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baby chickens outdoors central florida

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by platedheart, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. platedheart

    platedheart Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 13, 2011
    brevard fl
    info on baby chickens kept outside ..heard chicks raised outside with access to sandy dirt while growing are less likely to get sick than those kept indoors..well the weather is nice and sooo whats your opinion
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    With the exception of two chicks that I brooded inside until they were nearly 6 weeks old, I brood all my chicks outside. I have all chicks out and about, exposed to our soil, for supervised playtime from about two weeks old. Chicks raised by my broody hens are out within a few days of hatch.

    If you are referring to coccidiosis, then yes it is important that they be exposed to it somewhat. The medicine in medicated starter retards the growth of coccidia at a critical stage in the host animal's small intestine to prevent more damaging coccidiosis in the large intestine. By acting on the young asexual stages of the coccidia life cycle, it allows exposure to first-generation schizonts, so the host animal can develop natural immunity to coccidia.

    In order to develop this immunity, the chick(s) have to be exposed to the cocci in the first place.

    What has always worked for me when raising chicks in the brooder (vs. letting my hens do all the work) is to start them out on medicated starter and then start taking them out on nice days asap, usually around the two week mark. Feed them the medicated for the first eight weeks and then switch them over to the flockraiser the rest of my birds eat.
     
  3. platedheart

    platedheart Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 13, 2011
    brevard fl
    yes i did that in washington (yes in the rain) the chicks i kept inside(control group b?) were slower to grow and sickly looking tho not actually ill ...and also how about some shade cover / hawk cover in the pasture ?any info? we had eagles but also trees and wild salmon so the eagle was not to concerned w my chickens...lucky? maybe
     
  4. hollyk

    hollyk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Canton, Texas
    If I had a suitable place for brooding outside set up I would. Of course right now our weather is not pretty so my little guys are in a brooder house. As soon as mine no longer need extra heat from the lamps they will be allowed to free range for periods of time in the fenced pen attached to the brooder house. I have not had trouble with day time predators. I have never lost more than one chick doing it this way, because this is the only way I have done it, I really can't compare the methods.[​IMG]
     
  5. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

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    I think they are healthier if they're raised outdoors, but that's just opinion. Our first batch, outside from the age of two weeks, had shinier feathers as young chicks than the second batch, who stayed indoors because we were on holiday and the person taking care of them only changed the food, water and bedding. [​IMG]
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    If you think about very young chicks and how their mother hen would care for them, it will tell you alot.

    Does she keep them under her (super warm) all the time? No. From just a few days old Mama lets them be out and about. If the chicks start peeping loudly (or if Mama thinks it's time) she calls the chicks back to her for a quick warm up under her.

    Does she worry about them eating only certain foods? No. She shows them all kinds of goodies to eat. She even shows them where to find grit for their digestion.

    Does she keep them under her all the time to keep them safe from aeriel predators? No. She watches the skies constantly and orders them back under her immediately if she senses a threat. She'll flatten herself to the ground as much as possible, with the chicks under her.

    So these things you can duplicate with chicks if you have the time.

    Take them out on nice days, but watch for signs that they are getting chilled - huddling together, peeping loudly.

    Let them eat the things they find outside. Be sure and show them where they can find tiny pebbles to use as grit.

    Stay with them at all times, or if you have to leave them for a short while, be sure they are in a predator proof pen.

    Mother Nature does it best, but if you want really healthy chicks you can duplicate the conditions nature raises them in.

    Just MHO of course.
     
  7. poseygrace

    poseygrace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I like this! So true.
     
  8. platedheart

    platedheart Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 13, 2011
    brevard fl
    thank you:D
     
  9. bloom chicks

    bloom chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I am so glad that you posted this! I have a broody and was debating on weather or not I should keep her with the flock! Her chicks hatched yesterday and today! So far my flock has been great with the chicks! She and the chicks are in the coop in a large dog crate!
     
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I am so glad that you posted this! I have a broody and was debating on weather or not I should keep her with the flock! Her chicks hatched yesterday and today! So far my flock has been great with the chicks! She and the chicks are in the coop in a large dog crate!

    Congrats on the new chicks. I use a large dog crate in a coop too. I usually keep them locked in the crate with mama for the first two or three days. Mama lets me know when she's ready to bring them out to meet the flock by pacing back and forth at the door.

    You do have to spend some time watching the first few days to make sure mama is up to the task of keeping her chicks safe from the other birds, but the majority of the time she is. Hens have been having chicks within the flock for centuries. It's right and it's natural.

    Make sure there is food and water available for the chicks when they get ready for it and let mama do the rest. Sure beats intergration issues later on.
     

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