New to this--lots of questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tktagalongtek, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. tktagalongtek

    tktagalongtek Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2008
    Colorado
    Hello to all--I finally took the leap and ordered my first chicks today! I'm getting 5 Rhode Island Reds, 5 White Leghorns and 5 Barred Rock pullets. I was lucky enough to move into a house with a chicken coop already here--no need to start from scratch, just a few repairs and a good cleaning--and a little more room added to the run area (all in progress--thanks so much for all the posts on doing all of that).

    My biggest questions right now are these:
    How much feed to buy in the first place--I know I'll need the medicated stuff at first, but since I've only seen it in little tiny bags (like 1-2 pounds), do I mix that with regular start/grow feed or just feed it? I know I can get the start/grow formula in 50 pound bags.

    How long do I feed the medicated feed?

    How to keep the HUGE owl out of the run--I know I'll need some form of netting/wire to cover it, but will regular bird netting be strong enough or should I use wire? If I should use wire, which kind? Chicken wire--it comes in so many sizes I don't know which to choose, or hardware cloth?

    What do you do about mosquitos? My coop is about 50 feet from the creek & we've had a few cases of West Nile in the county in the past couple years....want to protect my birds, but don't have a clue as to how to do that.

    Thanks for all the help!
     
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Welcome to BYC!

    Quote:I never use medicated feeds. You don't have to feed medicated feeds.

    You are going to be surprised how much 15 chicks will eat. It might last you a month but it might not. I have had 12 chicks from hatch that ate 2 quarts of food per day from the second day of hatch.


    Quote:I use hardware cloth. It is easier to build like Fort Knox than to walk out one morning to death and destruction by predators.

    Chicken wire keeps chickens in. It doesn't do much for predators that are trying to get in. they will get in sooner or later.

    Quote:I think like everyone else you'll have to take your chances with the mosquitos.
     
  3. scrapmom5

    scrapmom5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2008
    Utah
    If you want to feed your chicks medicated you can by in the 50# bags. Your local farm store (i.e. IFA) will have that. When it runs out go on to the regular feed.

    As for the run... the hardware cloth at our local stores were easily broken into. My DH and I did stress test on various fencing and found the coated chicken wire was stronger than the other stuff. The regular chick wire was pretty week and we were able to seperate the harware cloth with enough pressure. THe coated wire really held together (in fact we couldn't get through it).

    I can't help on the mosquitos. We have ducks that really help and we use mosquito fish in our ornamental ponds BUT you can not us mosquito fish in lakes or streams. Try some citronella plants around the coop and see if it helps.
     
  4. tktagalongtek

    tktagalongtek Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2008
    Colorado
    Thanks for the help!

    Guess I'll have to do some more research in the forum....people around here who have been raising chickens for a long time are telling me I most definately should use either the medicated food or at least the tablets that go into the water to keep my chicks from getting sick. Then I read some of the posts here---and they make sense too, saying not to use it. If anyone here is from my area, please sound off on this. I honestly don't know which way to go on this one. I'm in North East Colorado--Yuma county to be exact.
     
  5. equine chick

    equine chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2007
    pennsylvania
    I highly reconmend the book Storey's "all about chickens". It is a all in one great information source book. It will answer alot of your questions.
     
  6. ChickNLittle

    ChickNLittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 22, 2008
    Folkston, Georgia
    Welcome to the board. Glad to have you as one of us. Be ready to get Addicted to chickens. [​IMG]
    I use the medicated feed until the chicks at least start laying. Then I switch to the Layer pellets or ration. IMO thats the best way, but others have different opinions. Most people like organic now, and that is why they don't like to feed their chickens medicated feed.
     
  7. jadell

    jadell Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2008
    North Carolina
    I ran out of feed one day and the only thing they had was the medicated starter. I used it until it was all gone and now they have the regular feed again. It didn't seem to bother them at all, they eat it just the same. I also wanted to say that several friends of mine have had their runs broken into by some predator. They used the netting on top and that didn't seem to keep them out. I would prob go with hardware cloth. I've heard stories of chickens being pulled through chicken wire by preds.
     
  8. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

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    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    Would the frontline spray work on Mosquitoes too?
     
  9. aberfitch

    aberfitch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2008
    Texas Fort Worth
    I would use a fine mesh and keep them in cages with the meshes over it during mosquito season. or if you keep them in a coop I would cover it with the fine mesh. as for starter food. I have mine on medicated always untill they are able to switch to adult food. Even though I use medicated their poop is runny sometimes but it quickly remedies its' self.
     

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