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advice needed for my 8wk old chicks , im new to raising chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Debbielucia, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. Debbielucia

    Debbielucia In the Brooder

    Aug 13, 2010
    Hi I have 3 chicks 2 of them are white silkies the other has turned out not to be a silkie ....she is red with leopard print markings on her wings and a black stripe down her head , very long soft feathers not fluffy like the silkies , anyway not sure of type but would appreciate comments , 1 of my silkies is a rooster im sure as he is getting a mane and trying to use his voice ...haha
    Im feeding them chick grub but dont know what age they can have grit believe they need this for digestion , please advise me . I talk to my birds lots touch them pick them up give them lots of cuddles but thet still soo shy and scared , i read that they are very sociable but not mine , I only had them 3 wks , am i being too impatient ? Im reading up on everything as i want my chicks to be happy does anyone know any online info i can get to advise me more i just want to do it all right ...

    thank you in advance for any info recieved

    Debbie uk
  2. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

    Mar 18, 2010
    stamford, ct
    If the chicks are eating nothing but chick starter they don't need the grit. If you feed anything at all supplemental, they should have grit available at all times. By 3 weeks mine were getting treats of homemade yogurt so and small bits of other treats occasionally, so I kept grit available. I also used to dig up a square of sod from the back of my property about once a week and put it in their brooder to scratch through and peck at and I'm sure this also added some grit. As far as sociability, they go through stages and at 3 weeks you may be looking like the "big scary hand" to them. Approach slowly and maybe try having a bit of yogurt on your finger to teach them that you are in fact the "big yummy hand". BYC is the place to find more info, just search the forum and/or post questions as they come up. People are very willing to help. Good luck!
  3. Debbielucia

    Debbielucia In the Brooder

    Aug 13, 2010
    Thank you very much for your reply , will be out there in the morning hands covered in yoghurt n fruit

  4. AKsmama

    AKsmama Songster

    Jun 20, 2010
    South Carolina
    A lot of their predators come from the sky, so they tend to freak when you reach for them from above. I've had better luck sitting down and slowly reaching for one at chest level. Remember, they're not kittens and puppies, they're chickens. Most chickens just don't want to be picked up and cuddled. Some enjoy a scratch every now and then, and mine really like sitting on my legs, arms and even head when they get the chance (although I don't let the roos do that). But as far as hugs and kisses go, yeah, they just don't wanna most of the time. They're happier just being chickens. I get a lot more enjoyment out of watching them interact with one another and their environment than anything else.

    I also would dig up dirt and grass and put it in my brooder. They loved it- ate it, took dustbaths, scratched it out everywhere. It gives them gradual exposure to the dirt they'll be walking on outside too. Mine have been out in the coop and run for three weeks now, and I still go dig up nice dirt (sometimes with earthworms, which they love) and little tiny bits of gravel for them and take a bowl into the coop, even though their run is mostly dirt. It's pretty packed down though. Just giving them a little taste of what they'll be digging around in when they are old enough to free range a bit.

    I'd be careful covering your hands in yogurt. Trust me, if it doesn't already, it WILL HURT when they eat it off your fingers as they get older. It's one thing to get an accidental nip, like when you're putting treats down or something, but quite another when you let them deliberately do it. They will figure out you are a walking, talking bottle of protein [​IMG] That's why us BYCers say "Don't faint or fall down in the coop, you might wake up less an arm!" [​IMG] Seriously, just don't let them deliberately hurt you trying to "make friends" with them. Just let them do their chicken things and enjoy them!
  5. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging 8 Years

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Many chickens don't enjoy being cuddled and petted, but some do. I have three out of my last batch of chicks that really, really like to cuddle in my lap, and love affection even more than my cat does. But it's strictly an individual trait.

    When I got my Ameraucana chicks, I asked about their personalities, and I got many replies about them being stand-offish and skittish. I have three that are cuddle-bums. Can't get enough cuddling!

