Chick questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Blue_Myst, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Songster

    Feb 5, 2009
    Ok, I'm hoping raise chicks for the very first time this spring, and I'm trying to do some research to determine if this is something I really can/want to get myself into! I'd probably only get 3 or 4 chicks. Here are the questions:

    (1) Where is the best place to get chicks? Online or local? I was thinking of getting them from a local store, mainly because if ordered online they sometimes send you extra, and I only want 3 or 4.

    (2) Do chicks require vaccinations of any sort? (some sources say yes, but I really don't want to spend $100 of dollars; that's another dozen bags of chicken feed!)

    (3) I've heard of something called Poly-vi-sol mentioned for giving new chicks. What is it, and its benefits?

    (4) As for diseases, I've heard that if chicks under 2 or 3 months old come in contact with soil, they can get coccoidosis, is this true? Does this mean I should keep them indoors for the first 2 months? Do they still risk catching it even after reaching 2 months of age? Is there a lot I can do to prevent this disease?

    (5) I was hoping to fortify my current chickens' pen a little more to keep the chicks in it when they are 2 months old until I can introduce them to the three older hens I currently have. Is this wise considering it's already been 'lived in' by other chickens?

    (6) When can feed such as cracked corn and oyster shell be introduced?

    (7) How long until I can introduce the chicks in with the adult hens? I was thinking around 2 1/2 to 3 months, and doing it through free ranging contact.

    (8) I assume that there is no restraint on when I can introduce my chicks to DE, is this right?

    I'm sorry for so many questions....and thank you in advance! Can you tell I'm nervous? [​IMG]

  2. beakkeeper

    beakkeeper Songster

    Jul 20, 2008
    Quote:Hope this helps!
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  3. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    Try to get them from a local feed store. They order large numbers and they have a good chance to survive the shipping in greater numbers.

    If you have never had chickens on your property and there are not others around you, you most likely will not need to vaccinate.

    Polyvisol is a childrens vitamin and it is good for chicks that may have suffered injury during shipping. I would use the Grogel available at McMurray or other poultry suppliers to get them off to a good start. It is for chickens.

    Cocci, spores live in the ground and it is easily treated. I keep mine in a brooder until around 13 weeks old then they go outside. Older chickens can also contract cocci when under stress. Actually they all have it, it is just when there is an overload that causes real trouble. If you use medicated feed with amprolium it helps prevent Cocci.

    I try not to blend new chicks to the old flock until they are full grown and have a better chance to fend against the Alpha hen. Keep them where the others can see them but and eventually allow them to come and go into the others area. As to germs they will need to be exposed eventually.

    Cracked corn should be avoided in the summer but can be given around 10 weeks. Many give it sooner and some don't give it at all. I buy a high protein scratch of mixed grains and give it as a treat at around 10 weeks. I give hard boiled eggs, oatmeal and yogurt earlier it helps for them to become more tame. I feed it only out of my hand so they get used to being around me and looking for treats. I handle them as much as possible at this time so they will continue to have contact. It helps when you have to worm or treat for mites or all the other tending the is eventually required.

    The introduction of new birds was answered above

    DE is good from day 1 if you choose to use it. I have used it on and off for the five years I have had chickens. It has become difficult and expensive for me to get where I live and I don't feel it is worth the time and expense. It can do some good but it not the do all, cure all that many people would have you believe. I have found the best thing it does is kill the bugs that crawl around the yard and possibly in the coop. I have not found it to be all that effective in eliminating worms. If you start at day one and never run out it may or may not prevent them but there continues to be a great controversy regarding the use of DE.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Actually feeding them the chick starter that is medicated with Amprolium helps them build an immunity to coccidiosis. I forget who I learned this from - silkiechicken maybe?. The key is to give them the medicated chick starter and expose them to the germs you want them to build an immunity to. A body can't develop an immunity to something it's never been exposed to.
    My chicks were fed the medicated starter and were outside scratching around in the dirt on nice days at 2 weeks old. I never had a problem with cocci.

    ETA: Silkiechicken explains the cocci/soil connection well here:
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009

  5. Delta2 23

    Delta2 23 Flock Master

    Sep 4, 2008
    I bought my chicks from this local place- sometimes when they ship the peeps they die on the way- sometimes they get thrown about too much or it's too cold.
    If you buy them local they give them to you in a box with bedding and a bit of food. You can keep them warm in the car with a towel.

    Only feed grown up chickens oyster shell- it's to give them extra calcium for egglaying. If you give it to little chicks their bones will go wrong
  6. Padre

    Padre In the Brooder

    Dec 28, 2008
    Lebanon, TN
    I agree with EVERYBODY!!!! This is what this site is known for! Folks that have the experiance helping the younger less experianced get off to a good start!!! I am very new and several have given me good advice. Oh and, they don't call this the lunatic Frindge for nothing...... soon 4 or 5 won't be near enough. [​IMG]
  7. wings

    wings Songster

    Jan 11, 2009
    Quote:I would try to go as local as possible; you will have a better chance of healthy chicks that don't die on the way. Also, they will be a few days older sometimes, so you can get a better idea of their basic health.

    I totally understand your concern: I am a young chicken owner and there is a lot to know!!! Good luck, and have fun!!![​IMG]

  8. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Songster

    Feb 5, 2009
    Wow, didn't expect to get so many replies so quickly! Thank you everyone for the advice!

    I was very nervous about the Coccoidosis business, but I guess it's easier to treat and prevent than I thought.

    ...... soon 4 or 5 won't be near enough. wee

    Heh, I wish! It's not so much a matter of desire as a matter of free time....​
  9. wings

    wings Songster

    Jan 11, 2009
    That's the beauty of BYC! Everyone has so much information they are willing to share, so you get replies quickly!! [​IMG]

  10. blueroot

    blueroot Hatching

    Feb 7, 2009
    are selling endangered chickens worth it?

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