Newbie List of Questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ContessaKris, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. ContessaKris

    ContessaKris Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2011
    Grandview (SKC), MO
    I've been hoping around the forums trying to find answers to all my questions so I'm fully prepared for when we get our chicks. But some things I just don't know. So I thought I'd ask. Here goes.

    1 - I was on ebay and I saw the vitamin packets. How long do you add these to a chicken's water? Certain age? Do you quit or just keep using it?

    2 -Also on ebay I saw these little colored rubber bands for I guess their ankles. What would those be for and are they necessary?

    3 - Grit. I understand why they need it, but I don't know when to give it or how much or how often.

    4 - After the chicks get a certain age, can you just feed them scraps, yogurt, milk, whatever? Or do you always need to have a chicken feed and the other things are just snacks? What ARE the best things to feed them that I would have in my kitchen?

    5 - We're trying to decide if we need to build a coop with double walls and insulation inbetween or if a lamp or heater would be enough during our Missouri winters. I don't want to get into winter with extra lamps and realize I needed insulation... Anything else the coop should have for winter? Or does everyone just get rid of their chickens in winter and start all over?

    6 - Paint - will it hurt the chickens to have the coop painted? Will they peck at it and cause them harm? What about if we're sealing up seams to keep it warmer for winter, I guess we'd use a caulking? Would that be a problem for them as well?

    7 - Does anyone here do longer light with their chickens for winter production? Does it hurt them to do production year around instead of having a winter break?

    8 - The light we use in their coop in the winter, I read somewhere that a blue lightbulb is best since they can't see blue and can sleep when needed. Something like that. What does everyone use?

    9 - I'm confused as to what should go inside on the floor. Some people say hay, others say leaves, shavings or newspaper. Is there something different in the nesting boxes? What works best and is least expensive?

    10 - I don't know where we're getting our chicks from yet but when we do, if I'm not sure they've been vaccinated, is there something to give them to make sure they don't get diseases? Will the medicated food or vitamin packets help with that or do I need to get something else?

    I'm trying to compile a list of all the things I need before we get started. Tell me if I'm missing anything:
    medicated food (do they have this in organic?)
    light for winter
    hay or shavings (or we have a huge compost pile of recent leaves)
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Sounds like you've got the basics covered. I myself would be reluctant about using compost piles of leaves. You don't want to keep the chicks in a sterile enviroment, they need to be exposed to germs to develop a strong immune system, but you don't want to overwhelm a very young chicks system either.

    These are only my opinions of course. Hope it helps. Please forgive spelling errors and such. It's way past bedtime.

  3. 3chimama

    3chimama Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Welcome to BYC. Sounds like you got a lot of the questions answered with the next post and I agree with the answers. Have fun with your chicks!
  4. claudicles

    claudicles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Two things that did not get answered in that great answer.

    Yes, you need to use a feed of some sort other than just table scraps, weeds, free rnaging. WHile those things give great vitamins and the tlike, byt themselves they are not adequate in protein to maintain egg laying and chicken health.

    Keeping a light on to make the days seem longer and thus preventing the drop off in eggs over winter comes at the expense of the number of years the chicken lays for and how well. If you just want egg laying machines who you will replace when they reduce their output, it works. If you want pets that lay egs too, I would not use it.
  5. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

    Apr 11, 2011
    As far as lighting goes, this is what was recommended to me for layers:
    1-2 days old 24 hours of light
    2-3 weeks old 18 hours of light
    3+ weeks old 16 hours of light

    If you put lights on a timer, you can have them on at 5 am and off at 9 pm or on from 5 am to 9 am, then off, then on at 4 pm and off at 9 pm.

    The most important things to think about are:
    Fresh feed
    Fresh water
    Fresh air
    Thermal environment
  6. ContessaKris

    ContessaKris Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2011
    Grandview (SKC), MO
    Thank you for all the answers! I appreciate it so much!

    Oh my goodness there is so much to know. I'm going to kill them, aren't I?! Ugh. Just seems like a lot but i'm sure as i get going I'll figure it out. I've had kids, they had lots of needs too. [​IMG]
  7. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    I have 13 week olds in the coop, and 3 2 week old in the house for now...I started them out with a heat bulb, but it was not necessary for more than a few days, the days are warm here and they are fine now without any light at all...I was worried they would chill, but they are doing great!

    Please keep posting, NO question is dumb and we all have learned as we went...I am fairly new, but have learned so much from this forum...besides we LOVE the baby pics!!

    **You won't kill them either! Once they are grown past babyhood, they are a breeze!

  8. ContessaKris

    ContessaKris Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2011
    Grandview (SKC), MO
    So I'm getting confused on what to feed them.

    So far I've read about:
    medicated feed
    Non-medicated feed

    COuple questions on that:
    Between the medicated and non-medicated. With the medicated, can you still consider your chickens 'organic' layers after giving them that? If not, is there a natural/organic something to give them that kills the coccidiosis? How do you vaccinate for Marek disease? Is that also an organic thing? If I do not vaccinate, what should i keep on hand in case they come down with Marek and can you save them if they do?

    Are pellets and feed different? Do I need both? I'm looking to get soy free feed for them if I can find it.

    Grit. Can you give them too much grit? I'm figuring I'll sprinkle some on the ground near their feed or mix it in with their feed. Any ratio on feed to grit?

    Treats. Someone said you can give them fruit. But I swear there were fruits you were not supposed to give them. Anyone know what those are? I want to make a list of things we can give them at any time.

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