Hello from Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by DaraKing, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. DaraKing

    DaraKing Just Hatched

    May 19, 2016
    Rio Rancho, New Mexico
    Hello from New Mexico! I've been lurking on BYC for a few weeks now, and figured it's time to come out of hiding. [​IMG]I'm brand new at raising chickens but so far, seem to be doing okay as my four of my babies are now 4 weeks old and pretty well feathered out (I couldn't resist getting a RIR -- that baby is just three days old!) My flock consists of a Buff Orpington, a Dominique, 2 Ameraucanas (or maybe easter eggers, I'm not too sure.), and the brand new baby Rhode Island Red, five birds in total. I'm fairly certain all are pullets.

    I've kept their brooders indoors in a bathroom but it's getting time for the "older" ones to be moved outside. I've had to keep the brand new baby separate from the others because the moment I put the RIR in with them, the Dom chased and pecked at the RIR. :( I admit, I went about it a bit backwards. I had NO idea that chicks grow so dang fast! I figured I could keep them indoors for a couple months while I figured out a coop/run setup. NOPE! So now I have a 6' high x 6' wide x 10' long dog run/kennel built in the backyard, and the coop will be arriving (ordered online, photo to follow) this Tuesday.

    Having set the stage, I'm hoping there are other New Mexican BYC members to provide input on this thread. My concern is that here in NM, we're in the desert (I'm about 10 miles from Albuquerque), and the temperature will vary widely within a day. It can get up into the high 90s or more at mid-day and then drop down into the 50s at night. I'm not so concerned about the day temps as I'll have a heavily shaded area in the run for my chickens, but being as young as they are I am worried about the colder overnight temps. Can anyone comment about that? Do I need to provide a heat lamp outdoors for them? As I said, the coop will be delivered on Tuesday, so I"ll be moving them outside (hopefully) by then.

    Snap Lock Chicken Coop - Standard <=== (click link to see the coop)

    Next question, at what age can I/should I start supplementing protein to them? Kitchen scraps? Ground egg shells and/or ground oyster shells? I know it isn't an exact science but a guideline to introducing these extras would be nice to have.

    I'm anxious to get input from the more seasoned BYC members, and thank you in advance for your help!

    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] It sounds like you have a nice little flock growing there! RIR are lovely, lovely birds, I had a few myself and I highly recommend them. Now… others in your area, here you go:


    The night time temperatures you mentioned are fine for chicks aged around 6-7 weeks old, provided they have feathered in as they should've for their age! At this age chicks usually have quite a coat of feathers going and is able to regulate their body temperatures and won't need any supplemented heat.

    Feed-wise, at this stage they need chick starter, which will provide all the nutrients they need to grow and develop properly. You can give them some extra treats, but make sure it's no more than 10% of their diet, it's an "extra" only. Here is a list of gives and don't gives:


    And here is a bit more info on feeding them across the age groups:


    Don't give them ground oystershell or e.g. shells until they are laying age and will need the extra calcium. But by then, if you are feeding them a good quality layer feed, that should be sufficient.
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - you have some great advice already from Sumi, so I'll just say hello!

    All the best
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Thank you for joining us at Backyard chickens

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