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Chicks !!!

This is a discussion on Chicks !!! within the Livestock forums, part of the Survival Food Procurement category; Originally Posted by John Galt I've already got a few chickens, just enough for a few eggs. But I got them from a neighbor already ...

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Thread: Chicks !!!

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I've already got a few chickens, just enough for a few eggs. But I got them from a neighbor already grown and my ladyfriend keeps trying to raise some chicks in my stable with little luck. I guess it's the mothering instinct in her but she loves the chicks,,,, until they die,,,, which they always seem to do. <!-- BEGIN TEMPLATE: dbtech_usertag_mention -->
    @<b><a href="https://www.prepperforums.net/forum/member.php?u=17074" target="_blank">Sonya</a></b>
    <!-- END TEMPLATE: dbtech_usertag_mention -->
    @John Galt Get yourself a couple of broody hens, that usually means breeds kept as pets and such like game hens, oeg bantams, frizzles, silkies and the like.

    A good broody will happily raise store bought chicks for you with the flock. I have a few bantam hens and every spring they go broody, I let them sit for 3 weeks on dud eggs and then pick up chicks for them at the feed store or a local breeder.

    My broodies do all of the work right in the henhouse/coop. They keep the chicks warm, introduce them to the flock at 3-4 days old, teach them what to eat etc... The only thing I have to do is make darn sure to protect the little family from predators (in my case that means rat snakes at night). Happier healthier chicks, happy hen, no work for me, and no hassles trying to integrate older chicks into the flock. The chicks also develop much faster! Plus it is tons of fun to watch.

    You do have to follow a process to get the hen to accept the chicks though. And don't get tiny hens if you already have a full size rooster.

    Here is my best little broody, a 6-7 year old Bantam hen introducing 2 brown leghorn chicks that I bought at the local ace hardware:

    Last edited by Sonya; 12-08-2016 at 09:02 AM.
    Redneck, 8301 and JustAnotherNut like this.

  2. #12
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    I would love to see more pictures of the big blue water and how the chicks get the water.



    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck View Post
    I personally only buy chicks. When you buy adult birds from another flock, there is the risk those new birds may bring in disease or lice/mites. I built a simple brooder, where all sides, top & floor come apart with wing nuts, so that it stores nicely in the barn when not needed. I raise them in my garage and then when bigger take them to the coop.



    I wrap the bottom sides with cardboard to eliminate drafts.



    For sanitation, while they are small I like using paper towels on the floor. They get good traction & is so easy to keep clean.


    I'm a fan of the Brinsea Ecoglow heater.

  3. #13
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    I wanted to see at what temperature I need to put a heat lamp on my chickens with this cold weather coming down from the north. last year I didn't need any, but was worried this year

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  5. #14
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    From what I understand even people in Minnesota often don't put heat in their coops unless they are trying to encourage their hens to lay. You do want a perch so they can settle down and cover their feet. I've also read giving them a good bit of corn before they go to roost helps them generate heat through the night.

    There's nothing wrong with giving them some heat but not really required. But then I only know from what I've read online.
    beach23bum and JustAnotherNut like this.

  6. #15
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    thank-you



    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    From what I understand even people in Minnesota often don't put heat in their coops unless they are trying to encourage their hens to lay. You do want a perch so they can settle down and cover their feet. I've also read giving them a good bit of corn before they go to roost helps them generate heat through the night.

    There's nothing wrong with giving them some heat but not really required. But then I only know from what I've read online.

  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by beach23bum View Post
    I would love to see more pictures of the big blue water and how the chicks get the water.
    Maybe this helps. It is just an Igloo cooler, where I removed their valve that you push to get water to flow, and replaced with pvc fittings & pipe. You can buy the nipple waterers, so you just drill a hole & thread them in. The clear sports bottle in the back of one the original pics is done the same, just no pvc... just drilled a hole in the bottom.

    beach23bum likes this.

  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    From what I understand even people in Minnesota often don't put heat in their coops unless they are trying to encourage their hens to lay. You do want a perch so they can settle down and cover their feet. I've also read giving them a good bit of corn before they go to roost helps them generate heat through the night.

    There's nothing wrong with giving them some heat but not really required. But then I only know from what I've read online.
    People use artificial winter light to keep the hens laying. But yeah heat lamps are a bad idea. Not only a real fire risk with adult birds, but also if the birds are acclimated to a heat lamp at night and there is a power outage the sudden temperature drop could prove fatal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck View Post
    I'm a fan of the Brinsea Ecoglow heater.
    Those are very cool. Much better than heat lamps for chicks plus they don't give off light 24/7. Some people make their own similar chick warmers using a heating pad (and some wire fencing to keep the shape). They form a little heating pad cave that the chicks can get under when cold, like a mama hen.

    It has to be more comforting to be covered up and huddled together rather than standing under a heat lamp, especially for prey animals like chickens. One very noticeable thing about using a broody to raise chicks is how quiet the chicks are. Even buying chicks at a store, they naturally peep all the time, but as soon as you slip them under a real mama hen they stop all that. They go completely silent when nestled in all of the dark warm feathers.
    Last edited by Sonya; 12-09-2016 at 04:42 AM.
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  9. #18
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    Using a light does help get the hens laying. I was getting no eggs so a few weeks ago I put a LED light in the coop on a timer. It comes on at 5:30am and stays on until 8am. It makes the chicken's day longer and now they are laying some.

    From what I understand if it gets really cold they won't lay even with the light so some people up north turn the light off during January and February to give the chickens a rest from laying.
    Sonya likes this.

  10. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Using a light does help get the hens laying. I was getting no eggs so a few weeks ago I put a LED light in the coop on a timer. It comes on at 5:30am and stays on until 8am. It makes the chicken's day longer and now they are laying some.

    From what I understand if it gets really cold they won't lay even with the light so some people up north turn the light off during January and February to give the chickens a rest from laying.
    John, I built my coop with a separate indoor light which is on a timer. Initially, I thought I would extend their laying season by running the light in the winters when the days are short. However, after seeing how hard they work for me thru the year, I figured the gals should enjoy a bit of a rest. When in doubt, do as nature intended.

  11. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Using a light does help get the hens laying. I was getting no eggs so a few weeks ago I put a LED light in the coop on a timer. It comes on at 5:30am and stays on until 8am. It makes the chicken's day longer and now they are laying some.

    From what I understand if it gets really cold they won't lay even with the light so some people up north turn the light off during January and February to give the chickens a rest from laying.
    It depends on your chicken keeping goals. If people only keep layers for a couple of years and want maximum production then a light will help.

    Many believe that letting them rest naturally over the winter could extend the overall number of years they will keep laying. I have a mixed flock and some hardly ever lay, nevertheless I have more eggs than I can eat most of the year.
    Last edited by Sonya; 12-09-2016 at 02:43 PM.
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