Free ranging

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mi2bugz, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At what age can chicks begin free ranging? And how much time should they have free ranging as chicks?

    The coop is ready for them but the run isn't. Between head colds and rain the process is taking longer than expected. They are starting to outgrow their brooder and I am feeling sorry for them being confined in the brooder. They are now 6 weeks. There are 4 of them and the coop is 8x8.

    I was thinking of spending time outside to let them free range supervised. Weather permitting they can free range while we build the run.

    Thank you for any insight.

    ~ Nicole
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Chicks can start free ranging at anytime, chicks with a broody often do almost from the day they hatch. If you are able to keep an eye on them and can catch them, or have a secure area for them that they can't get out/ predators can't get in, I vote let them at it. You might need to keep an eye out for a coccidia is about it.
     
  3. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When you're comfortable with predators eating them you can let them free-range.
    Personally I keep mine penned till they're about 7-8 weeks old when they look & act more like a chicken than a fuzzy peeping bitty because I have lots of cats around.
     
  4. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you!

    They are fed chick starter which I read helps them become less susceptible to coccida but doesn't prevent or give immunity to it. Should they be vaccinated for it?

    ~ Nicole
     
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Medicated chick starter usually has low levels of amprolium in it to help chicks build up their immunity to coccidia without having an outbreak... but it should say medicated on the bag, regular chick starter does not contain it. With vaccinating, so far as I know they have to be vaccinated as day olds and it is usually done by the hatchery.
     
  6. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have the medicated starter since got them. The hatchery did say they were vaccinated against mareks but need the fowl pox. I didn't ask about any other vaccines :(.
     
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hatcheries usually only offer Mareks and maybe Coccidia, both of those they recommend to do as day old chicks. The various other vaccinations for other diseases can be done / should be done as older birds, some should be done more than once... there are a lot of differences of opinion on what needs and should be done to back yard flocks, and it will depend on your area and what you are planning on doing with the birds (showing etc). If you are considering other vaccinations, you might want to post on the Emergency/Diseases birds or on your state thread to see what people in your area are doing. The county extension or ag agent is another person to ask.
     
  8. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great suggestion! Thank you,
     

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