!!

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  122. I do and at some point, mine tear the puppy pads too. That's usually about time to transition them to the next step. :)

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  123. First, make sure they have LOTS of space. Then try this: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/04/how-to-reform-brooder-bully.html

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  124. Ashley Chandler5/10/14, 1:32 AM

    I have a question about chick grit. I got some at a ranch store. My chicks are going to be two weeks old Sunday and I wanted to try giving them something other than just there feed. I have read a lot of books and blogs but can't find a solid answer. How much grit do you give them? How do you give it to them, in a separate dish or mixed with there food? Also once you give them grit do you have to always continue to give it to them or just when giving them treats? Thanks for the help

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  125. If your chickens do not have access to the earth to pick up their own sand/dirt/pebbles/grit, then you can provide it in a separate dish and they will take what they need. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/11/feeding-chickens-at-different-ages.html

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  126. My baby chickens are losing their belly feathers. Any thoughts as to why

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  127. My baby chickens are losingntheirnbelly feathers. Any thought on why this might occur

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  128. Jamie Wilkerson5/12/14, 5:14 PM

    With fear of sounding absolutely ignorant, I have a question...
    I received my first batch ever of mail order chicks this morning from the post office. The building was freezing and on of my little ones didn't make it. Because of the loss of one, I'm panicked about losing more! The chicks seem fine one minute, but the next, they're laying down, acting lethargic and seem to be sleeping, sometimes with their mouths open. If I give them a gentle little rub, they do jump right up wanting to see the world, but it's making me a bit nervous as it seems to be the same ones "laying down" each time. Dehydration? Too hot? Too cold? Or is this completely normal and they're just recovering from their long stressful ride? Any advice and input is appreciated more than you know! :)

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  129. How old are they, Rod? It could be a juvenile molt. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/12/molting-what-is-it-and-how-to-manage-it.html

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  130. They are about 2 weeks old

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  131. Let them rest. Chicks should have periods of activity followed by crashing and sleeping.

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  132. when do you suggest adding Apple Cider Vinegar to the water? and how much? I just received my four chicks this morning from MPC!

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  133. Need help or a link to information. We found one of our Banty hens laying on 13 eggs way up high in our horse hay. We have put 'sides' on the bale to prevent them from falling to their untimely deaths. We think that 2 have hatched (11 more). Help! I have no idea what to do.....

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  134. After dark, go up there and get the hen, remove her to a safe area and then bring the chicks to her.

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  135. I'm concerned about one of my chicks. Some eggshell is still attached to its vent from hatching. It is a relatively large piece. The chick is lethargic and shows relatively little movement. Should I treat this the same as pasty butt?

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  136. My.chick.is 1 of 9 and he is a but smaller but he's very alert and had some water but just can't extend his legs so he can't stand. We put him under his.mom and the rest of the chicks . What can I do?

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  137. I have a question about one of my 5 week old Buff Brahma chicks, I believe she is starting to develop Angel wing, is there anything I can do to help this?

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  138. Hello. I am very new to this. We just got six baby chicks. They are on week 2 now and doing very well in their brooder. Three of them love me and will let me hold them and the other three run from me and when I try to hold them the flap their wings and make alot of noise. I sit with them every day, 2-3 times a day. I just love them. I would sit with them all day if I didnt have to go to work. all 6 of them love to eat out of my hand. Infact they fight over space trying to eat from my hand. They are all friendly, just three of them dont want me to pick them up. They will sit in my hand and eat from me just as long as I dont pick them up. Is this normal? Should I be worried that three of them will not let me hold them? Should I be doing anyting different? I have read that you should be firm with them and make them let you hold them, but I am affraid if I do that they will not even want to come near me at all. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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  139. Chickens do not ordinarily develop that condition- it is generally a problem in waterfowl that are fed food intended for people and there is no cure for it.

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  140. So I just purchased 4 silkies, 2 of which are a couple days old... One is acting healthy and is eating but the other one is acting weak and lethargic. He was drinking a little bit but I haven't seen him eat for a while. I noticed his brooder buddy was picking on him so they have been separated, but haven't improved.. Any advice? I'm really hoping he pulls through! Thx

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  141. doris carter6/21/14, 8:44 PM

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  142. WOW!! Thats all i can really say! Mama Alisha Lura cast a fertility spell for me a few months back and i ask her to recast it a couple of months ago, well today i found out that i am pregnant i am so sucked, could be happier, Mama Lura could you please cast the protection spell for my little blessing now so that he/she is protected 100% to anyone who is reading this, Mama Alisha Lura, she is so very supportive and has helped not only me but so many others, i cannot express how wonderful a person she is and i believed without her fertility spell i would have never gotten pregnant, her positivity and her serenity make the ttc journey a lot less harder when you know that someone like Mama Alisha Lura is helping. Again i am so very grateful to you, Mama Alisha Alura, this baby is truly a blessing. i will be waiting in anticipation for the protraction spell to be cast so that i know my baby will be protracted and healthy while he?she is growing inside me as well as when he/she is born. Thank you again Mama Alisha Lura you are truly the best. You can contact her to for help on getyourexbacksolutionspell@gmail.com or visit her website on http://weeblyalishaluraspell.weebly.com/available-spells.html

    ReplyDelete
  143. Louise Dicken7/14/14, 6:07 PM

    Hi just got 2 abandoned chicks, one very noisy and jumping in cage about 6 days old other about 2 days old and nursing on warm bottle is this as good as lamp?

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  144. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your site... Just got our first chicks ever and you have made my life immeasurably easier! I made my own PNW out of a 3L Poland Spring bottle, am about to add a droppings board to our coop, and have sand on order as well. Two quick questions: Do you block off the nesting boxes until they begin to lay eggs? Also, do you just keep sand in the nesting boxes as well, or do you add straw/pine shavings? Many thanks again!

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  145. Scott Harry7/24/14, 6:30 PM

    I was married for 4years with out any child,because of this my husband
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    ReplyDelete
  146. Hiya i'm looking after this 2 day old chick but I'm concerned, all it seems to do is sleep 24/7 and it doesn't know how to eat or drink?

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  147. Should I touch my 11 day old baby chicks?

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  148. That's not normal, Sharni. It will die without food and water. If it's not your bird, you should contact the owner and discuss the plan of action STAT.

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  149. Well, I just received my first chicks since becoming a chicken-keeper last summer. Boy, are those little things the cutest or what?? Thank you for all the helpful information. If you could elaborate on something for me: I have our chicks in our garage with the heat lamp/brooder, etc. It's summertime and the temp is in the 80's. How many weeks do chicks need heat? Your gauge showed 4 weeks. What is the determination as to when to take them off? And how long do they need to stay indoors? Thanks for your help, expertise, and love for all things chicken!!! :)

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  150. I would turn the light off during the day after they are a week old and see how they act. If they huddle together, they're cold. At eighty degrees, they shouldn't need heat after the first week during the day. Pay more attention to their behavior than "The Formula."

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  151. hello i have two chicks one 7 days old and the other one 6 days old .the 7 day old chick was sick and we later found out she was cold ,so we brought a red light and found a way to start feeding her and let her drink water .the 6 day old is very sick, wont eat, and wont open her eyes. WHAT SHOULD I DO ?

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  152. my baby chick wont eat or drink all she does is sleep and shes 6 days old. WHAT SHOULD I DO ?

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  153. Definitely need one before we get more chicks. Heat lamps make me a nervous wreck

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  154. Debbie Dromggole9/14/14, 4:08 PM

    Never used one but would love to try it with my new chicks.

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