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New to raising chicks/chickens.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey guys my husband is in the process of building us a coop- I'm just wondering if I should go ahead and get my chicks now? I know a lot of people keep them in tubs inside until they can go out anyway?! Right?!?
post #2 of 8

Welcome to the adventure!

Are you planning to start with day old  (fuzzy) chicks or started chicks of 6 weeks of age or older?  This will factor into how much time they will need to be in a "brooder" (a nursery of sorts where you provide warmth that the mother hen would otherwise have made sure the chicks had).

One thing to consider with getting chicks while in the process of building is that many people are caught off guard at just how quickly the little things grow, feather out and are ready to be out in the coop - this has lead to lots of folks scrambling to finish their coop under pressure or having chicks in the brooder way longer than is comfortable for those involved, especially the chicks who have become crowded and unhappy.  How far along in the build is your husband at this point and when does he anticipate being done *if* nothing goes wrong?

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol Grey Mare View Post

Welcome to the adventure!
Are you planning to start with day old  (fuzzy) chicks or started chicks of 6 weeks of age or older?  This will factor into how much time they will need to be in a "brooder" (a nursery of sorts where you provide warmth that the mother hen would otherwise have made sure the chicks had).
One thing to consider with getting chicks while in the process of building is that many people are caught off guard at just how quickly the little things grow, feather out and are ready to be out in the coop - this has lead to lots of folks scrambling to finish their coop under pressure or having chicks in the brooder way longer than is comfortable for those involved, especially the chicks who have become crowded and unhappy.  How far along in the build is your husband at this point and when does he anticipate being done *if* nothing goes wrong?




We are wanting to get older chicks if we can still find some. How long does the feed stores usually keep chicks/pullets around?
It will still be at least 2-3 weeks before the coop is done- assuming everything goes as planned.
post #4 of 8

I got my chicks before the coop was done... i had day old ones :)

now they are about 4 weeks and still no permanent coop... LOL

Tractor supply keeps birds around until they are gone to prevent disease.

If you want day old chickies... i recommend Meyer Hatchery... they have a big selection and good customer service :D 

 
You're the joy joy joy lighting my soul
The joy joy joy making me whole
Though I'm broken, I am running
Into Your arms of love.

~Rend Collective

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You're the joy joy joy lighting my soul
The joy joy joy making me whole
Though I'm broken, I am running
Into Your arms of love.

~Rend Collective

Reply
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone we are finally done with the coop and will be going to pick up our hens this evening. They are already 6 months old and laying. How long do I need to keep them in the coop to ensure its imprinted on them? Also I will be giving them filtered water do I need to add anything to it like minerals or such or will it be fine to just give them the filtered water? Also feeding!?! Do I need to give them scratch or just a layers pallet, how often do they need food and when them roam do I still feed the pallet? Thank you all!
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjohnson505 View Post

Hey everyone we are finally done with the coop and will be going to pick up our hens this evening. They are already 6 months old and laying. How long do I need to keep them in the coop to ensure its imprinted on them? Also I will be giving them filtered water do I need to add anything to it like minerals or such or will it be fine to just give them the filtered water? Also feeding!?! Do I need to give them scratch or just a layers pallet, how often do they need food and when them roam do I still feed the pallet? Thank you all!


It depends what you mean by 'the coop' and how big it is.  If you are talking about a large area where they can walk around, scratch in the earth etc. then keep them in there for a day or two, then the following day let them out for a couple of hours before it goes dark, and make sure that they all head back to the coop to sleep.  After that you can let them out all day and they will gradually get confident and range further and further from 'home'.

 

You don't need to add anything to the water, but you need to provide feeding stations with layer pellets available 24/7.Even if they are free ranging you should provide the layer pellets, so that they can fill up on nutritious food if they don't get enough to eat from their scratching around.  You will usually find that they eat a lot less layer feed in the summer (when bugs and seeds are around) than in the winter, when they rely on it more to get good nutrition. 

 

If the scratch is sold as a complete and nutritionally balanced feed then you can give them the choice between scratch and pellets, but you need to check that, as frequently it is just a mix of a couple of types of seeds, and does not contain all the vitamins and minerals your birds will need.  If that is the case then you should only give it as a treat a couple of times a day, and preferably not first thing in the morning - let them fill up on nutritious layer feed first, then munch the scratch as a treat later in the day. 

 

Enjoy your girls!

 

Started out with 3 birds. Currently at 13 pullets and 2 roos

- chicken maths is definitely getting the better of me!

 

Member of the Derperella Club - we're all just going round the rooster here.

 

RIP Blackie (the best hen ever), Rusty (too curious once too often) and Cinders (my grey girl)

 

 

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Started out with 3 birds. Currently at 13 pullets and 2 roos

- chicken maths is definitely getting the better of me!

 

Member of the Derperella Club - we're all just going round the rooster here.

 

RIP Blackie (the best hen ever), Rusty (too curious once too often) and Cinders (my grey girl)

 

 

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post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjohnson505 View Post

Hey everyone we are finally done with the coop and will be going to pick up our hens this evening. They are already 6 months old and laying. How long do I need to keep them in the coop to ensure its imprinted on them? Also I will be giving them filtered water do I need to add anything to it like minerals or such or will it be fine to just give them the filtered water? Also feeding!?! Do I need to give them scratch or just a layers pallet, how often do they need food and when them roam do I still feed the pallet? Thank you all!

I would leave them in the coop for about a week, then try letting them out about an hour before the sun sets. They should go in when it gets dark.

If you find that they don't go in and you have to round them up, leave them in the coop for a few more days and repeat the process.

 

Hens need a layer feed-- they don't need scratch. Scratch is a treat-- a good way to coax them into the coop.

 

Filtered water is fine. Keep the drinker very clean-- I wash mine every few days in hot water and dish soap. Slime can build up inside and it's just not a good thing.

 

Give them grit and oyster shell free choice.

We leave the feeder full of pellets for our layers so they can eat at will.

You can also feed them a certain amount for morning and night. Your choice.

 

Chickens also love fruits and veggies and they adore plain yogurt which has health benefits.

Do some reading on this site to see what treats, fruits and veggies are good for chickens. Be careful as many foods can be harmful to them.

 

Good luck as you begin your chicken adventures!

Welcome to our humble homestead

"A Better Place To Be"

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Welcome to our humble homestead

"A Better Place To Be"

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post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjohnson505 View Post

Hey everyone we are finally done with the coop and will be going to pick up our hens this evening. They are already 6 months old and laying. How long do I need to keep them in the coop to ensure its imprinted on them? Also I will be giving them filtered water do I need to add anything to it like minerals or such or will it be fine to just give them the filtered water? Also feeding!?! Do I need to give them scratch or just a layers pallet, how often do they need food and when them roam do I still feed the pallet? Thank you all!


I like to add 1 or 2 Tsp of apple cider vinegar per gallon to my chickens water. Just as there are health benefits for you and I to consume ACV, there are benefits to your chickens having it in their water. PLUS, I like the fact that you don't have to worry about algae and slime growing inside your waterer. It does need to be the raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar though.

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