New to raising baby chicks in the north east ! Help

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kateyberberian, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. kateyberberian

    kateyberberian New Egg

    Jan 24, 2017
    Tiverton Rhode Island
    Hi all ! I am fairly new to the chicken raising lifestyle. In moving to Rhode Island last April, we adopted 7 different chickens, each different breeds who were all raised together and about a year old. Unfortunately, we have lost 4 to disease and predators but we are going to expand our flock. We are getting 6 4 week old silkie chicks later on today and I am nervous seeing as I have never raised chicks before. Does anyone have any helpful hints or advice they can contribute ? I know since it's winter here in the north east, I will be keeping them inside until they are atleast 8 weeks old. Our three older chickens will be meeting the babies in short play dates throughout the next couple weeks. Also, I know I will need to get a different type of feed for these chicks, but at what age did y'all start using layer pellets for your chicks ? Anything anyone has to contribute will be extremely helpful!
  2. kimberley848

    kimberley848 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2014
    So. Cal
    I've never raised any babies, mine were 10wks when I got them (3+ yrs ago), but you should be feeding a chick/grower feed. Layer feed should not be fed to the chicks until they actually start laying. The calcium in the layer feed isn't good for their organs until they're actually laying. Your older hens can be fed the same grower feed, just make sure calcium is available to them for egg laying.
    I know introductions take a lot of time, sometimes months long. You should have your quarantine, (I've read anywhere from a couple weeks to a month), then move their (babies) coop to a see only with your flock, so your girls get to see the newcomers, again, for a couple weeks to a month, then eventually you should be able to move them into the same coop. I've also read you should make secondary food and water available in other spots so the older hens don't stop the newcomers from eating or drinking. And just be ready for "arguments" to happen, there's normally hiearchy they follow. Good luck! [​IMG]
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I brooded and integrated my last batch of chicks out in the coop starting at one week old.

    Is your coop big enough to split with wire wall?
    Six 4 week old chicks are going to need a bunch of big is brooder space in house?

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading, tho some info is outdated IMO:
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    What disease took your last birds????
  5. kateyberberian

    kateyberberian New Egg

    Jan 24, 2017
    Tiverton Rhode Island
    Thanks guys ! We just got our babies and took our older bantam inside to meet them and she did really well !!
    @lazy gardener oddly enough, our first bird died of bone cancer... who would've thought ? She stopped walking and refused to stand and I eventually got so worried I paid small fortune and took her to the vet. X-rays showed that her hip bone was in pieces but not from a break. The other one who passed away died from some sort of infection, we got her antibiotics but she eventually passed away. All my birds were vaccinated for Maraks though !
  6. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Sounds as if you've pretty much got a handle on what to do with new babies. How are you providing heat? The heating pad system is a very natural and safe method if you haven't heard of it. Beats a heat lamp in my view.

    You have good instincts about how to go about introducing chicks to adults. The earlier the better since small chicks present far less of a threat to adult chickens than when they grow bigger.

    They do need protection from the adults during their early couple weeks, though. This is because chicks are driven by instinct to crowd adult chickens with no concept of the danger. They also need a period where they can observe the different temperaments of the adults from a safe vantage, after which they will then know whom to run from and who is safe.

    Be aware that most cancers in chickens are caused by contagious viruses. Marek's is just one of these. The risk of adopting adult chickens is that they can appear disease free yet be carriers. Most individuals can be resistant while the virus can be selective, causing only one every so often to become symptomatic. Did your vet happen to have test run on that cancer victim to determine the nature of the bone cancer?
  7. kateyberberian

    kateyberberian New Egg

    Jan 24, 2017
    Tiverton Rhode Island
    @azygous I did not have her run a test, we just put her down because she was suffering. The other birds in that flock are happy and healthy though! And the babies are doing well ! Very snuggly. We actually got one naked neck silkie who is beyond adorable ! The others are the splash silkies. [​IMG]
    That's our naked neck silkie !


    And that's our littlest one taking a pocket nap !

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