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Brand new chick raiser! SOS

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bsparky3368, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. bsparky3368

    bsparky3368 New Egg

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    Mar 5, 2013
    Minnesota
    This is worse than being worried about a kid! Never had chicks before, but I've had parakeets- not closely related but they were at least birds.
    Anyway,
    I'm having info overload and not enough info. Please tell me- when can I give them fermented feed? And, how long do they stay on chick starter. The package says 16 weeks. that seems like a long time to me.

    for boredom, I've read other posts and am wondering, what does everyone use for roosts when their so little? and how high should I set it?

    My husband finds these questions humorous so I'm not asking him. I think I've got everything else covered.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Usually I read here to feed starter til about 8 weeks then grower. Where I live they sell one feed, called starter/grower, to be fed til time for layer --- which is around 20 or 22 weeks or when they start laying. It's not that significant, really. Certainly I wouldn't waste a half eaten bag of feed because it was week # whatever. I have fed starter/grower to adult flocks for long periods, with oyster shell on the side, to avoid having the extra calcium in the layer because there were young chicks in the flock.

    I don't know anything about fermented feed, sorry. There are threads on here about it.

    For roosts for chicks, just set it at a height where they use it. A few inches are probably enough for the first few weeks. They don't actually need roosts til they're ready for them, around when they start crowing or laying, but as you said, it's a good distraction, something to do. Use whatever is handy. A narrow pole like a broomstick, or a scrap of 1x2, are fine when they are little. You can also make little shelves of wood scraps, tin cans, bricks, whatever, for them to jump on. You can change something every few days to give them something new to explore. It's all good. You don't have to do it -- but they are less likely to pick on each other this way.

    Mostly, just relax and enjoy them. There are a thousand ways to raise chicks that are all OK, and all work. You will learn just from sitting and watching them. Set your hand in the brooder and let them get used to you, then put a little moistened feed on your palm and let them learn you are the bearer of "treats."

    Have you seen our treats chart? You can give them most anything you would eat, if both the pieces and quantities are small, say 10% of their diet. Chickens make great garbage disposals for table scraps and many veggie and fruit scraps.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-treat-chart-the-best-treats-for-backyard-chickens
     

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