NEWBIE! How old are my chicks? Was I told correctly? Heat lamp?

familypendragon

Songster
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
1,559
121
208
DFW Metroplex in North Texas
I brought home 12 pullets and 1 rooster today from Russell Feed Store in Saginaw, TX. We had already built a 55' x 12' run with an 8' x 4' raised, fully enclosed chicken coop built at one end under a carport for extra shade and protection. I was originally preparing to get older pullets that were already starting to lay, but unfortunately I wasn't able to get them afterall and had to switch to chicks. I spoke to the manager there and she said that I needed Chick Starter, pine shavings, a waterer, and a heat lamp for any time it dropped below 55 degrees. I asked how old they were but she didn't seem sure. She said I should expect them to start laying in about 5 months.... so how old does that make them? I have read on here various opinions about temperatures at different ages, but don't know how old they are. I don't know what "fully feathered" looks like yet as I have nothing to compare them to. They drank a little over 1/2 gallon of water today and about 2 cups of the chick starter. Should I worry about how much they look like they are also eating pine shavings? Oh and we have (we think) 3 White Leghorns (one is a rooster), one possible Red Sexlink, and the rest are supposed to be Ameraucana (although one has a distinct bandit mask that the rest don't - she's in the middle there.) Its been 80 to 90 degrees during the day here and 60 to 70 at night. I am worried because tonight is the first night and also because I see that later in the week we have a cold front and night temps of 39 :( Sorry so many questions - I have read books but they make my head swim with "Yes but...." questions. I think people are a much more helpful resource, LOL!



 

chicksak

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 25, 2013
169
3
83
Wasilla, AK
I am pretty new to this, but from what I can tell from the picture they are still pretty fluffy, We have buffs and they looked like this till about 2 weeks old, when there fluff started to disappear and there feathers started coming in. As far as the heat at 2 weeks old should be around the 90 degree mark and drop the temp. by 5 degrees each week. Your climate is pretty warm already but would make sure that they stay around that especially in the evenings when it cools off. Mine love the pine shavings and pick at it all day long, not sure how much of it they actually eat though. It doesn;t seem to bother them so I don't worry about it. Again, I am only 4 weeks into raising my chicks so, I am sure someone with more experiance will answer more! Good Luck and happy chickening!
 

kacklinkelly

Songster
7 Years
Oct 12, 2012
1,081
183
184
Southwest Desert








I posted these for you just as a helpful reference. Hopefully you can see
the increased feathering on mine. I think they were about 3 or 4 weeks in
the photos. I waited until mine were about 8 weeks before they went
outside. Not sure you can see in the above picture the additional feathering
they had at about 6-7 weeks. They were in their day "playpen".
Have fun with your chicks. Ours gave us their first egg at about
22 weeks. Yours look to be about a week old to me. Just a guess.
 

5 Acre Rooster

Songster
6 Years
Apr 18, 2013
595
31
111
North Missouri
The chicks look to be in the 1-2 week range in your photo. Easy way to judge the temp is watch them. If they huddle they are chilled if they spread out lounging around they're comfortable and if they layed out panting they are to hot.

Chickens use their beak to investigate EVERYTHING. As long as the bedding isn't saw dust size they should be fine. Just checking things out. Birds will peck ANYTHING once, more if they like it. I use pine shavings for all my chicks and never have a problem as long as its not to small, or too large and they have issues walking in them.
 

allieszoo

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 7, 2013
112
6
81
Stanton, KY
Those are little ones! I would say about a week - week and a half tops.

Just leave the food out so they have access to it all the time at this age.

They will let you know if they are comfortable or not - cold chicks huddle together as close as they can to the heat lamp, hot ones avoid each other. Try to set the heat lamp up so that half is covered and half isn't -- dont know if that makes sense....you want to make sure they have to leave the heat lamp to get to the food and water.

It looks like they are in a nice big area though. Pine shavings are just fine, just DON'T use cedar.

I can't help with breed but they are very cute.
 

familypendragon

Songster
6 Years
Apr 8, 2013
1,559
121
208
DFW Metroplex in North Texas
Thanks to everyone for the helpful responses! I heard back on FB from one of the employees who says they are 1 1/2 weeks old approximately. And although I was told not to worry with the heat lamp over 55 degrees (and they were fine last night) my BF confirmed that yes I should have it on for them at night at least. I put it on today and they all stayed away from it - but its going to be 90 here today so they are probably fine right now. Will keep it on tonight and all the rest of the week when the temp drops. We brought them all out today in the run in the grass with us to pet them and check for pasty butt. One had a blob stuck to her tail feathers and I got it off ok. Everyone else seems to be very happy and lively as well. The are very sweet and were hopping all over the kids and letting them pet them. They did NOT want to go back into the coop but I put them back just the same. They were all sitting in their food bowl so I got a muffin tin as a makeshift feeder and they are all enjoying having their own little food cup :) My BF said to add a tablespoon of sugar to their water so I will do that at the next water fill up.
 

ElCerritoPlace

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 17, 2013
201
3
88
I would think they are about 1 week + or - a couple days, since I picked up 3 day old chicks and they were right around there. Pretty fluffy with just their primaries showing. I would also add the raw apple cider vinegar with the "mother" is what it says on the bottle. Just add 1-2 Tbl per gal of water.
 

sillycmoy

Songster
6 Years
Mar 29, 2013
1,532
69
153
Utah~Utah County
I would say they are more like 5-7 days old. I bet they are totally fine during the day at 90, but I would make sure they have the heat lamp, and make sure there are no drafts in the coop/brooder you have them in for the cold front. They will most likely feather faster since you have them outside.

Your leghorns usually start laying eggs around 18-20 weeks, I believe the sex-link lays eggs early as well. Your Americana's usually start around 30 weeks or so.

As for the food and water, as they grow they will eat and drink way more. I have 10 chicks, and they go through about 4-6 cups of food a day, and they are free ranging outside for some of the day. They eat a lot.

Good luck with them. They sure are cute
 

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