Dumb questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Patoot, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I have learned a lot from this site and really appreciate all the help. I have some dumb questions for you. I just got four 3 month old RIR. I want to make sure I'm doing everything right.

    They are in a coop with one roost (2x4), food, water, and have a floor of pine shavings. I'm working on the nesting box. Do I need to be putting anything else in there. Do I need DE in there?

    They are eating Start and Grow and I'll switch them to layer pellets in a month or so. Do I need to be giving them anything else? When do I start scratch? When can I give them treats and how do I do that? Do I just throw it in the run or put it in a bowl or something? What's a good starting treat? Anything that will make me win their affection would be great too. They are very scared of me, but that's expected since I've had them for 1 day. [​IMG]

    Do I need to be putting anything in their water or food as preventative care/meds?

    Do I need to dust them for mites or worm them? I read differing opinions on that.

    Thanks for your help.

    Bree
     
  2. hallerlake

    hallerlake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they don't have access to dirt, I would give them grit. They need it to digest food. I would just throw cracked corn on the floor. They will love you for it. My girls also love yogurt. They could probably use the extra protein what with being stressed and all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I would put DE in the pine shavings, yes. And scatter some more every few weeks.

    You don't NEED to give them anything else. It's just nice to do so, as long as you don't give them too much stuff that throws off their protein intake. I never have given scratch to my chickens. The treat I give to them is BOSS (Black Oil Sunflower Seed) which is higher in protein than scratch, and it helps promote feather growth. High enough in fat to make their feathers really nice and glossy, too.

    You can put treats out now! You can either throw it in the run OR put it in a bowl as you like. If you use a special bowl, they'll get used to seeing it with you and get all excited about Treat Time, though. That's fun!

    Cut up veggies, household meal scraps, anything that isn't salty or high in sugar would be good for them.

    After you put down (or toss) treats, pull up a chair into the run and sit in there with them. Bring a book and something to drink. Spend time in the run WITH them, quietly. They are curious birds and over time will come over to you to inspect your clothing, shoes, everything. Just speak softly to them, sometimes try holding out a handful of BOSS - or old fashioned, long cooking oatmeal - to them, and be patient.

    I won't comment on your other two questions. I don't put anything in their water, nor do I worm mine - and won't unless I see evidence of worms.
     
  4. GAchick

    GAchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    But if you are where it is hot still, like I am, don't give them cracked corn until it cools off...
     
  5. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks guys. Very helpful.

    I'm going to let them out for the first time right now!!!! I'm so excited! I am just gonna let them in the run in case I need to escort them back in. [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the help.

    I had also read you don't worm unless they have worms so that confirms it for me.

    Thanks again! Off to see my girls!

    Oh, and their names are Henrietta, Dorothy, Cadbury (get it?[​IMG]) and Omelette (lol). The last was a joke but everyone loves it so it stuck.

    Bree
     
  6. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, and where do I get DE? I know it needs to be food grade, but where's the best (and hopefully cheapest) place to get it typically? Should I try the feed store I got the food from?

    Thanks.

    Bree
     
  7. TreeHugger

    TreeHugger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try the feed store to get DE. Don't be surprised if you get a DUH look. I tried four different feed stores before I found someone who carried it and actually knew what I was asking for. One lady actually looked at me like I was stupid. Make sure they give you food grade...
     
  8. wsdareme

    wsdareme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Patoot, those are EXCELLENT questions! Remember, the rest of us started out not knowing anything, too. Asking questions is the only way you'll get the information you need without having to suffer a "well, I learned my lesson" moment.

    You didn't say how many days your girls have been confined to their coop, but it might be a good idea for them to spend at least 4-5 days locked in before you turn them out (especially if you're planning on free ranging). That way, they learn that the coop is their home and safe haven and will be much more inclined to head in there in the evening without you having to catch them. Which might be hard since they don't know you well yet...

    DE (diatomaceous earth) is the best thing since sliced bread. Most feed stores should carry it. Make sure it is food grade. It helps dry up poop so your bedding lasts waaaaaaaaaaaay longer, is good for controlling flies and bugs, and god for your hens in general.

    Good luck, and [​IMG]
     
  9. Patoot

    Patoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. I let them out of the coop into the run. They were very cute.[​IMG] They didn't come out at first and I just waited patiently from a distance. One finally stuck her head out and eventually decided the coast was clear. Once she came out, two other followed. The fourth came out eventually and then went back in. The 3 that were out had a blast, though it was just for a short time. They picked at bugs, loved some grass, and scratched like crazy. I can see why they hurt lawns so I am reconsidering a full free range since my yard is small, but we'll see. They will at least have a large run and come out in the whole yard when I'm home. One found a little ant hill and went to town. [​IMG] I also think one picked up a piece of plastic and ate it. I don't know if it was plastic because I raked the whole area and made sure it was clean so it could have been a piece of paper from their food bag or something. Silly girl.

    So far, so good. I'll get some sunflower seeds and other treats for them and try to find some DE too.

    Thanks again for all your help.

    Bree (& Henrietta, Dorothy, Cadbury, and Omelette)[​IMG]
     
  10. hallerlake

    hallerlake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I have tried giving my girls BOSS, but they haven't figured out that the good stuff is inside the shell. Should I try crushing some before I give it to them? Will that give them the hint? My girls also love fruit. Give them the rinds from cantaloupe or other melons to pick clean.
     

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