is there a Chicken SHRINK in the house?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WildBurroShirts.com, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. WildBurroShirts.com

    WildBurroShirts.com Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 4, 2008
    Carson City, NV
    Newbie, so sorry if these are dumb questions but:

    1. If I seperate the chicks into two rabbit cages (2'x4') side by side so they can see/talk to each other... when the coop gets built will I have TWO sets of pecking orders? So two different bullies trying to duke it out? Would it be better to put all the aggressive birds in one and let the meeker birds have their own?

    2. Am I feeding these chicks too much or are they going to be larger than a Macy's Thanksgiving Day helium balloon when I'm done? 15 EE's that are 8 days old have eaten eleven pounds of food so far...and they're HUGE! They're flying for pete's sake!

    3. Thanks to whomever said to use paper towels...but I'm wondering how you do it? With the 15 if I don't clean twice a day it's...rank [​IMG] in that spare bedroom. I yank them all out once a day and put them into the tall rabbit cages while I take all the towels out...is that too much handling?

    4. When they get real aggressive with each other, like pecking at eyes...I grab them up and hold them upside down and sternly tell them they've been bad....are they going to need chicken therapy when they grow up?

    5. I've got one chick that looks me right in the eye and comes to the edge of the cage (they're in a stock tank until I move them to clean). She'll get up onto my hand. So, already a 'lap chicken'? [​IMG]

    6. They were started on medicated chick starter from Meyer but I got scared reading about the low protein pecking thing so I also supplemented with the gamebird which is way higher protein. Then I switched to organic starter from another company and their poop is dark brown...I gave yogurt last night. Is it ok to have their main feeder continue to be the organic but their 'treat' bowl to be gamebird? Since there's so many of them and some of them are bullies I always have a coupla feed dishes in there anyway.

    THANK YOU for all the wisdom: I wouldn't have gotten chickens if it wasn't for this website.

    PS-Forgot the name but so sad for whoever posted their EE laid a brown egg...bought these from Ideal who 'promised' they were authentic Ameracaunas...but reading this board has made me wonder what the heck I've got in that bedroom.
     
  2. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

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    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    WildBurroShirts.com :

    Newbie, so sorry if these are dumb questions but:

    The only dumb questions are those that aren't asked. You'll feel dumber if you don't ask and then make an unnecessary mistake. [​IMG]

    I'll answer your first one.

    WildBurroShirts.com :

    1. If I seperate the chicks into two rabbit cages (2'x4') side by side so they can see/talk to each other... when the coop gets built will I have TWO sets of pecking orders? So two different bullies trying to duke it out? Would it be better to put all the aggressive birds in one and let the meeker birds have their own?

    You're right about two pecking orders. It doesn't matter how you separate them in the rabbit cages; when the two groups are combined together, there still will be pecking. Figuring out the pecking order is a natural behavior of chickens, so they will do it regardless of any way you had them matched before. The best things to do when you have them together in the coop will be to offer a variety of locations for food (so they aren't all fighting over one dish), have the roosts all at one level, and watch your birds carefully because they will continue to pick at any wounds that each other has and can cause themselves serious harm.​
     
  3. WildBurroShirts.com

    WildBurroShirts.com Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 4, 2008
    Carson City, NV
    Thank you.

    Dang, I was so hoping that since they could see each other they wouldn't start fighting when they got back together.

    So would you seperate the tough ones into one cage and the meek ones into another? Or try and have some of each?

    There's one that hops up on the waterer and jumps on the others heads and fans its wings around and I keep telling it I have BBQ sauce but that doesn't seem to help.
     
  4. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    Oct 13, 2007
    California
    WildBurroShirts.com :

    Newbie, so sorry if these are dumb questions but:
    2. Am I feeding these chicks too much or are they going to be larger than a Macy's Thanksgiving Day helium balloon when I'm done? 15 EE's that are 8 days old have eaten eleven pounds of food so far...and they're HUGE! They're flying for pete's sake!
    .

    They should have food available 24/7

    WildBurroShirts.com :

    3. Thanks to whomever said to use paper towels...but I'm wondering how you do it? With the 15 if I don't clean twice a day it's...rank [​IMG] in that spare bedroom. I yank them all out once a day and put them into the tall rabbit cages while I take all the towels out...is that too much handling?

