New to BYC and have a few questions about older chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by poppycock1974, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. poppycock1974

    poppycock1974 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We will be getting our first chicks next weekend and they will be around 4-5 weeks old. We will make a brooder box and use 60w light for a heat source (our house stays 70-74dgs). Do they need grit/sand this early on or just the water and food? Also, I don't think they are handled much so I was wondering if they are still young enough to get them use to my kids and us without alot of stress on them.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. We always want our family (including the new chicks) healthy and happy.
     
  2. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join the flock! Congratulations on getting your new chicks :celebrate At 5 weeks I do have grit available for my chicks if it's a little big I crush it a little more for them. At this age they are more than tameable. Once they have settled in and they get used to you, you can start by offering treats in your hand. They will have to investigate it's their nature to do so. When you put your hand out put it down low rather than going in at the top of them anything above and they think it could be a predator. Just sitting and talking to them also helps so they trust you. It all just takes a little time but I'm more than sure you will have fun taming them.
    Here is a nice article on chciks with some great tips https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/raising-chicks-artificially

    Wishing you the very best of luck with them and hope you enjoy BYC :frow
     
  3. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just like me, their stomachs are the way to their hearts. They don't need grit if you are offering only very soft food (chick food, yogurt, eggs, etc). If you start offering anything else I would add a dish of chick-size-grit (the parakeet grit from your local store works fine.)


    Move slowly. Talk to them. Offer lots of interesting treats. You'll be best buddies in no time!
     
  4. poppycock1974

    poppycock1974 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! I didn't realize you could start with treats this early on. I will post pics of my babies when I get them and have them settle in a bit.
     
  5. kmartinez

    kmartinez Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is so true.. They love food.. I kept mine in a spare room before i opened the door i always talked to them going down the hallway before opening the door so i did not startle them when the door opened. At 5 weeks they are going to be pretty big so i would let them get used to their new home and give them a small treat everyday. Mine loved cropped greens, berries, oatmeal, cottage cheese, grapes any kind of green veggie or fruit thats not toxic to birds can be fed daily cottage cheese, egg and oatmeal kinda spread those out once a week since that will make their poo runny if to much is given. Foods that are toxic to parrots and birds are avacado, mushrooms, onion are the big ones.

    If you have a roo make sure u spend extra time with them if u can pick them out.

    I have a roo and i had 5 of that breed and i ordered a roo so i knew a roo was there i could not pick him out for sure until last week but the 5 brahmas i was or my teens were always baiting them with food after a bit they would even eat starter out of our hands and see anything in our hands as treats. right now once i put my hand on floor level my roo will walk into my hand to be picked up as well as any of the brahamas they are like lap chickens i kid u not LOL

    Have fun with them they grow so fast and are ust so enoyable
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Check the calcium content of that parakeet grit. Some has added calcium. Excess calcium can harm a growing chick. You can probably get chick grit at the feed store or just give them coarse sand and small pebbles. They naturally pick up grit from the ground as long as it has small pebbles in it and most ground does.

    I agree. As long as you only feed them the prepared chick feed or a few other things, you do not need grit. Pellets and crumbles have already been ground down and then reformed so it will break down in their system without grit.

    When a broody hen takes her chicks off the nest, usually even before she takes them to water she has them pecking at the ground, picking up grit and other stuff for nutrients. Some of that stuff they pick up needs to be ground in their gizzard. They get grit from the ground. It doesn’t take her long to have them eating grass, weeds, and other stuff that needs to be ground up. She’s feeding them “treats” from the very beginning. In her case those treats are varied enough that they are a basic part of their diet. In our case, since our treats are not nearly as varied, the bulk of what they eat should be their basic feed, with treats offered like you would offer candy to a kid. Some doesn’t hurt a bit and makes life more enjoyable, but they don’t need a steady diet of it.

    In my opinion, the best thing you can do to raise healthy chicks is to keep their environment as dry as you reasonably can. Once they go outside and the weather sets in wet, the ground will be wet, nothing you can do about that. But keep the brooder and coop dry. That’s important.

    My second suggestion is to not keep them in a sterile environment. Strengthen their immune system by exposing them to dirt. Don’t let the poop get out of hand, but don’t try to keep their area spotless. Poop management is important, but don’t obsess over getting out every speck. One way the exchange probiotics and build flock immunities is by eating a bit of each other’s poop. But for sure, don’t let the poop get wet. That’s unhealthy and it will quickly stink.

    Welcome to the adventure. You are going to have fun.
     
  7. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    X2 @Ridgerunner on the immune system needing to be built up. I often think this is why people are sick with infections etc because they don't get dirty any more and everything is super clean. A bit of muck has never hurt me.

    Could I ask you when you start your chicks on a grower pellet?
     

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