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Apple Poll!! Where do you keep baby birds?

 
steward & bricolagier
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This year it seems like most of my friends have got incubators and are hatching eggs, or bought day old birds, and baby bird pictures are all over!
If you have itty birdies, and no mama bird to deal with them, where do you keep them?

Each person gets five apples, you do not have to use them all up. The answers are in clusters under a header, so look for the ones in each cluster that fit your answer the best. For example, if I had them in a plastic bin, under the kitchen table, I'd choose "under something" "in a plastic bin" and "in the kitchen."
If your answers are not  there, tell us and we will add them!
EDIT: I cannot add them in the right section without losing people's votes. Check the bottom of the questions for the added ones.

Lets find out where the itty birdies are!!
Maybe we can all get good ideas



 
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If we get a passel of day-old chicks, we fire up our brooder, which is a specific room in what was supposed to be a chicken coop, but was poorly designed for that duty for many reasons. It has both some under-floor heating, and a wall heater and lots of places to put food and water.

To me an "incubation set up" is for hatching the eggs - it rarely has good spots to add feed and water and often isn't all that easy to clean, so I don't like to leave birds in the incubator for longer than 24 hours after hatch.

ETA: under a momma bird is absolutely my first choice, but I recognize it just isn't always possible. If I can get them fostered at an age younger than they're ready to be independent, that would be my second choice. Don't assume you need a foster mom either - our original Gander was an incredible dad, and a young Khaki Campbell Drake did a good job with some young Khaki ducklings which was a huge relief for me!
Staff note (Pearl Sutton) :

Added "In a brooder" thank you!

Staff note (Pearl Sutton) :

Added "In a brooder" thank you!

 
gardener
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I try to plan for chicks because that gives me time to get out all the equipment that is chick-specific.

I currently have 4 Very Large Totes that serve as brooders, I could only find 3 wire toppers (hardware cloth or some leftover rabbit cage flooring) this year, but I think the last top is still in the shed.

There is a mishmash of assorted feeders and waterers - if it works well enough to serve a critter for at least a few days it gets stuck in the pile - we regularly try new styles in the hopes that someone will come up with something that works well, long term.

I brood in the kitchen in those large totes. If I can, I'll post a pic. It means the babies are always being seen and seeing us, getting used to noises, and when we have inside pets, they all get used to each other. I have raised chicks in those totes around a Cat, Irish Setter, and Siberian Husky. It was fine. It all worked well and none of the babies ever got eaten while inside the house.

I move them to an outside pen when they are fully feathered and capable, assuming the temperature is okay for small birds. They get chick feed for a few extra days/weeks and then I switch them over to Big Bird Food (whatever you can catch, scratch, or the feed I put out to supplement).

I don't think there's a wrong way to raise a chick, as long as the chick grows up to be a Big Bird (of whatever type). Like all things humans raise, they should be taught young what you want them to know when they're older.
IMG_20240310_153657386.jpg
Brooder tote with brooder plate
Brooder tote with brooder plate
 
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We would set the brooder in the corner of the coop, screened off from the other birds for a few weeks.

Hoping our girls wouldn't name all of the new ones.

Peace
 
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I have one Cinnamon Queen whose sisters were all nabbed by a fox. Is is feasible to put babies in with her? She is lonely, and I need new chicks. Anyone have experience with this? I've only ever raised chicks in the house in a pen. I've never tried giving them to a hen.
 
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Last time we did young chicks we put them in the laundry room in a kiddy pool out of the way with heat lamp over them.
 
master steward
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This batch of Muskovy ducklings started in the attached garage, where we walk by, frequently, under a heat lamp, but they'd come in the mail and had apparently been left in the mail truck overnight, in the cold. Only one survived. Then I accidentally dripped its water on the heat lamp, which promptly exploded. The baby was fine (it took my heart several minutes to be fine), and the little one, whom we named Cricket, for its chirruping sound and how it hopped, instead of walking, went to the bathtub, where we could keep a closer eye on it. When the replacement ducklings came, we just added them to the tub, too...



I want my bathtub back, and can't wait until they're big enough to move to the stinky little darlings back out to the garage, and outside!
20240415_152738.jpg
Adorable. STINKY. Sweet. MESSY.
Adorable. STINKY. Sweet. MESSY.
 
pollinator
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No incubator here yet, might join that adventure next year. We've done egg layers and meat chicks for most of the past ten years.

Babies go into a 2x4' plastic tub as a brooder. I cut most of the lid out and replaced with wire for ventilation and light fixture. It used to live in our laundry but we don't have a home at the moment so they are in our insulated garage. I have the tub on a metal shelf under my storage shelf.
Once they are feathered they go into a small tractor outside near the other chickens coop. It's just wooden with hardware cloth hoop to keep them until they are integrated into the larger birds. It has an animal crate as a small coop inside, shade cover and large 2x wire on the bottom so I can just move them off their mess.

Meat chicks go from the brooder to a tractor around four weeks.
 
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I raised some baby chickens in a basement once. Don't currently have any because I recently moved but plan to get more soon. They will live in a cat house. No, not THAT kind of cat house. A house originally built for actual furry feline cats that seems slightly larger than the house I live in.
 
pollinator
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Couldn’t resist adding this photo of 5 baby bluebirds in the hollow of our apple tree. And yes! They have a very attentive Mama!
1E8B0145-8616-4E37-AD5A-C823A0811EDA.jpeg
[Thumbnail for 1E8B0145-8616-4E37-AD5A-C823A0811EDA.jpeg]
 
Jay Angler
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Gaurī Rasp wrote:Couldn’t resist adding this photo of 5 baby bluebirds in the hollow of our apple tree. And yes! They have a very attentive Mama!

You're not exactly "keeping" them, but I always appreciate cute baby pictures! Thanks Gaurī!
 
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Last vote in apple poll was on April 21, 2024
 
gir bot
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Last vote in apple poll was on April 30, 2024
 
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