Hatching/Brooding chicksgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have about 47 eggs due to hatch friday 1/18. I bought one of those big plastic "blanket" holders, a brooding light, and a water dish(with the bottle attached). Is there anything special I should put in the bottom to keep the babies from slipping around. I read wood shavings or newspaper, is one better than the other? Should I sprinkle their starter food on the floor or should I put it in a dish. Thank you for your help. Oh one more question, should I use a red heat light in the brooder or is a white light ok?
-- James Hill (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 16, 2002
I put paper towels in the botton of mine,newspaper is to slippery and will mess up their legs. Daryll http://www.webspawner.com/users/twincreekfarm/
-- Daryll in NW FLA (email@example.com), January 16, 2002.
I put a little honey in the water for the first few days and make sure the water dish won't let them fallen into it.
-- BC (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 16, 2002.
Hi James! Sounds like you are having fun! Everyone has their own favorite way to brood baby chicks. I like to use newspaper, just because it is handier for me. I have had no problems with it. You can sprinkle some food on the floor for them, I use a shallow dish and they scratch it all over the place anyway. They can get pretty messy! I use a red light, but I have used a white one before. The red lights are supposed to be easier on their eyes. Make sure they can get away from the light if they need to. When I have them in a small box, I keep part of my box shaded with a piece of cardboard (watch out for the heat from the light) sometimes they like to get under this. When I use a kids wading pool for a brooder, they have more room to get away from the heat if they need to. Hope this helps! Good Luck!
-- cowgirlone in OK (email@example.com), January 16, 2002.
Hi James. As far as the light goes I think the red light is better for I have heard that a white light on 24 hours a day will stress them out. Also, I have yet to hatch my own since I buy my chicks at the feed store, but I believe you are not suppose to feed them for the either the first 24 hours or 48 hours(not sure which) due to them still having the egg yolk to feed on. I hope someone clarifies this.
-- r.h. in okla. (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 16, 2002.
I also use a kids wading pool. It gives them lots of room to run around, they can't get squished and die in the corners, and there is room if the light is too hot for them to get out of the heat. It is easy to clean...just take it outside and hose it down (without the chicks of course! LOL!!)
For the first week, I use shredded newspaper with a layer of folded paper on top so they don't sink down in the shreds. After that I use wood chips or sawdust because after that first week they start producing an awful lot of bird poop and it gets stinkier. The wood chips absorb the moisture better too.
I also scatter the feed on top for the first few days, but also keep a hopper of food in there at all times. It teaches them how to eat. Not to worry if the little guys don't seem hungry the first day or two. They actually absorb the yolk into thier systems at hatching with gives them all the nurishment they need for the first 2 days.
Water is the most important thing for the birds for the first 2 days. Put some honey or sugar in the water for added energy. Hatching takes a lot out of a little guy! I am not sure what type of water dish you mean with the "bottle" attached. If it is one that they drink from a spout, bad choice. They need to learn early how to drink the right way, which means putting thier heads down to take the water and up to drink it. If they get use to bottle drinking they will be in trouble later. Be sure the first thing that you dip thier beaks in the water. They learn real quick.
Best of luck...your going to love your new friends. They are so fun to watch when they are babies! It is really something to see the differant personalities and who gets to be the "boss" chick!
-- Karen (email@example.com), January 17, 2002.
New hatched chicks will pick up and taste anything tiny. I take advantage of this by putting down newspaper and sprinkling their food across it so it will get tasted. I avoid wood shavings at the beginning so the food doesnt get lost and the chicks taste the food instead of the shavings. Later, when they are hungry, they will know what to do. I also like to put their water in something broad and shallow so they can get out easily when they fall in. Chicks are cute but are also messy and smelly, and it is always a relief to me when they are ready to go outside!
-- Terri (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 17, 2002.
Although people have used newspaper as litter for chicks and have had no ill effects, be aware that the paper is a slick surface for young legs with developing muscles and is more likely than shavings to lead to spraddle leg.
The thing you need to be care of on the water is them falling in & being unable to pull themselves out, then drowning. provide a very shallow dish, or better yet, toss some marbles in the one you have.
Also, another thought here in case this is your first time brooding chicks...... chicks that aren't raised by a momma hen are very susceptible to pasty bottom. it's a result of them getting chilled at one time or another which is why it's important to have the right temp at all times. i would pick up random chicks during their first few days and check their bottoms, if you see that feces has stuck & they're unable to go, clean it off quick, then check to see the brooder temp is warm enough. hopefully you won't have a problem with it, but just in case, wanted to let you know!
hope you have a good hatch!
-- Buk (email@example.com), January 17, 2002.