Any help/suggestions are welcome

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by aidensmomma, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. aidensmomma

    aidensmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2011
    North Central Florida
    Hi there, I signed on because I see lots of great advice on this forum and as a first time chicken owner, I have LOTS of questions. As of right now, I want to know if I'm doing this right...I have 12 chicks; 6 pullets and 6 straight runs. Right now they are all inside in a nice little renovated bookshelf with lights, food and water (I put down fresh newspaper and clean the water and food dishes twice a day, these things are MESSY!) My husband is building the chicken coop. We plan on having a permanent coop and a "playpen" as well so they can free range. We live on 5 acres in North Central Florida so the weather here is gorgeous right now, and quite warm during the day. Am I doing this right? I have medicated chicken crumbles that I feed them now. What else should I be doing? All I want is fresh eggs every day for my family and a few others if possible. Can I put the chicks in the coop when it's done in a few days? Will straw in the nesting boxes suffice for warmth? Should I be feeding them any additional foods? If they free range must I supplement their diet with something else? Is it easy to find organic chicken food? Can you make your own? If I have roosters should I keep them so the hens stay in line? I don't particularly want fertilized eggs. Like i said, any suggestions are welcome, and thanks in advance. Oh, one more thing. I have one little girl who has a hard time pooping...she peeps super loud EVERY time (seriously, every time) she poops and it appears she is having a hard time...do they get constipated? Can I help her out any?
    Thanks a bunch.
    A.Z.
     
  2. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    They should stay in the brooder until they are completely feathered, I would wait until they are about 3 months old before moving them outside. So far it seems that you are doing everything you can. You can give them some treats as they age when you do you will need to get grit to help them digest the food. I use straw in the nest boxes and coop area Once they are older I would feed layer feed with oyster shells they will eat what they need and get some from free ranging. Having a rooster since you will free range is a good idea they help protect the hens from predators if you gather eggs every day there should be no problem with the eggs. you can not taste the difference from a fertilized egg or unfertilized egg. You might even decided to hatch a few chicks later. I have a rooster with my hens I love to watch him find treats and warn the girls if something is wrong. good luck and enjoy your new chickens.
     
  3. aidensmomma

    aidensmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2011
    North Central Florida
    Thank you very much. What do you mean by treats?
     
  4. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Only suggestion I'd make is kitchen towels instead of newspaper on the floor for them. Newspaper is slippy and doessn't give them a good grip, and it can sometimes lead to cases of spraddle leg where their feet go out sideyways and they can't stay stood up properly. Paper towels or just old cloth towels gives them a much better footing for the first few days, then you can swap them onto wood shavings. They love scratching about in shavings and it's funny to watch them chucking piles of it all over the place...
     
  5. henney penny

    henney penny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 21, 2009
    Northern Maine
    Anything a rooster finds is a treat in his eyes for his girls.Bugs, worms, any food that you would give them.Mine get table scraps,but they have to be adults to give them table scraps.Althought vegies are good for them when they are a little older.The one that has a problem pooping may have pasty butt and that is dangerouse if not taken care of.Make sure its butt is free of poop as it can clog the opening and they won`t be able to poop and can die.Warm water or just pick it off if you can.I agree with the paper towels on the bottom of the brooder.I`m not sure what you have for water but you need to be careful as they can drown very easy,I put marbles in my waterer untill they are a couple weeks old.
     
  6. aidensmomma

    aidensmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2011
    North Central Florida
    Thanks for the advice henney penny, I removed the dried poo and her little pooty looks a little swollen...does man and beast salve work on chickens? As far as water, I'm using a water-er specifically for chicks so I'm not worried about them drowning. If I give them bugs do they need grit? and is that something you pick up at the feed store? or is it literally just dirt...? thanks again.
     
  7. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    Yes you can pick up grit at the farm store, when they are older they will find grit themselves when they free range. I have given my chicks at about 3-4 weeks old meal worms I got them at the pet store. You can also give them crickets but get some grit.
     
  8. aidensmomma

    aidensmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 20, 2011
    North Central Florida
    thanks schellie69, you truly are patient...i'm sure the questions I'm asking are stupid!! I will make a run to the farm store tomorrow for some treats. I'm not sure how old these chicks were when we got them and was too excited to ask once i found out one of them will lay green eggs![​IMG]
     
  9. henney penny

    henney penny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 21, 2009
    Northern Maine
    If they are very young get the grit that you would buy for paraketes and put it on the floor or in a small dish.AND NO QUESTION IS STUPID
     

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