How old?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by snewman, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. snewman

    snewman Songster

    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    I tried a brief search for this and didn't come up with everything I need, so I'm sorry if these questions have all been asked and answered a dozen times...

    My chicks and ducklings are 3 weeks old.

    1) How old do they need to be to go outside (in WI we're getting into 80+ degree days, 60ish at night-although they'd be in the coop at night of course)? In the coop, with those nighttime temps, do they still need a heat lamp? I've stopped using it in the brooder because they seem to keep each other plenty warm in the safety of that smaller space.
    2) How old do they need to be to go from free access food and water in the coop to feed and water just outside in the pen during the day? It seems like people have mixed feelings about constant food and water access, but that it might be ok for those to stay outside. I REALLY want to get to where the water is only outside, because of the ducks. Or I could separate the pens. Easier if I can just keep water outside.
    3) How old do they need to be to start getting treats, and what about oyster shell?

    I'm just trying to figure this out and not kill anyone in the process...
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Three weeks old and nighttime temps in the 60s? I'd offer the light for a little while longer. You didn't say how many chicks you have and that can make a difference.
    I think at least one feeder and one waterer in the coop itself is best. On nasty days they may no go out in their run. Have you tried hanging the feeder & waterer? Decreases the mess alot, although I understand that ducks are extra messy.
    Oyster shell shouldn't be offered until your hens are laying. You can start giving small amounts of treats now. Mine like millet, berries, hard boiled eggs, and right now they are working on a piece of watermelon. You need to offer grit when giving treats. Treats should not comprise of more than 10% of their daily diet.
  3. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I agree with gritsar.

    I would suggest separating the ducks and chickens if possible just because of the mess the ducks make. I hang my feeder and waterer inside the coop with another waterer outside. So, the ducks will end up getting your bedding wet inside (which is what you are trying to avoid and thus my suggesting separating them).

    I was born and raised in WI ... sure don't miss the humidity and bugs. [​IMG] I do miss the green colors and farm fields though.
  4. snewman

    snewman Songster

    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    Thank you to both of you. I guess I kind of figured separation was the way to go, but was hoping there might be another solution.

    Chirpy, where in Wisconsin? I'm a transplant from Michigan, and live and work near Madison. I'm a little envious of anyone living in Colorado, though. I worked at the Denver zoo one summer and absolutely fell in love with the Rocky Mountains. My husband is a little homebound and didn't want to leave Wisconsin, his home state. I do really like Madison, but it ain't no Rockies!

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