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Newbie chick mamma!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
New to this but I have a few questions for you seasoned mamma hen's! I've read plenty for months. I know there is still tons I have to learn but who better to go to than those who have been there done that and have a t-shirt. I bought 8 buff orp chicks thinking statistically I would lose 2, however, here we are, 7 weeks later and our 8 girls are doing great! We have a huge 10'X24' space, that's is protected from predators, wonderfully shaded, with great ventilation so they will get the nice breeze that comes through. Inside this space we built a hitch for our rabbits that takes up 10'X2' of the space as well as a 4'X4'X6'H coop for our girls to go into at night. We moved them into their new coop last night. Their nesting boxes are closed off until they are laying age.

We have a slip door for at night so we can close them in, until they know to go in the coop at night. (Question 1: How long must we do this for?).

In the morning before I let them out I used equal parts water/ vinegar as a (I read this was a safe and also natural pesticide) to clean outside around their coop and in the run. (Question 2: Is this okay? I read that is was natural and not harmful. I waited a bit for it to dry, before I let them. Do your believe this is okay?)

Lastly, before I brought the girls into the run last night I shoveled the rabbit poop out just to be safe. Although I did read about polyface farming. (Question 3: at 7 weeks do you believe it is okay for them to pick under the rabbit hutch and scratch through the compost? They have been going outside and scratching through the yard since they were a week old for bourse at a time. I just want to be safe. If you believe it can harm them I can put some chicken wire to block them from it until they are older!! I certainly do not want to loose any of our girls.)

Thanks for all your help!!

The new chicken mommy!
Stephanie











Edited by stephcamp4 - 5/20/16 at 3:36pm
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
Messed up wasn't sure how to edit my original post
Edited by stephcamp4 - 5/20/16 at 3:39pm
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephcamp4 View Post

New to this but I have a few questions for you seasoned mamma hen's! I've read plenty for months. I know there is still tons I have to learn but who better to go to than those who have been there done that and have a t-shirt. I bought 8 buff orp chicks thinking statistically I would lose 2, however, here we are, 7 weeks later and our 8 girls are doing great! We have a huge 10'X24' space, that's is protected from predators, wonderfully shaded, with great ventilation so they will get the nice breeze that comes through. Inside this space we built a hitch for our rabbits that takes up 10'X2' of the space as well as a 4'X4'X6'H coop for our girls to go into at night. We moved them into their new coop last night. Their nesting boxes are closed off until they are laying age.

We have a slip door for at night so we can close them in, until they know to go in the coop at night. (Question 1: How long must we do this for?).

In the morning before I let them out I used equal parts water/ vinegar as a (I read this was a safe and also natural pesticide) to clean outside around their coop and in the run. (Question 2: Is this okay? I read that is was natural and not harmful. I waited a bit for it to dry, before I let them. Do your believe this is okay?)

Lastly, before I brought the girls into the run last night I shoveled the rabbit poop out just to be safe. Although I did read about polyface farming. (Question 3: at 7 weeks do you believe it is okay for them to pick under the rabbit hutch and scratch through the compost? They have been going outside and scratching through the yard since they were a week old for bourse at a time. I just want to be safe. If you believe it can harm them I can put some chicken wire to block them from it until they are older!! I certainly do not want to loose any of our girls.)

Thanks for all your help!!

The new chicken mommy!
Stephanie










Answer to Question #1: You really should close them in and lock the door every night, even if they've learned to go in the coop. Predators that get into your run would see the open door and kill all your chickies. 

Answer to Question #2: I think that your natural pesticide really is natural, but you might want some different opinions on this. 

Answer to Question #3: Chickens are really tough. I think I'd be okay to let them under there, but if you start to see some having a hard time, you can move them again. 

 

Also, I have some tips:

-Don't give them "Medicated water" or "filtered water". Give them the water that you will supply them with when they are in the coop. For instance, if you give the chicks hose water to drink, give them hose water in the coop. 

-You should probably research about avian (bird) vets in your area. There's a great website called www.birdvetsnearyou.com that lets you put in your zip code or city and state and it finds a bird vet in your area. 

-When you start to get near the age that they start to lay eggs (18-24 weeks), be patient. The chickens won't lay their eggs on their 18-week birthday. You may not see an egg until two or three weeks after they turn 18 weeks. 

 

Hope this helped!

~Nora

post #4 of 7

Yep! Vinegar is a very natural and un-toxic cleaner and perfectly safe, unless mixed with baking soda. Do not do that. It releases a lethal gas that kills chickens.

 

Letting the chicks scratch in compost is an excellent way to help them build a healthy immune system.

 

You can teach your chicks to go into the coop at night by putting a little night light in there so it's lighter inside than out in the run. If they still won't go in, I've found that if I get inside with their favorite treat and coax them in, they will learn in just two nights to go in on their own. After a few more nights, you can remove the light.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Awesome! I didn't read anything about baking soda so I didn't do that, just the equal parts vinegar and water. I have not seen any ants since. ☺️

We transitioned them Thursday and every evening at sundown I go to put them in the coop and they are all huddled in a corner of the run. They have yet to figure out to go in the coop at sundown. I'm hoping with another few days.

I have a question, is there something I can start throwing down in the run for them? Scratch? Or do I just throw down some of their feed on the ground? There is currently still a lot of grass on the run, do I need to throw anything down?

Thanks for the reply and help! It's much appreciated. 😊
post #6 of 7

Chicks need to eat their crumbles, so throwing down other foods and treats is going to spoil their appetite for what they should mainly be eating.

 

But you can scatter rolled oats in moderation and wheat bran in moderation or corn meal. All in moderation. Wheat bran is especially nice because it's small particles and keeps the chicks occupied longer.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Okay great, so just continue you to feed them there crumbles and treats in moderation. 👍🏻
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