New chicks with city owners

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jbny, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. jbny

    jbny New Egg

    Feb 19, 2014
    I have started 20 chicks at 3 weeks old. I've read several things, trimming beaks is this necessary? Also I have them in our shed with heaters and heat lamp. space is about 3'x4', is this enough space?
  2. Do not trim their beaks. They only do that in big factory farms where they don't want the hens pecking each-other, or if a chick has a super overgrown beak making it hard for him or her to eat and drink, which rarely happens. I highly advise that you do not trim their beaks. Beaks are full of nerves and it is extremely painful, and certainly not necessary. Nobody who has a small flock (that I know of) trims beaks. And I am not great with knowing space necessary, so somebody else will have to answer that. And welcome to BYC, glad you joined us!
    Good luck!
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Commercial operations have proven you can keep chickens in pretty crowded conditions but they have to be managed especially for that. One management trick is to cut off part of the upper beak so they can’t eat each other. Then they have to feed them mash, which is ground up chicken feed and usually wet, so they can eat. If you provide enough space, you don’t need to do that.

    20 chicks 3 weeks old in a 3x4 brooder. You are probably going to run out of room within two weeks. I’d start making plans.
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Chicks grow fast, and you do not have anywhere near enough room for 20 hens if that is your only coup. If it is your brooder space, as the above poster said, you will be rapidly outgrowing that space quickly.

    They should be starting to feather, and if they are the only flock you have, unless it is VERY bitter cold, they should be ready to go to a coup/run set up. Start weaning them off the supplemental heat.

    There are a lot of problems caused by over crowding, so you need to be adding space to this group of birds very soon.

    Mrs K
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Can you give them more space in this shed now? Even a bigger concern about the over crowding that they are experiencing now is the fact that with this limited space they can't get away from the heat. They should have enough room to run around away from the heat. Over crowding and especially over heating will cause aggression. that's a habit you don't want to get started because it's nearly impossible to stop. Ideally, it would be nice if they could have about 20 square feet or an area about 4' x 5'.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014

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