    Can't handle them too much.
    Try putting down extra layers of papertowels, when it gets dirty - roll up the top two layers and you're done (if you put down more than two layers [​IMG] )

    WildBurroShirts.com :

    4. When they get real aggressive with each other, like pecking at eyes...I grab them up and hold them upside down and sternly tell them they've been bad....are they going to need chicken therapy when they grow up?

    Sounds like they need more space.​
     
  5. WildBurroShirts.com

    WildBurroShirts.com Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 4, 2008
    Carson City, NV
    [​IMG]

    Two layers? Ha.

    I've got 4 inches of chips covered by about 5 layers of towels...but since they're scratching and pooping and square dancing thru the waterer (I have no idea how: it's a half inch opening) I end up yanking the top two layers halfway thru the day and then do the down to the chip cleaning at night.

    In the 15 minutes that takes they EACH poop at least twice in the rabbit cage!

    I was wondering if they're eating too much baby grit and that's why they poop that much?
     
  6. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    11,973
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    Oct 13, 2007
    California
    WildBurroShirts.com :

    [​IMG]

    Two layers? Ha.

    I've got 4 inches of chips covered by about 5 layers of towels...but since they're scratching and pooping and square dancing thru the waterer (I have no idea how: it's a half inch opening) I end up yanking the top two layers halfway thru the day and then do the down to the chip cleaning at night.

    In the 15 minutes that takes they EACH poop at least twice in the rabbit cage!

    I was wondering if they're eating too much baby grit and that's why they poop that much?

    They're 8 days old? You can remove the paper towels and just have them on wood shavings.

    Why do you give them grit? they don't need grit till they start eating food other than their starter.​
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If you have to seperate, just do it random, and mix it up every once in a while. That will make it easier on them all when it comes time to put them all together.


    Feed them as much as they can eat. They are not meat birds so will not over eat, they will grow fast beause that is what they do. Chances are they are flicking food on the floor too.


    You only need paper towels for the first few days. Once they are eating food and drinking, they don't need it. Handle freely. Just don't chill them too long.

    Let them fight. That is how they learn who is boss, and figure out their order. They will play jump, kick, peck and just be "mean" till they figure who is top, and it will always be a bit of "fighting" and squabbles to keep order and peace. If anything, they'll need therapy from not learning to fight it out, and the monster hands that hang them [​IMG]

    They will go though lots of changes in the next few months. It may be your lab bird, it may freak out at maturity and turn.

    Medicated starter will help them build immunity to cocci. Expose them to soil early so they have something to get immunity to. Protein only needs to be at about 20% or so for non meat birds like you have. Too high can be too much, and organic vs not is personal preference. They can have what eve feed dishes you want. Bullies are normal, and 15 isn't really that many. The lower ones will eat when the higher ones are finished. I've had 24 week old sharing one feeder no problem. Pecking and higher protein requried is generally an issue with laying layers going though moult, not so much chicks.


    Good luck!
     
  8. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    WildBurroShirts.com :

    6. They were started on medicated chick starter from Meyer but I got scared reading about the low protein pecking thing so I also supplemented with the gamebird which is way higher protein. Then I switched to organic starter from another company and their poop is dark brown...I gave yogurt last night. Is it ok to have their main feeder continue to be the organic but their 'treat' bowl to be gamebird? Since there's so many of them and some.

    This arrangement sounds fine.

    I'd ditch the paper towels now. They're old enough that spraddle leg isn't as much a threat (that's what the paper towels are for: traction).

    Congrats on joining the crowd and welcome to BYC. [​IMG]
     
  9. WildBurroShirts.com

    WildBurroShirts.com Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 4, 2008
    Carson City, NV
    Quote:They're 8 days old? You can remove the paper towels and just have them on wood shavings.

    Why do you give them grit? they don't need grit till they start eating food other than their starter.

    No grit????? Came in the 'starter package' from Myer labeled chick starter grit...ack! Are they ok?

    I thought I had to leave the paper towels 'til they feathered out. Whew: I've been buying them at Costco but it's still getting pricey: thanks for the headsup!!!![​IMG]
     
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If you are giving treats other than soft stuff like yoghurt, grit is fine. Generally, you leave them under heat till feathered out.
     

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