A Few Questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SarahBC, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. SarahBC

    SarahBC Chirping

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    We have 9 chicks. 5 are 2 weeks old and 4 are 1 week old. We are new and wanting to know how long they need to stay in the brooder box with the heat lamp? At what age can we put them in the coop with the heat lamp? I was thinking about locking them in the sleeping area as it is more protected and keeping the heat lamp in there for a few more weeks.
    Also, at what age can we start feeding "treats" like brussel sprouts, meal worms etc
    AND, I have a whole bag of starter feed but it says to only feed for the first 10 days. Will it hurt them to keep using it? We won't have anymore chicks to feed and I don't want to waste it.
    Thanks so much!!!
     
  2. chicken heven

    chicken heven Songster

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    Put them outside in a month
    You can feed treats but no Brussels
     
  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    You can just brood them in the coop itself as long as it's fairly draft free, no reason to use a brooder if the coop is available and ready. How large is the coop? If it's very large it might be best to section off a smaller portion for the first couple of weeks, so chicks don't wander off too far.

    I've never heard of starter feed that's only good for the first 10 days... 10 weeks, more like. Post a photo of the bag and instructions if you can, or a link to the product.
     
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  4. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    Why not?
     
  5. SarahBC

    SarahBC Chirping

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  6. SarahBC

    SarahBC Chirping

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    This bag says 10 days under the directions
     

    Attached Files:

  7. SarahBC

    SarahBC Chirping

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    Closer shot of directions
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. SarahBC

    SarahBC Chirping

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    My coop has a lot of ventilation. I was planning on sectioning off a portion of the inside just so they stay fairly close to the heat lamp. I may wait another week or so just to make sure. It gets pretty cold here still overnight (2C)
     
  9. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    I believe the reason they want you to switch is that the feed is high-protein and high-fat. Most chick starter is 18% protein, and 3.5% fat. It's probably meant to give the chicks a boost for the first few days. But high protein is believed to cause gout and kidney damage.

    I've researched this a bit, and I've found a lot of blog-type articles that say that kidneys are damaged by high protein. The actual studies I've found, the ones collected and recorded by scientists, say that high protein doesn't hurt kidneys, unless the subject already has kidney damage. Blog-type articles also say that gout is caused by high-protein diets. I haven't found a study to back that one up (though I refuse to pay for articles and I only use Google scholar, so fair warning here.) EDT: excess calcium pretty clearly does cause kidney damage, so if you want to be really careful of your birds, keep them on grower/allflock feed later and just give a bowl of oyster shell on the side.

    I'd finish that bag off and not give it another thought personally. But if you're worried, buy another bag of starter. Or meatbird grower. 18% protein and 3.5% fat or lower. Then I'd mix it with that one. Problem solved.

    Also, if you start giving grit, you can start giving treats. Wild chickens start their lives on grass and bugs. So long as they have grit and you're not going overboard, there's no reason you shouldn't do the same.
     
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  10. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    Huh interesting never seen that before. Honestly I'd just use it up, regardless... or if you're concerned that protein is just too high, mix it 50/50 with the next level of feed.
     
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