First time chicken raiser—Buff Orpington chicks!

Mcham

Hatching
Dec 15, 2020
4
0
9
Hey everyone! I’m new here, but so excited to be a part of this community! I’ve wanted to raise chickens for so long, and my husband and I finally have the yard to do so. Last Sunday we picked up our first chicks from a local family breeder—5 Buff Orpingtons. We were told they were 5-7 days old, so at this point, they’re 12-14 days old.
We were told “guaranteed females,” but I’m curious about one. It’s comb is more prominent than the others at this point and it’s way more bold! It’s been fun to interact with it as it will come right up to my hand when I go in to clean and feed. Is it too early to know for sure?
Also, another question that I’m having a hard time finding a clear answer to: I’ve started to give them strawberry, blueberry, and zucchini treats a couple days ago (I only give it to them once a day so it’s not ruining their appetite for the starter). Anyway, I put grit in the brooder with them and they love it! I’ve read that they shouldn’t eat too much but I should also leave it available if they’re eating anything other than starter. Is too much harmful? Should I only offer it to them when the other foods is out?
 

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Allthefloofs

Songster
Sep 16, 2020
607
1,465
216
Scottsdale, AZ
I'm interested in what people have to say about this, I typically sprinkle it in their food or on the ground in their bedding around the two week mark and 20 some odd chicks later I haven't had a problem, but those that have raised chickens for a lot longer probably have much more experience and I am curious now too.
 

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
8,335
36,477
933
Belding, MI
Be sure to put out chick grit (grit in a size for small chicks) if you are giving them anything besides their chick feed. TSC will have it, as will another feed store.

Keep treats to a minimum, 10% of what they eat, or less. Their feed has what they need to grow, and any treats dilutes that. What I gave my new chicks as a treat was some of their food, wetted down into a mash. They LOVED it! I would put it in the palm of my hand and they dashed right up to me to eat it. It felt like getting tapped with dull pencils. It got so that if I said, "Chickie snack!" they came running.

And, yes, welcome to BYC!
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,881
35,832
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
We were told “guaranteed females,” but I’m curious about one. It’s comb is more prominent than the others at this point and it’s way more bold! It’s been fun to interact with it as it will come right up to my hand when I go in to clean and feed. Is it too early to know for sure?
Also, another question that I’m having a hard time finding a clear answer to: I’ve started to give them strawberry, blueberry, and zucchini treats a couple days ago (I only give it to them once a day so it’s not ruining their appetite for the starter). Anyway, I put grit in the brooder with them and they love it! I’ve read that they shouldn’t eat too much but I should also leave it available if they’re eating anything other than starter. Is too much harmful? Should I only offer it to them when the other foods is out?

Way too early to sex the chicks.

As far as grit, I would always have some out. If they're gorging on it, I would limit how much I put out, but not deprive them of it either.

"Should I only offer it to them when the other foods is out?" - grit doesn't work that way. They hold it in their gizzard to help break down food. It's not like they eat grit, eat a snack, and grind down the food simultaneously.
 

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