chicks eating a LOT & one being very aggressive

Discussion in 'Quail' started by USAmma, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. USAmma

    USAmma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am very new to this . . I have 14 coturnix chicks that are 1 week old today. Some are growing way faster than others. The largest are double the size of the smallest and are more advanced with feather growth. But all are spunky and active and seem healthy. I lost two the first day but none after that.

    They are eating way more than I expected them to eat! I picked them up 6 days ago and they have eaten about 4 pounds of game bird feed so far!! I ground it up for them to a fine powder. Today they also finished off 2 hard boiled chicken eggs. Will they slow down in the amount of food they eat once they stop growing? How many pounds of feed will I need to buy per week for say, one dozen laying hens? At this rate it's getting to be an expensive hobby. And at what age can I stop grinding it?

    Secondly I have one of the largest chicks that is being super aggressive towards the others. It is chasing the others around and pulling feathers off of them. They squeak with pain. I marked it so I could tell which one and I have been watching it all day. It keeps doing it. I put that one in a smaller cage inside the bigger enclosure so it can be near the flock but not reach the other chicks. Do you think this chick can be broken of this habit by keeping it by itself for awhile? Or should I just count on that one being culled?

    Thanks for all your advice so far and all the knowledge I have gained by browsing old threads.
     
  2. marksouth

    marksouth Out Of The Brooder

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    I have broken aggressive chicks several times by doing that. I call it the time-out box, a small box to itself. I kept them in the box for about an hour and it seems to help.
     
  3. USAmma

    USAmma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for replying! I actually think I fixed it. :) It has greatly reduced its habit of doing this.
     
  4. Julbrod

    Julbrod Out Of The Brooder

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    Another idea for the aggressive behavior is to use a red or black light bulb in your heat lamp. This has worked for my chicks every time.

    As far as eating a lot, I have some layers that eat way more than others so sorry to say I have no real recommendations other than buy in bulk!

    I'm looking into using acorns to supplement which are plentiful right about now!

    Good luck.
     
  5. dynodon

    dynodon Out Of The Brooder

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    I have raised hundreds of the A&M Quail .I hate to tell you that they eat more per pound than a hog . Worse than that , if you're not careful they waste twice as much feed as they actually eat .They seem to really enjoy raking it out of the feeders . I solved this by making my own feeders out of 2 in. pvc pipe , with a split opening lengthwise ,just wide enough for them to get their heads in .I will post some pictures as soon as possible . I have over 400 now , and am feeding between 150 and 200 lbs a week . I stop grinding my feed as soon as I take the chicks out of the brooder .
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. James the Bald

    James the Bald Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I second what dynodon says about "wasting". There were times when I cleaned out my brooder and there was a circle of feed under my chick feeder. Almost like what my kitchen table looks like when my 7yo son eats cheerios.
    I'd like to say they out grow it, but they don't.
    James
     
  7. USAmma

    USAmma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Edited to add photos!! :)

    Thanks! So far they are not wasting much. What some kick out, others scratch around and eat. But I will try to get creative about preventing waste as they get older. I was able to find some meat bird crumbles in bulk at a great price at my local feed store. Right now I'm feeding 24% protein game bird food ($10 for a 5 pound bag), but the meat bird crumbles are 22% protein and $10 for a 50 pound bag. So as soon as they get a bit older I'll try switching to that feed and supplement with goodies from our kitchen. (edited to correct proper weight of bag of feed just now)

    The bully one is calming down. I only see it picking once in awhile. I appreciate the advice on lights as a way to control this if it gets worse again.

    Here is a photo at 9 days old. Lots of variation in size and weight! Sorry so blurry- they don't stay still very long. Putting the waterer in the box seems to keep the water cleaner. I want to switch to a water bottle when they are moved outside.

    [​IMG]

    Here is one taken at 11 days old. This is one of the bigger chicks. I can't believe they all started at the same size! Their plumage is so beautiful!
    [​IMG]

    Here's my other bird. ;-)
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  8. bigrob83

    bigrob83 Out Of The Brooder

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    you may need to find a different feed store and buy in bulk
    #50 pound bags for about $18

    spending $10 for a few pounds at a time is going to get expensive quick

    your feeder with the holes works pretty well for keeping them from scratching feed out and wasting
    I try and always keep my feeders at chest height and just doing that cuts down on waste

    but the above idea of the pvc pipe is pretty slick
    I like that
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  9. USAmma

    USAmma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found 50 pounds of turkey/meat bird feed (22% protein) for $20 finally. Was so glad to find this locally! But since they are doing so great on the Gamebird/Showbird feed I'll wait until they are 3 weeks before I switch them. I just don't want to jinx things. Next time around I'll start them on the turkey feed.
     
  10. James the Bald

    James the Bald Chillin' With My Peeps

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    when you get ready to switch them, I recommend that you start to mix the feed. Start out a few weeks before your switch date by mixing in a small amount of the gamebird/showbird feed. This will allow their stomach to get used to the feed. Then every few days, gradually increase the gb/sb feed until you have more sb/gb feed and less of what they are currently on.
    I once changed my birds feed overnight because I overlooked the amount I had on hand and the store I normally get my feed from was out, so I just picked up something that I thought would work. The next morning they had diarrhea so bad, I had to run out and get the starter feed they were on so they wouldn't get dehydrated.
    James
     

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