Monday, March 19, 2012

Picking up Baby Chicks and the Post Office (Unboxing)

REMINDER: When ordering chicks be sure that you call your Post Office a week before your chicks will be delivered.  Usually your phone number will be on the box but you never know when something may happen and the phone number gets blurred etc. 

Have your brooder ready to go BEFORE the chicks arrive...they are going to be hungry/thristy, and cold.  Get them under a 250 watt heat lamp as soon as you can (after dipping each of their beaks in water (see descriptions below) )   So, here we go...this is what you can expect when picking up your chicks :D

The box the 25 chicks come in will be the size of a standard sheet of paper.

The sides will be stapled to hold on the cover.  Just simply lift those up and remove the cover.

This is the underside of the lid, sorry it ended up upside down but you get the idea :D It will have all the chicks you ordered so you can double check that you got what you ordered.  If you order from Ideal theirs will be in a plastic wrap at the top of the box.  This one is from McMurray's.

Under that cover you will find sweet baby chicks (25 of them)  Even if you do not order 25 chicks most places will add males for warmth.  So if you order 20 chicks they will add 5 roos in there with them.  

We ALWAYS get curious eyes after hearing all the peeping!  :D

This is what your new chick area should look like.  This is a huge brooder 3X8 but we used cardboard boxes to partition off a small area until the chicks know what and where their food and water is.  They will be ok in this area for about a week.  Be sure to lay paper towel over the pine shavings for the first two days.  If you don't they WILL eat pine shavings and may not find their food and water.  It's not gonna hurt them to eat some pine shavings but they NEED to get to the food as well.

This is what the entire brooder looks like so as they grow (I plan on keeping them in here until six weeks) I can remove the cardboard and allow them more access to their area slowly.  I have tape over the slats in the cardboard so they are not able to get through.  We also piled up pine shavings along the back side so no going under it either.

These are some happy chicks and they have found their water and food just fine.  Be SURE to dip each one of their beaks into the water to ensure they know what it is.  Remember YOUR their mommy and when they are hatched by a hen she teaches them how to drink...when you order them through the mail YOU have to teach them. It's very important that you do this.  Don't skip this part!  Take each out of the mail box one by one and as you add them to the brooder dip their beaks...that way you know which ones you have done.

You ever wonder what your chicks will be ON during their transit to your home?  This is's a meshed flat hay sheet.  and under that is a piece of Styrofoam for warmth (below).  If you ordered a progel which I hope you have, then it will be stuck in the side behind the corrugated cardboard inside the chick box.

Always add a Probiotic to their water for the first few days.  Get a gallon sized waterer and one packet is dumped into that.  It's simple, and it really helps the chicks get off to a great start (along with their ProGel) after that gallon of water is gone there is no need to add more right away.  If it gets cold out or if they seem to be feeling down add some to their next gallon.  You can get Probiotics just about anywhere, I got mine at my local feed store.  Fleet farm carries probiotics as well.

Now, go enjoy your chicks!  I can guarantee your gonna spend many hours just watching them.  Be sure to have a chair handy so you can relax :D 

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