4 week olds not out and about yet + bedding issue

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Ema, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. Ema

    Ema Songster

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    So I got 21, 4 week old red sex links. they have this huge brooder/cage thing my husband built. Its huge so they have tons of room, lots of roosting area and plenty to run around happily. The weather here in this part of northern ontario canada has been crazy. Down pours in the morning then super hot and then the temps plummet to the point I have to turn the heat on in the house. A friend of mine got chicks the same day as me, she placed her chicks out in their run/coop at 1 week old. she has already lost several of them because of the cold before she decided to give them some heat. with the crazy temps I am reluctant to put them in their coop. It is not 100 percent finished and the heat lamps have not been installed as of yet because we need to have an electrician rerun a couple heavy duty wires that we noticed were not hooked up properly. So that won't be for another week or so.

    Am I causing any damage in not having them out already?

    I try my best to provide them with all of their needs. the cage has a 4 inch border all the way around so I can throw in a few grubs here and there that I find in the garden, I give them nutritional treats ever day and once ever couple days I go to the large tall patch of grasses on my land and cut down several lenghts so they can peck at it and scratch at it or what ever, its a mix of meadow hays, alfalfa, wheat etc...they love it.

    NOw about the bedding...I posted once before that I was having a hard time introducing my chicks to shavings. Well each time I have tried I have had to remove them. Ths is week 4 and I tried again, its not like they don't know where or what their feed is etc...but the minute I put the shavings down, they begin to scarf it down. IN 5 minutes they cleared a 1 square foot section, so I took it all back out. I am afraid they will get impacted and die from them eating their bedding. Right now thier bedding consists of hay/straw mix. I remove and replace every couple days or as needed. Hay and straw is readily available to me because I am surrounded by loads of farms including my own...

    Will these chickens ever get used to shavings? or is it a lost cause now?? its just so much easier to clean shavings!!!! and cheaper since I get them from the saw mill already kiln dried I get a 50cubic foot bag for 5 dollars...where the hay and straw cost be 3.50 a bale...not bad but I get more from the shavings
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Are you SURE they are EATING it? Mine clear out a section just by scratching in it, and making places to "dust bathe" in the shavings.

    I don't put my chicks out until they are 8 weeks old and fully feathered. I know lots of folks put theirs out earlier, but I started that wasy in the winter and I don't care if it's summer now, my 4 chicks in the brooder are 8 weeks old this weekend and that's when I'm putting them out. (I have a high tolerance for messes - the brooder is in the bathroom and it's easy to clean.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  3. Ema

    Ema Songster

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    yup...absolutely positive they are eatin git. I was wondering the same thing each time. So I sat and watched them each time. not bathing themselves, actually picking at it till its small enough to eat and then they goble it up.

    Thank you for the reassurance on when to put them out. I never thought I would get so attached to them, so I would be quite upset if I messed up and they died because of carelessness.
     

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