Baby Chicks: Three Observations At One Week After Hatch

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Bulletproof Roo

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 14, 2013
North Central Florida
Today, for the first time, three new behaviors were observed in the chicks, who are, by the way, being kept in a cardboard box with fine wood chip bedding, a radiant heater, chick starter, and a water drinker. The three behaviors are 1) attempting to fly by jumping and flapping in an effort to get on top of the heater, 2) the scratching and looking routine so familiar to those of us who keep chickens, and 3) the dust bathing ritual, even though there's no dust in there, just fine wood chips. I was really surprised by seeing the dust bathing ritual, since I figured they'd need to have some dirt before doing that. Should I put a pan of dirt in there?

Fascinating that all three of those started at exactly one week since hatching.

PS At what age should I take them for their first outing out of doors? I'm assuming they will voluntarily stay pretty close to me when I do. Is this correct?
Sounds pretty normal from my experience. Yes you can put dirt or sand in the brooder for them.One of mine disappeared one day and she had buried herself up to her neck in the shavings. I put some sand in the brooder with mine after they started dust bathing. First time one used it the flying sand scared them all. They didn't go near it for a few days.I prefer the larger flakes so they can't eat them which may or may not be a problem, I had no problem with them eating any large amounts. They are old enough to go outside but I wouldn't depend on them staying close to you. I made a pen (4x8} out of chicken wire to keep mine contained. Keep an eye on them, they would be a snack for a predator at that age. Also watch the temperature while they are out, still fragile at a week old.
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They will hop out of that box so you might want to place some hardware wire cloth on top as a sort of lid. They might like a roost to sit upon even if it is low to the ground. You can take them out but put up a pen or barrier and stay with them so they are safe. You might introduce them to yogurt - always fun to watch or bait worms.

They will jump on top of anything you place in the brooder - If they were with Momma, they would even climb on top of her and hang out. They will play fight too. They will do this to establish pecking order.

Pictures please !!!!

Pictures please !!!!

Here you go. Nine days old today.

PS I went out and bought them some "giant worms" and some crickets today from the pet shop. First I put in a "giant worm," and they were both terrified of it as soon as they realized it was alive and moving. So I took it out. Then I put in two crickets. Same thing. Terrified of them. Now I have two loose cricket in my house that will likely keep me up at night making their cricket noises.

I gave all the "giant worms" and crickets to my flock outside, and all went wild over them. The rooster was really cool. At first, the hens looked at them and seemed disinterested. Then the rooster saw them and gave his excited call that something great to eat was there, and all the hens responded by enthusiastically digging in. The rooster would grab a giant worm, call a hen over to him, then drop it at her feet for her to eat it. He repeated that several times. I don't think he ate a single one of them. The hens ate them all up.
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