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help with transition issues

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Ok. I have four chicks bought at a feedstore March 5th. Three were said to be one day old and one (a Leghorn) was said to be 4 days older.

So, the Leghorn should be right at 4 weeks now. She (I thought perhaps she was a he but now I'm thinking she is in fact female) is pretty much completely feathered flies up onto the feeder, etc. Two of the others - a Wyandotte and a RIRed who would be 3 1/2 weeks old have a lot of feathers but still quite a bit of down. The fourth chick is a Brahma - also 3 1/2 weeks. I know that they are slower growing. She is ALL down with just little tinky wing feathers coming out though she is as big as the Wy and RIRed. 

 

Other than some pasty bottom issues at the very beginning we have had no problems (knock on wood).

They are now in a 2' x 2' x 5' long box with a heat lamp at 80° and a hardware cloth "roof" in the basement. they have a roost, water and electrolytes/probiotics, a chick treat hanging thing and a bit of chick grit.

 

How and when do I get these girls with their different development schedules into the coop (which I haven't finished yet!- Yikes!).

 

Also, I have been giving them Manna medicated starter crumble.

 

When can I give them something else (what?) and when do I stop medicating? all at once or gradually?

 

I will post pic later of them! Wy and RIRed both very friendly- come up and ask to be petted! Brahma ok. Leghorn is not friendly to me but is ok with Others!

 

Thanks


Edited by Plinky - 3/29/16 at 8:26am
post #2 of 5

The trick to getting chicks to feather quickly is to only warm one spot in the brooder, not the whole thing. And you want that warm spot to be just warm enough to keep them from huddling together all the time. You want to keep them on the medicated starter for about a month after they've been outside. That medicated feed helps prevent their young immune systems from getting overwhelmed with the coccidia protozoa. After that, you can switch to a grower or unmedicated chick starter. Then, when they all are laying, you can start feeding a layer feed. You can offer them treats at any time, as long you provide them with grit.

You can also start taking them out for 'field trips' on sunny days.

post #3 of 5
Do you have other adult chickens you're trying to integrate with? If not, they can go into the coop anytime - just move your heat lamp into one corner of the coop and they will go sit under it for a warm up when they get cold. No need to keep them inside until they're feathered if you're able to provide supplemental heating. Just do not heat the whole coop! It's much easier to overheat chickens than to chill them. Mine stay in my house for 7-10 days to be monitored closely for pasted vent and any other issues, then they go into an outdoor brooder in the coop with a heat lamp at one end. This way they can see the other chickens and get used to living outside smile.png

I don't use medicated starter so perhaps someone else can chime in there.

Hope that helps answer your question!
post #4 of 5

At age three and a half to four weeks, they only need a warmup temp of 70F or 20C. Then no heat at all by one month to five weeks.

 

The laggards can huddle in the middle of the others to get warm, so just treat them all the same.

 

Are you integrating these chicks with an adult flock? Tips for accomplishing that are in my article on outdoor brooding, linked below under Articles by azygous.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks everybody. These chicks are on their own. I do have the lamp in just one spot. I'll lower the temperature! And get the coop finished!
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