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NatalieC90

Tips for bringing chicks home

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We are rehoming 4 chicks that have been hatched via a hatching programme at our daughter's nursery. They are a mix of cream legbars and gingernut rangers. The chicks are currently staying at nursery in their brooder until they are fully feathered and ready to come home. We have the Eglu Go Up and a walk in run set up ready for when they come home. We are so excited! We haven't had chickens before so we are complete newbies. I used to look after the school chickens when I was a teacher a few years ago, but never brought them home.

What are your top tips for getting the girls settled in at their new home? What do you wish you had known when you first brought your chicks home that you know now?

 

Thanks in advance!!

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I would pop them in the Go Up when you get them, with the door open into the run, so that they might know where to go to bed later once they have come out.

Make sure they have plenty of food and water.

Leave them to investigate their new home - they will come out eventually.

You will need to leave them to get to know where their surroundings are for about a week - then you can let them potter round the garden.

Obviously spend time in their run and handle them when you can.

You won't get much done when you first start watching them - make sure you have lots of cups of tea and a comfy chair.

I think one of the things people are most shocked about is the amount of poop.

Keeping chickens is a bit like learning as you go along.

I've had chickens 12 years now and still needed advice yesterday.

Lots of us on here like seeing photos so post some when you get your chicks :wink:

 

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Posted (edited)

Hello @Luvachicken

Thanks so much for your detailed response!

We are still a few weeks away from bringing them home but got to see them this morning through the window and they are growing so quickly! They are looking like straggly teenagers now! I won't be able to take any photos until they come home as we aren't allowed in the nursery due to COVID restrictions. So strange that we won't get to meet them until bring home day but oh well! Missed out on the cute fuzzy phase but have lots of exciting things in the future I am sure!

We will be taking a few days off work when they come home to make sure that they get lots of interaction with us.

Do you recommend straw or wood shavings for the nest box in the Eglu? I'm not sure what will be best as they will technically still be adolescents so not going to be laying for some time when they come home. I want them to be warm and comfortable and have some similarities to their previous home. 

Many thanks,

Natalie 

Edited by NatalieC90
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Hi @Cat tails

Thanks for your message on the post. 

We are not sure exactly how old they will be when they get to us, likely around 8-10 weeks. They will be allowed to come home with us once they are fully feathered with no down at all. This is not time fixed of course, so we are getting ready well in advance! They will have had some time outside whilst at their temporary home in the nursery so shouldn't be too confused by the garden and outside world! 

We will be monitoring the temperature and weather outside as they will have to sleep in the coop outside from day 1 as we don't have a garage or anything to keep them in overnight, but we will make sure it is warm enough to keep them happy all the time. 

Thanks for your help and advise.

Natalie :)

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Straw is often a good place for mites and other bugs to hide in, so best not to use that for them.

Most of us on here use Aubiose, in our houses, which you should be able to get from horsey type farm supply shops and lots of us also use hard wood wood chips in our runs.

If you can't find Aubiose, you could try using wood shavings specially for chickens, which is what I have been using for my chicks, also from a farm supply shop. A huge bale was just £8 and has lasted ages.

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I use wood chips in the nesting box and newspaper in the poop drawers.

10 weeks will be fine as they won’t need any more heat and nights won’t be so chilly by then either.

Looking forward to seeing pictures!

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Okay, straw is out then! We are so desperate not to get mites etc! Our girls won't be vaccinated (all from the same hatching company, but two were hatched at nursery and 2 were added this week from a different hatching in the same week as we wanted 4 girls, not 2) so we are trying to think of everything to avoid them getting sick in any way! 

I have some pine shavings so will use that up first then will move onto the aubiose once we need to restock. My parents live in our village so can keep us with a steady supply of used newspapers for lining the poo tray! 

Our standard run is on our lawn currently as we want them close by whilst they are young, but later in the year we plan on moving them down to an old built-up veg patch that we are going to convert to a big coop and run as we have a walk in run for that. Will use hard wood chips on that and then get them out onto the grass to free range when we are around. 

Will definitely upload pics once we can get them home! 

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