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Boredom, treats, feathers falling out

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Hypertay, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Hypertay

    Hypertay Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2012
    Hi! I finally got some chicks from a farmer a couple counties over, they are supposed to be black copper marans but are looking like cuckoo marans as they get older. There are 3 about 3 weeks old, and 3 that are about 2 weeks old. The larger ones have wing feathers already and one's feathers are poking out at weird angles and then falling out during the day. There were a handful out of each side, but she doesn't look distressed about it and the others aren't pecking at her. I don't know if it is a vitamin deficiency or something else. Any advice?

    The chicks looked bored and we have given them some worms from our yard, and I put a clay dish of sand from outside for them to dust bathe and eat, and I have given them some applesauce and also mashed banana. I grew some parakeet seed into grass and they seem to like pecking at pieces of that too. Sometimes they peck at each other's pantaloon fluff, and they especially like the fluff from the largest bird, which I believe from his behavior is a roo. Their brooder box is about 5 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet tall, and has 3 inches or so of pine shavings. They have plenty of starter and water which I keep clean since they are in my kitchen and I am home almost all the time.

    I am wondering if there is anything else I can do to stave off boredom for them for the next 2 months during the coldest part of the year. They can't just keep eating treats all day, I actually had one eat so much applesauce that she urped it back up and the others tried to eat it again! I interact with them and let them peck at my wedding band, and pet them and sometimes pick them up which they don't really care for yet. My avatar is one of them.

    Thanks for any advice you have, I love this site!
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    Apart from treats what are you feeding them? If they're eating chick starter they should be O.K. nutrient-wise. You can put a mirror in there or something shiny, like a CD for them to play with. Also some crickets if you can catch/buy some. I believe some pet shops sell boxes full of crickets.
    I'm not sure about the feather loss though. Maybe someone else can give you an answer there.
     
  3. Hypertay

    Hypertay Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your answer. We got a huge bag of starter and they eat that all day long. I saw that others put toilet paper cores in for toys, so I did that today. I do have a mirror tile I can put in, that should be interesting! I caught a cricket and you are right, they really love those. I'll have to get some mealworms and crickets from the petstore after tomorrow.
     
  4. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    Probably normal feather loss--they are getting their adult feathers.

    I would be leery of giving your young chicks worms and sand from outside, unless they are on a feed that has a cocidiostat in it. The coccidia protozoa are everywhere in the "real world" outside.

    Unless they have started building up an immunity, either via medicated feed or gradual outside exposure, I would delay their chances of getting a gutload of protozoa until they are a little older.

    Just my opinion...
     
  5. Hypertay

    Hypertay Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks so much for that advice, I will stop giving them outside treats immediately and see about the cocidiostat tomorrow. They really love dirt bathing so I will have to find an alternative material. I'm going to use the advice on growing mealworms so I have my own supply. I gave them a mirror and some toilet paper tubes, and found that they love mashed sweet potato, mashed banana, and french cut green beans. The first 2 are really messy though, and make them peck at each others' faces which is what I am trying to avoid. I will also get a red heat bulb to discourage that.
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Letting them play with dirt and soil helps them build up their immune systems. Medicated feed will help, yes, but it's good to expose them to the great outdoors to help them grow strong and hardy. I've raised my chicks out doors as much as possible if I didn't have broody hens with them and they were quite healthy.
     
  7. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    My Coop
    I put dirt from my run in my brooder box with day old chicks. They are on medicated feed for first 2 weeks. I believe in raising cocci resistant birds, exposing them early helps.
     

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