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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chick Set Up

This is our chick set up, it isn't the only way or even the best way to do it, but it is how we do it.

 Don't judge. We still don't have our baseboards put back on and yes, those are Christmas wreaths on the windows! In my own defense they are outside, I will need a ladder to remove them,  and there is a huge pile of snow under the windows.

We have the girls in the school room up on a bench to make it easier to get into them, but they would do just fine on the ground as well.

 Things you will need:
  • Something to keep them contained. We use a rabbit hutch, but a cardboard box with wood shavings in the bottom will work just fine. Don't invest in something elaborate, they will soon outgrow this.
  • Heat. Chicks need to be kept quite warm, a heat lamp is a great option, we have a 250 watt bulb.  If they are too cold, they will huddle together right under the lamp, you will know you need to add more heat.  If they are too warm they will get as far away from the lamp as possible, which means it is time to raise the lamp up. If they are just right, they will scamper all over the area happily.
  • Fresh food. We are currently just using a plastic bowl.  You will need to purchase chick starter. Note: most chick starters have antibiotics in the feed, so if you do not want antibiotics, make sure you check the packaging.
  • Fresh water: I really like the plastic waterer we have (in the right hand corner of the cage) it was just a few dollars and gives them a good supply of water.
  • Love: of course! I like to have my girls well socialized and comfortable being handled. We get the girls out as often as we can. 
  • Roost (optional): Just for fun, we like to see the girls practicing on their roost. We just use a wooden dowel through the bars of the cage.
  • Entertainment: Also optional. 


Amy Kinser said...

I think your school room is a perfect place for your chicks. I love the last picture of the little one being driven around.

Aren't the chickens so much cuter when they are little? My hens are still pretty, but when they are small, they are just way too cute.

Judi said...

Our chicks spend their first few weeks in our school room too. I like your cage idea though. We always have used a box but it gets so stinky!!!! How long are you going to keep them inside?

Seeing your baby chicks makes me want some more too, but our house is for sale and it just isn't a good time. I'll just have to enjoy watching yours for now and be content with my three year old laying hens (who really are not laying right now!).

Unknown said...

Amy, we are enjoying the girls while they are little. They will soon be going through their ugly stage, then they will turn into beautiful hens. We love each stage, but baby chicks are our favorite.

Judi, I'm not sure how long I'm going to keep them inside. Normally we get new girls in the spring and it is warm enough to put them in the garage after a few weeks in the house. Since it is still winter, I think we are going to have to keep inside longer. I haven't figured out a system for them once they get bigger.

I will update everyone with our progress.

Megan @ Restoring the Roost said...

awwwww, so adorable! I'm planning on letting my hens hatch out a clutch this spring. Perhaps in April would be a good month? I have Dominiques and they are said to be excellent mothers, so I'll let them do all the raising while I sit back and enjoy the cute fuzzballs :) I have a very good, chivalrous roo as well. Can't wait!!

Rachel said...

We keep ours in a large wire dog crate. We keep them outside though with the other chickens. But then again, our house is only 750 sf and there are 3 indoor only cats and 2 dogs living there. ;)

Unknown said...

Megan, let me know how that goes for you!

Rachel, you sure have a full house! I'm sure it is just so cozy, inviting, and warm. Ours will be going outdoors in a dog crate as soon as they have their true feathers.

Kalena Michele said...

Oh my goodness!! How cute is that?!

daisy g said...

They look quite comfortable and the bonus is they are right there, ready for a lesson!

Don't worry about the baseboards or the wreaths. We are all here to learn.

Hazel said...

Ours went from a cat cage, to a cardboard box to the shower recess...it worked well. http://hazel-dene.blogspot.com/2011/01/new-accommodation.html

Shaunika said...

When we got ours last year, we kept them in an aquarium. It worked really well for a while, then we moved them up to a giant Rubbermaid bin and laid a baby gate on top of it so they couldn't get out. It wasn't pretty, but it worked.

brooke said...

Is it ok to have them on a wire floor?

Unknown said...

Brookie, in the past I did some research to see if it was okay to have them on a wire floor, and I wasn't able to find any information on it. We have raised 3 batches of chicks using a rabbit cage and haven't had any issues or problems with it.

Shaunika and Hazel, I'm excited to check out your links!

Unknown said...

We've raised I don't know how many chicks in several old dog cage in our garage. We used the metal tray it came with for the bottom and found it very helpful to just be able to slide the whole thing out and remove all the old newspaper layers. Love the picture of the chick in the car... I do have to admit to owning several of those photos too!