Feeding Veggies and Living outdoors Questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by moeswife, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. moeswife

    moeswife New Egg

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    Apr 28, 2016
    I was wondering how old the chicks should be to feed them other things besides chick food. They are all at least 4 weeks old. How long do they need to have the medicated food?

    We tried giving them a few pieces of lettuce since there isn't much to it and they were afraid of it. How old do they need to be to have veggies?


    We have also considered putting them in one of the dog crates (they can't get out) and putting that in the back yard for a few hours so they can touch grass and get some fresh air (they are living in the basement). How warm does it need to be outside so they won't get chilled?

    Also how old should they be to transition them to an outdoor coop? We are building them a 4 x 6 coop that is big enough for me to walk in, they will also have access to a chicken run, how old do they need to be to move into there?

    Thanks!
    Gail
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I was wondering how old the chicks should be to feed them other things besides chick food. They are all at least 4 weeks old. How long do they need to have the medicated food?

    I start offering my chicks treats once they are about 2 weeks old. Here are some ideas for good, healthy treats for them:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/181429/good-treats-for-baby-chicks/0_30

    Make sure though, if you're feeding anything other than their regular chick starter, that you provide grit to help them break down and digest the food. Fine, clean sand will be good at this age. You can sprinkle some over their feed for them.

    The medicated starter, I'd leave them on until you switch to a grower ration, as preventative.


    We tried giving them a few pieces of lettuce since there isn't much to it and they were afraid of it. How old do they need to be to have veggies?

    They are old enough for lettuce and other treats, but remember this is something strange for them, that they've never seen before! They won't recognise it as food yet. Give them time and encourage them to peck at it. They'll learn… :)


    We have also considered putting them in one of the dog crates (they can't get out) and putting that in the back yard for a few hours so they can touch grass and get some fresh air (they are living in the basement). How warm does it need to be outside so they won't get chilled?

    Also how old should they be to transition them to an outdoor coop? We are building them a 4 x 6 coop that is big enough for me to walk in, they will also have access to a chicken run, how old do they need to be to move into there?

    That is a good idea. At 4 weeks of age they should have enough feathers and be able to regulate their temperature to a fair extend. Make sure they have some shade as well as sunny spots to hang out in and watch their behaviour. If they huddle together tightly, they are too cold and need to go back inside. If they are comfortably spread out, they are fine. Put them outside for a bit, see how it goes and increase the outside time gradually until they are about 6-7 weeks old. Depending on your night-time temperatures, they should be fine sleeping outside in the coop by then. I'd start by letting them spend day-time in the coop and run for a few days and then switch to leaving them in there overnight as well.
     
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  3. moeswife

    moeswife New Egg

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    Apr 28, 2016
    Thank you!
     

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