Chick Questions!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mgarrett, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. mgarrett

    mgarrett Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2012
    Hey all,

    I too am pretty new to raising my own backyard chickens. I have 3 new chicks (two Buff Orpingtons and one Silver Laced Wyandotte). I have a few questions that I'm hoping all you experts at Backyard Chickens can answer for me since I'm relatively clueless and wanting to do the best possible job with my new beautiful chicks!

    1. Everyone keeps talking about healthy treats that chicks love to get them used to you- what kind of treats do you recommend?

    2. Piggy backing off my first question, does anyone have any extra tips for getting my chicks to like me? I definitely want pet chickens, but they don't seem interested at this age. Will just playing with them regularly do the trick?

    3. An employee at the Co-Op where I got my chicks said the Wyandotte will probably be a lot more flighty and not as friendly as the Orpingtons, but I got it anyways because it's what I wanted! However, I'm wondering what you all think about their temperaments- do you agree or have you had different experiences with these two breeds? I'm hoping they'll be good ones!

    4. How old should I expect my pullets to be before the begin laying? I've heard everything from 4-7 months, but for those of you who've had them maybe you know better.

    Thanks so much for any answers to these questions, and please feel free to give a newbie any other tips you all may have.
  2. RonC

    RonC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2012
    First off [​IMG], Wait till they are 2-3 weeks old before giving them treats and add chick grit to the menu when you do. The chick starter is very easy for them to digest and don't over do the treats. Mine love raw oats. They all seem to like different foods and their tasted will change with age. There is a thread with all the favorites listed. Feeding them the treats will get them used to the BIG hand. Also move slowly and talk quietly to them, try not to reach down from above, it's a reaction to predators swooping down on them. Each bird has their own personality as well as the different breeds. I own neither of the breeds you mentioned so I'm sure someone else here will have a better opinion on those. Four to seven months sounds right but again that's breed specific. Lots of good information here and good luck on your chicken adventure.
  3. ButchGood

    ButchGood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2012
    Central Texas
    Hi, I'm no expert, but Ive raised chicken in the past for about 11 years. I just started a new flock this year and its been a blast so far..
    question 1. Meal worms are called (Chicken Crack) they love these things. Really wouldn't give any treats until they are about 3 weeks old.
    2.Yeah, just talk to them everyday, hold them when you can, the first 2 weeks they won't like you very much. They want to eat,nap, play and poop. After about 3 weeks of age and they get a taste of the chicken crack they will love you. Every time I walk up to the run I say Hey chickie chickie. They come running. They will learn that the giant visitor has tasty morsels.
    3.I have Buff Orpingtons and Australorps. Both breeds were advertised as very friendly. They are as advertised. I love them.
    4. Around 20 weeks give or take

    If the weather is mild do not wait long to get them outside. Don't overheat your chicks. The advertised heat recommendations I have found to be bunk. Keep it as cool as possible but warm enough to keep them comfortable. Pasty butts come from treats to early and a brooder that's to hot. I had mine in the coop and run at 3 weeks old. They are very happy and healthy.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  4. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 3, 2012 this is a thread I found that I thought was very helpful. Be sure to add some chick grit to there diet also as you introduce treats.

    I have 3 SLW chicks 7 weeks old and they are super friendly. Me and my fam kids included handle them everyday since the day we got them at 3 days old. They jump right up on us on our hands and legs they snuggle up lined in a row on my arms though they are getting kinda big for it. And Kenevil doesnt think twice about hopping up on my shoulder to hangout with me she even does the occasional perch on my head lol. They are great and so far I love the breed.
  5. WhySayWhat

    WhySayWhat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    Yeah for chicks! I loved having my girls at that stage (they turned one last month)!

    I skipped the mealworms and such until they were much older (7 to 8 weeks), but I did enjoy giving them the yolk of a hard boiled egg! Chick starter (their normal feed) has grit in it, and they lived off their own yolk sac for days after hatching, so I never worried about "extra" grit with that treat. I started them off with a "mash" of yolk, chick starter, and warm water. They loved it! As they got older, I started giving them the yolk in larger pieces (and finally whole, this is still one of their favorite treats). Just remember, they need to eat their food as their "normal" diet and even a "healthy" egg yolk is like giving your kids a pound of chocolate for dinner if it's all they're eating!

    Another "no grit needed" chick treat is plain yogurt (the unflavored, unsweetened kind). Be prepared to drop it and run after they've had it a few times though, they can be very enthusiastic about eating it and it goes everywhere!

    For my 3 chicks, they got 1 yolk every 4 to 5 days and about 1 tablespoon of yogurt on "off yolk days", but only 2 to 3 times a week. Now that they are "big girls" their favorite treat of all is a handful of Dandelion leaves pulled from the yard!

    My gals (2 SLW and a BR) have stayed pretty flighty, but they do come over for pets and cuddles if "they" want them.

    And, finally, as for the laying gals started laying at 18, 20, and 24 weeks old. So, it really just depends on the chicken! My Barred Rock was the first to lay.

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