    I "lap-trained" all the chicks from the beginning, taking them for one-on-one time each evening. Those that remained indifferent to cuddling are, at the very least, extremely tame and easy to catch when the need arises.

    Pay attention to your chicks, and they'll let you know what they need and like.
  6. hensonly

    hensonly Songster

    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY
    Welcome to the world of chicks! One word of warning regarding grit. Until they are laying, don't use oyster shell or anything else that has calcium in it. They don't need the extra calcium until they are creating egg shells, and it will harm their organs. BY now, your chicks should be big enough to handle adult-size grit, so go to your local farm store and buy a bag of crushed granite. It comes in 50 lb bags, which is a lot of grit, but it doesn't spoil so who cares if it lasts for a couple of years? Buying small bags is awfully expensive.

    If you need grit for tiny chicks, take some of your adult grit and tap it with a hammer to downsize it. It breaks up easily, but tap it gently or the pieces fly everywhere and you won't have any left! Some people mention buying parakeet grit from the pet store. READ THE INGREDIENTS if you do this, as calcium is often one of the first ingredients. And, as above, you do not want this for birds before laying age.

    Post a photo of your little "surprise package" chick on the thread devoted to determining sex and breed. YOu might find an answer there. At least, you'll provide entertainment for us all!

    Sorry, somewhere I thought you said your chicks were 8 weeks old...rereading your post, you didn't! If they're 3 weeks, you do probably need to crush the grit smaller. Also, you could put it in a plastic bag before you broke it with the hammer...the bag will tear, but it will still contain the bits of grit... good luck, enjoy your babies!
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  7. Hi! Sounds like you've gotten lots of advice that is good. Go easy on treats. The growing starter is necessary for bone, muscle, and feather growth. Treats should not replace it.

    No matter how much I handled them, our six chicks were quite "flighty" until they became young adults (about 4 months). Now they love us and sit in our laps if we take the time to sit with them. Four of them come over and jump up, the other two, have to be picked up. It's amazing how tame them become. Have fun with your little ones. [​IMG]
  8. Debbielucia

    Debbielucia In the Brooder

    Aug 13, 2010
    Thank you so much to everyone for ur replies , im new to this site and im loving it people are soo helpful and im learning so much , i love reading the threads of other peoples experiences ,
    I think ive confused people on the age of my chicks , i bought them home when they were 5 wks old and now they are 8wks old , will put photo on tmoz
    I tried the yoghurt today but to no avail they didnt even peck me !!! then i tried oats .... seeded crackers....... melon ......woooo they loved it , think they like me now phew I just want them to see me as mummy who wants to make them happy lol , i know i need to sit back n relax and just watch them
    I let them have full run of the garden today and they totally loved it , playing in the straw , eating grass , weeds hey and even my roses !!!! soo funny to watch them running about .
    will be visiting local farm this week to get some grit now they having treats , oh can they eat parsley ? i have soo much of it growing , ive been growing lettuce and sweetcorn for them too .
    Do i need to get them vaccinated ? if so what age ?

    Thanks again to you all for advice

    Debbie mother to 1 girl age 5 , 2 staffy dogs , 3 cats , 2 white silkies and 1 unknown red bird oh and hubby who loves to make things with wood
  9. dragonlair

    dragonlair Songster

    Apr 29, 2008
    The chicks i got a 3 days of age were flighty as all get out until I moved them into their nice new coop. Now they are friendly and under foot all the time.

    My layers are freindly but don't like to be held or petted much. They mostly run to me when I walk in their pen or perch on my feet while I am fixing their meal. The worst of the layers are the 3 ex-commercial girls. When I first got them they were spooky, but have calmed down and are real pests!
  10. chickie<3

    chickie<3 Chirping

    Jul 6, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    ur description of ur leopard print chick sounds exactly like my partridge barred rock...although it will b reddish when full grown..it is looking pretty funky now with het leopard print wings and stripe down her back
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010

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