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New to Chickens - Friend Bought Son 5 Chicks and 1 Duck for Easter!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jkmiller, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. jkmiller

    jkmiller New Egg

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    Aug 18, 2014
    A friend gave my son 2 Rhode Island Red & 3 Golden Buff chicks for Easter this year (along with a duck that thinks he is a chicken). As with most "pets" these have become "family pets" .... meaning Mom does most of the work! I really don't mind, they are pretty sweet. We had chickens growing up, but I don't remember much except feeding them and collecting the eggs. I have a few questions:

    1) About how old are they when they are available for sale at the feed stores (this is where they were purchased)? She didn't ask when she bought them but they were still fuzzy little things! Trying to determine an approximate age. Easter was April 20 and she bought them on the 19th.

    2) When should I start looking for eggs? I have one Golden Buff that has dug a divot in the fenced lot. When I gave them the green bean ends from my garden haul, she just stayed right where she was..... sitting in the hole. Is this a sign of things to come??? I was worried something was wrong with her so I went over to check. She got up and took a couple bean ends from me then went to the others to eat treats.

    3) While we have a six hole nesting box in the coop, none of them seem interested in visiting it. I have heard that if I put a golf ball or fake egg in the box, they may get curious and start using them. True or not? Anyone had luck with this method?

    Thanks in advance for all your help!
     
  2. [​IMG]

    In regards to your questions...

    1: Normally feed store purchases are under a week old. Sometimes they will stay at the store for a while longer.

    2: Most chickens begin laying at around 6 months.

    I hope this helps and enjoy raising your birds!!!

    - BantamLover55
     
  3. mightymax

    mightymax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you feeding both the duckling and the baby chicks the same thing?
     
  4. jkmiller

    jkmiller New Egg

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    Aug 18, 2014
    Thank for the responses. Yes the duck is eating the crumbles that the chickens eat.
     
  5. mightymax

    mightymax Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh No !!!
    Hopefully those crumbles aren't medicated, are they? Because if they are, you need to stop letting the duck eat them right now !!!
    The anti-cocci agents that they put in medicated feeds are toxic to ducklings and can kill them if they eat too much of it. And I'm sure you're more than fully aware of how much growing ducks eat, so please, for the life of your duck, feed only non-medicated feeds to ducks (and all waterfowl, for that matter). Thanks for reading and good luck.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Actually I don't think the medicated feed is detrimental to ducks anymore..that's what I've read. But ducks do have different nutritional needs, so might want to research that or ask here.

    Yes, the fake eggs/golf balls can work...tho I had one pullet this year who wouldn't use the nest until I removed the golf balls....so maybe try some in one or two of the nests.
    Do they free range?
    Are the nests easily accessed? Pics might help here.

    18 to 22 weeks is the norm but some take longer. Combs should start enlarging and reddening up near time of lay, submissive squat can happen when you go to pet them, especially if you don't have a rooster around.
     

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