Feeding 10 week old chicks

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jomoncon, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. jomoncon

    jomoncon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recently replaced my older flock with 16 new chicks who are now 10 weeks old. I've had them in the outside coop for about 7 weeks now. And I've encountered a problem I've never had before - RATS!!! Since the chicks are still young, they don't weigh enough to open the treadle feeder I have, so I've been leaving it propped open, even at night. I realize that I'm leaving a feast for the rats. So I now close the feeder at night & open it in the morning. When I awake around 7 am, the chicks have been awake for at least an hour. And they are starving. Am I harming them by not having feed available as soon as they awake? I really need to remove the food at night to help control the rats.
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Hi,

    The chicks will be totally fine - don't worry about them. They are feeding machines and quickly make up for any lost time!
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    When dawn is later in January, it would be the same.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    My flock is shut in the coop without food until I get out and open it up, sometimes not until after 9:00. They are just fine. One thing you might try is to switch them to fermented feed. There will never be any left over feed to attract rats. Never any spilled feed to attract them, either. On FF, my flock grows faster, reaches POL faster than the birds (from the same source, and of the same age) of my friends.

    Have you put out some traps? Snap traps need to be tied down so the rats don't drag them down their hole. I've heard that the water bucket traps work well. You can also use a live trap. What ever you use, be sure to set it up in such a way that your chickens, or other pets can't get harmed by it. I'd try these methods before using bait. Also, be sure your feed is kept in a covered metal container. If you're aware of even one rat, you have a true infestation. Probably for one rat you're aware of, there are at least 10 more, and they breed incredibly fast.
     
  5. jomoncon

    jomoncon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much for all the replies. Now I can pick up the food at night & not worry about my chicks. lazy gardener, I've tried fermenting the grower crumble I use & they seem to love it. I just have to be so careful with it or it will spoil. I also sprout some mixed seeds for them. All the seeds & food are kept in metal containers. And you're so right about there being many more rats than you think. I set out some snap traps 2 days ago, but I think they're in the wrong place. I have a square plastic container that I'm going to cut a rat-sized hole at the bottom & put the trap inside that right next to one of the rat tunnels. Probably bait it with peanut butter.


    Has anyone tried using any of the urines to repel rats? I was looking at this website: http://www.predatorpeestore.com/repel-rats-rat-problems-coyote-urine.html
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    If you've got rats, you want to kill them, not repel them. If your FF spoils, you're feeding too much. Feed them the amount they'll clean up in 2 - 3 hours. You don't need to keep it down for them all the time, contrary to what "they say". I feed my flock in the morning, then they range either in run or free, and they get an other smaller feeding before being locked up if their crops look like they need it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2015

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