Newbie

Discussion in 'Chick Raising Forum' started by MommaHen72, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. MommaHen72

    MommaHen72 MommaHen72

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    I am brand spanking new at this and have so many questions I've forgotten most of them. My main two are as follows:
    1. After reading posts in the forum, I'm heartbroken to realize I've done a bad bad thing. Backing up a bit, I received an incubator for Christmas and was so very anxious to use it. I set it to heating (100 degrees), got the automatic turner hooked up and the fan installed. The next day, I collected eggs and chose a few to incubate. Here's the UGH part: I did the same thing the next two days... :(. Now I have 13 chicks due to hatch next week on three different days. How do I do this after lockdown considering turning and humidity??? I don't want to lose any. I know that's unrealistic, but is there a way??
    2. I've seen some pretty creative brooders online. I have decided to make my own and originally planned to use a large plastic tote. However, I have an old metal chest of drawers that isn't being used right now, and I thought perhaps I can use one of the drawers? I have completely removed it from the cheat, sterilized it and I'm about to line and prepare it. Here's my question: it's about 18" wide and about 8" tall and a little over 2' in length. Will this suffice if all 13 chicks survive? And for how long before they need something larger?
    Ok I'm cheating and slipping a third question in here.
    3. We have 50 or so full-grown chickens in our yard (free range till 7pm when they are shut in coop). What age should the babies be to mingle with them?
    Thanks in advance all!!
     
  2. rob

    rob New Member

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    hello and welcome :)
     

  3. chickflick

    chickflick New Member

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    I don't incubate eggs, so can't help you with that. Oh, welcome!
    I don't know about the metal. You'll need a heat lamp on the new chicks for a bit. The metal will get hot from the heat lamp and think it would reflect the heat too much. A large cardboard box or the plastic tote will work. They grow fast, so they'll outgrow the brooder fast if it's on the smaller side.
    The babies should be around the same size of the older hens, they say. I've introduced them earlier. If the weather is ok to have the chicks out, after they are fully feathered, I put the chicks in a fenced area in a spot that that the older hens can see them, but not get to them. Remember to put something over the top of the play area because the older hens can fly in and attack them .Make sure they have water and food and shade. Do this for a couple of weeks. And if you can, have them in the coop after they are a few weeks old, in a cage, or secured fenced in area so the older hens know they are part of the flock. After a couple of weeks of this, I let them free range together. The younger hens can run away from the older hens and not get trapped. And since the younger girls have been in the coop, they know it's home and will go in by themselves. Also, I put a saw horse in the coop for the young'uns for their roost so they can work their way onto the roosts when they feel more comfortable. If that takes too long, I go in after dark and place them on the roosts. Do that for a few days, and remove the saw horse.
     
  4. eqstrnathlete

    eqstrnathlete Member

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    Take them all off the turner and turn the ones you need to manually. Raising the humidity or the hatchers won't have that big if an effect On the waiters.
     
  5. MommaHen72

    MommaHen72 MommaHen72

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    Thanks all!! Will post pics of success. :)