2 week old chicks-- what should I be doing????

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lorain's fids, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. lorain's fids

    lorain's fids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2011
    New Jersey
    Hi everybody! My name is Lorain. I am so glad there is a site like this with lots of information to go by. I am a brand new chicken owner and learning as I go along. I need to now what is next for me to do for them. I have 6 Dominiques, well at least I know 5 are defianetly Dominiques--1 looks very different from the others,they will be 2 weeks old this Wednesday. They are currently staying in a huge dog crate, I put newspaper down and paper towels on top, I change them 2 to 3 times a day. They are eating starter chick feed and I have a large waterer for them. I have decreased the heat lamp so that the temp is now about 85 degress. I have been using a red bulb, I heard or read that the red light was good for them but not sure as to why. My chicken coop is in the process of being built by my husband, but for now I have a huge rabbit hutch that I will put them in to get fresh air during the day when it is warm out, they can't get out of it and nothing can get in. Now if they are not getting grit(was told to wait till they are 12 weeks old) am I right to assume they can't walk in the grass because they can't eat anything other than chicken feed? Is there anything else I need to be doing for them at this time? I welcome any suggestions.
  2. Kyle241

    Kyle241 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 6, 2011

    Welcome from one newbie to the next. We are one week ahead of you and just put our chicks out in their coop two days ago. Sounds like you are doing everything well. I wouldn't change anything as we did not do more. Ensuring food and clean water and a clean brooder and ours did fine. Now they really enjoy their run even though they have used only a small area of it.
  3. nickrex98

    nickrex98 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2011
    no your doing fine keep up with the good work:thumbsup
  4. M.sue

    M.sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2011
    You are on the right track and doing what's needed. Give them chick-grit though, it's made especially for chicks, it's very fine crumbles.....they need it for proper digestion. I started giving it to mine at 2 wks. old. You can mix it in their feed, have it in a separate container for them that accessible when they want it, or even just sprinkle it in the brooder. They'll forge and pick away. As for being outside and as long as the temp is warm enough and sunny you can put them in a closed pen in the yard. They will love the grass and being out. They are little explorers. You can tell if they get chilled/cold, they huddle together in one spot. Mine were 3-4wks. when I was able to take them out for the first time.
  5. turbodog

    turbodog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2010
    Independence, La.
    Sounds like you're doing great so far. Get that coop built! Depending on your climate, by four or five weeks (once they are all feathered out) you will want to be looking at getting them to the coop. Trust me, they will love you for it.
    If just getting chick feed (I would recommend the medicated version) they don't need grit unless you want to give them treats. The way to a chickens heart is through it's stomach.
    I waited until mine were two weeks old before giving treats. My mini "velociraptors" looooved small grasshoppers. Be ready to [​IMG] if you give yours one.
    Unless it's something soft like yogurt, their gonna need grit. Lots of folks just use plain old sand. Construction sand like you can get by the big bag full at a home improvement store. You don't have to wait till they are 12 weeks old for grit. They would be getting grit naturally if out pecking around with momma from day one.

    Good luck with your chickens, they are a lot of fun and this forum is full of lots of great folks with lots of chickeny knowledge.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011
  6. lorain's fids

    lorain's fids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2011
    New Jersey
    Thank you everyone--I'm just a nervous "Mom" who wants to get it right. But like with all my other fids--(furry, feathery and scaley, even the human ones too(LOL) )you learn as you go and you have to ask lots of questions.

  7. catsew

    catsew Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2011
    We can no longer get chick grit since its passed chick season, so when I put them outside I put them on part grass and part sand/rocks. I figure they can pick out some grit naturally from there. But I am not giving them official treats yet or anything since I do not have actual grit. They are 4 weeks old.
  8. The Burg Peeps

    The Burg Peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2011
    Sounds like you are on the right track. I am a first timer as well and have done allot of reading. I have 4, 3 week old BR's and have put out some of my kids play sand for them to use as grit. They play in the sand and eat it. They have done well with a few grass clippings and dandelions from the yard. I hear many people give plain cultured yogurt mixed with chick starter as a first snack and it is suppose to be very good for them. You may also want to look into getting diatomaceous earth to put down for them as well. It helps repel lice, ticks, fleas, and chiggers as well as make your coop smell better! We put shavings down in our brooder/dog crate and mix it in. Check these out: http://www.shadowridgedonkeys.com/perma_food_grade.htm, https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=46240.
    Here is a photo of our setup... similar to yours by the sound of it.

    Enjoy you chicks... they are so much fun! Post some pics if you get a chance.
    Peace. Sarah.

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