From Chick to Adult

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jazzpurr, May 13, 2007.

  1. jazzpurr

    jazzpurr Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 2, 2007
    I have read every book and pamphlet I could find on raising chicks. I have a good coop under construction and I will probably be ordering my chicks but the end of the week.

    I need a time line that includes all the hardware and feed and water and grit.

    It seems I need "chick" feeders and waterers. But when to switch to adult bird equipment.

    What about the temp for the chicks. 95 the first weeks with a heat lamp and then 5 degrees lower every week but for how long?

    Exactly when to start the grit, Is there any clarity on the grit as far as sand, pebbles..? Does any one like Agway sell grit.

    What about calcium suppliments? When do I start them and how long does that continue?

    I'm really looking for something like a spreadsheet format broken down by week.

    The books are great but the elaborate on every detail and interlace all the personal experiences which spreads the necessary info all over a 100 page book.

    I guess I'm looking for 'Chicken Cliff Notes". Anybody have a summary thats short sweet and complete?

    Thanks in Advance
     
  2. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    Ok, I'll answer as many of your questions as I can. I dont have the time to put this all in a spreadsheet format, and I can tell you that you will learn as you go, as we all have. This will get you started, and when you have more questions, just come on back and ask away!


    #1. Yes, you will need to start with chick size feeders and waterers. You will be able to 'upgrade' these to a more "grown-up size around 6-8 weeks old, depending on the breed you are raising (banties- Bantam or 'mini' chickens -will need the smaller feeders longer). You can also begin raising the chick sized feeders/waterers as they grow, keeping them about level with their backs. Its good to hang them because it keeps the feed free of their feces and other bedding mess, as well as keeping out vermin, like mice.

    #2. Yes you start their temp at 95 for the first week, then lower by 5 degrees each week until they are feathered out nicely (around 6-8 weeks), or you reach your outside temp where you live. If it still gets chilly at night, you'll want a heat lamp of some form in the coop with them for a few more weeks, or until it warms up a little. Once they are bigger, they can regulate their body temp better.

    #3. As far as grit goes, chicks dont need it at all, unless you are giving them treats. If they are eating only their starter feed, then they dont need it, theres grit in their feed already. If you are feeding scraps or treats, offer the grit then, but you shouldnt offer treats or grit until they are at least 2 weeks old. As for the grit itself, you can use playground sand, parakeet grit, or find chick grit at your local feed store.

    #4. Calcium supplements should not be started until your hens begin laying eggs (around 18-20 weeks), and then you will continue indefinately throughout their laying years. Calcium should be available at all times to your layers.
     
  3. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Quote:jazzpurr, I don't mean to sound cranky here. What most of us have done is read all the books and taken notes. Yes, the books do have conflicting information. This is because no two people raise their birds exactly the same way.

    There are basic things that everyone needs to know. 4H kids and mom has given you some excellent information.

    I researched poultry for 10 years before getting our first flock. I don't feed animal meats or fats, I don't use drugs and chemicals. My way would not necessarily be the way you want to raise your flock.

    So I suggest you start your own spreadsheet or clif notes. Then when someone asks you WHY you do or do not do something with your flock, you will be able to intelligently tell them. You and your flock will be happier and healthier for it.

    regards,
    keljonma

    if edited, probably for typos..
     
  4. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    I don't feed animal meats or fats, I don't use drugs and chemicals.

    I'm the same way. I also mix my own organic feeds. Its more expensive to start with, but I like knowing what is going IN to the chickens I will be eating, or eating eggs from! [​IMG]

    We're here to help, but when you post the way you originally worded your thread, it does upset some of us, because WE had to do the research and learn, so alot of us feel like everyone should learn on their own, and just ask questions as needed, not ask for an entire breakdown of exactly how to do things. We all do things differently. Some treat their flocks like pets, some even raise them in the house! Some feed medicated feed and vaccinate, some don't. Some raise their chicks in the coop or barn from day one, some brood them in the house for a few weeks and then move them out. Some raise their flocks solely for food and treat them as such, while some intended to, but end up smothering them with cuddles and just gushing over them!

    So, there are no FOR SURE answers, wether asking here, or even in books. The way you will find the answers to your questions will be mainly by trial and error, and how YOU want to raise your flock. We are here to guide you, and help when you have questions, but we can not just TELL you how it must be done, or by when. All breeds are different, and in every breed, each individual chicken is unique, so there can be no absolutes in raising poultry. I have learned that in order to suceed in raising a flock, you must be flexible and able to adjust. If something isn't working, make adjustments! If it IS working, stick with it! And thats about the best advice I can offer you.​
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2007
  5. jazzpurr

    jazzpurr Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 2, 2007
    Thanks everyone,

    No Crankiness taken. I just want to do the best I can and not miss something.
    I know I will get attached to them and would feel rotten if I simply skipped over something in a book and it hurt them.

    We have a very small stream from mountain run-off and a very small pond about 25 feet in diameter. There are frogs and crawdaddies and minnows. My wife and are both guilty of naming just about every creature in there.

    There is a rabbit that lives down near the mailbox with a bad right rear leg. It sticks out and appears unusable. But he has been there for 3 months now and is getting fat on all the corn and scraps we leave him. Of course..he's named Thumper.

    We are getting Buff Orpingtons and I'm going to have to hide my wifes' sewing machine so she's not making them sweaters for the winter.

    Thanks again everyone for your help
     

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