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I have questions - my chicks are 6 weeks old now...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dancingchicken77, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. dancingchicken77

    dancingchicken77 In the Brooder

    Oct 22, 2008
    i hope i can tap into the wealth of experience and chook-wisdom here [​IMG]

    my chicks turned 6 weeks old today. pekin (cochin) bantams, one buff one white/grey frizzle. can i ask a few questions about what i need to do for them now?

    1. Housing - they are now outside in their coop during the day, and back indoors in their box at night.
    (a) How long should I do that for? When should they start living outside full time?
    (b) Should I have the lamp on at night for them now, for warmth or not? Perhaps I should stop, so they can get used to the idea of being cold at night for when they're outdoors. * I should add that I'm in Australia, and we're heading into Summer here so it's not too cold at night (and I'm not in central Australia where while it's hot in day it's v cold at night)

    2. Food - so far they're been eating the chick starter pellets, and i've supplemented that with some yoghurt and some grated hard boiled egg.
    (a) When should I start giving them other types of pellets?
    (b) When should I start giving them other food/scraps? What do they love best?
    (c) If I'm to give them other food now, how often should I give them ground up egg shells?

    3. Medicine
    (a) when should I start giving them some wormer stuff or anything else?

    4. About my coop (very heavy, fixed type)
    (a) it rests on the ground (dirt) and has chicken wire on the floor. how best should I clean this sort of floor?
    (b) should i let them peck around in the dirt, which they seem to be enjoying, or should i throw in some straw or other stuff for them to scratch around in?

    thanks so much if anyone can help me [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  2. Red

    Red Songster

    Mar 17, 2007
    I can tell you what we did, but none of this is advice it's just stuff i've done when we hatched out chicks [​IMG]

    (a) We let our chicks out throughout the day at about 6 weeks old. We carried on bringing them into the house until they were 8 / 9 weeks old, and then the first week we let them sleep outside we closed the coop door and covered it in towels / blankets for insulation!
    (b) We turned the light off at this point at night, and just observed them to make sure they weren't huddling together for warmth

    (a) Not sure about other types of pellets...
    (b) Our chicks loved spaghetti, mashed up boiled egg, bugs and grapes - those were their all-time favourite treats!
    (c) We put a small dish of chick grit into their coop with them, so they had access to it all throughout the day...

    (a) We did worm our chicks, but can't remember what age...my dad sorted that out, sorry!

    (a) Not sure, sorry [​IMG]
    (b) Dirt is good, they'll love digging up grubs and having dust baths [​IMG]

    Hope this helped, sorry i can't be any more use [​IMG]
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Hi Dancing,
    My chicks were started outdoors under heat lamps. I took their heat lamps away when they were between 5 & 6 weeks old. At that time our temps. were high 60s and low 70s during the day and in the 50s and high 40s farenheit at night.
    If your coop is dry and draft free you could try taking it away and then check them in an hour or so to make sure they are not too cold.
    Do you have chick grower available where you live? If so they could be gradually switched to that now. If instead your feed is a starter/grower you leave them on that until 18 to 20 weeks or when you get your first egg; then switch them to layer feed.
    Your chicks have no need for ground up egg shells now. It's meant to provide calcium to laying hens. Once you add other foods besides the yogurt you need to offer them grit; which isn't the same thing as calcium supplement. Grit is to help them digest their food, calcium makes for strong eggs. Check at the top of the feeding and watering category for a treat chart by Buff Hooligans for ideas about other foods they can have as treats. Try and keep the treats to no more than 10% of their total feed intake. Growing chicks need the complete nutrition of their starter/grower.
    Unless they are showing signs of illness, there's no need to add any kind of medicine. I wouldn't worm them at this point. You may never need to worm unless you suspect worms later on. You may want to add poultry electrolytes to their water if your summers get very hot. I added it to my flock's water once temps. reached 90 degrees farenheit.
    It's probably best that you use some type of bedding on your floor. Pine shavings work great and if they get cold they can snuggle down in the bedding. Hay or stray would work also, but if it gets wet or damp it can turn moldy and lead to respiratory issues.
    Hope this helps.

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