Newbie questions.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by eric33014, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. eric33014

    eric33014 New Egg

    Feb 17, 2014
    Lake Placid, FL
    I have six ladies I got from TSC. Unknown if they were vaccinated. Is it required or very recommended. If I need to get them vaccinated how do I go about doing that. And no the staff didn't know anything at the TSC. Also do I need to stry supplementing their food with anything? I am feeding them chick starter food bought from TSC. What is recommended next. Also heard to take eggs I eat, bake the shells, crush the shells and add to food. What are your thoughts on that? The girls seem to be doing great. Had one with pasty butt but got her clean. Feathers are coming in fast. How old before I need to move them outside to the coop? How old before they begin trying to get out of the brooder I have. The sides are about 18 inches high. Do I need a bigger brooder or if they can get out of that they should be in the coop? Thanks for your answers ahead of time.
  2. Sheli Dixon

    Sheli Dixon New Egg

    Feb 23, 2014
    I am new too but my sister is working on her second year raising chicks. When the get big enough to jump out of their little area she puts a top on it made of small wood planks and hex wire. I think they are supposed to stay in till all the feathers come in.
  3. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 30, 2012
    River Valley, AR
    New hatches don't require vacination. Some people feed medicated feed but I use/just regular chick starter. I feed baked shells to laying age birds for calcium. I just crush them and sprinkle them on the ground in the coop. They wiil start jumping out of the brooder if you don't have ascreen or something on top. The brooder size will be more of an issue as they get larger. If they don't have enough personal space they can get grumpy with eachother. They are ready to go out when theey are fully feathered.

    Have fun!
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You ask some hard questions. Any of them are worth a book for a good answer so I’ll try to give the Cliff’s Notes version.

    Vaccinations cost money. I’d assume they are not vaccinated.

    There are two main vaccinations, Marek’s and Coccidiosis. Some people will tell you that you absolutely have to get them vaccinated. Some of us don’t get either one. There is a lot of personal preference involved. It’s a very complicated topic about why or why not to get them vaccinated for either one. Each one is worth a thread of its own. For what it’s worth, I have never gotten my chicks and I have never lost one to either of these diseases.

    Again you’ll get all kinds of opinions of how to feed chicks. What chicks need is a balanced diet. Age appropriate chicken feed supplies that with no supplements. Many of us like to go more natural and add things, but it’s not required. As long as their main feed is chick feed, you can add other things, just do so in moderation.

    A normal sequence of raising chickens is to feed a fairly high protein feed the first 4 to 8 weeks (whenever that bag runs out after 4 weeks), switch to a lower protein feed from whenever that bag ran out until they lay their first egg, then switch to Layer, which has a high percent calcium for their egg shells. There are a lot of variations of this that will work well.

    Chicken feed for growing chicks should be somewhere between 0.5% to 1.5% calcium. Anything higher in calcium can harm them. Egg shells are mostly calcium. Once they start laying they need more calcium for the egg shells. Layer feed supplies that, probably around 4% protein. You can crush the egg shells and offer them to hens that are laying, but if they are getting enough protein from other sources, they might not eat them. Young chicks should not eat egg shells because of the calcium.

    I’ve seen two week old chicks fly 3 feet horizontal and 2 feet vertical up when they wanted to. Mama said “Come up here” and they did. Your chicks can soon get over that 18” high wall if they want to, but maybe they won’t wish to. Some type of screen or netting on top may be a good idea. Usually they won’t fly to where they can’t see, but maybe they will just fly up to the top of that wall, then who knows what side they will come down on?

    You’re in Florida. It’s been a strange year but you should have fairly warm weather. When you can take them off the heat depends on how warm it is and how well they have feathered out. My brooder is in the coop to start with so they start out outside. That’s why I said “take them off the heat”.

    A chick can normally stay outside without any heat when it is fully feathered. When are they fully feathered? Part of that depends on how they are raised. If they are exposed to cold weather they feather out faster than if they are kept under tropical conditions. I’ve had chicks without heat at 5 weeks with the overnight lows in the mid 40’s Fahrenheit. They were in a coop with good draft protection. I had a broody wean her chicks at three weeks and totally leave them on their own in the summer heat. Thinking what your temperatures will probably be in Lake Placid the first of April, yours should be good to go by then when they are about 5 weeks.

    Hope this helps some. There are so many different ways for any of these that work, it is hard to give a good answer.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Sheli Dixon

    Sheli Dixon New Egg

    Feb 23, 2014
    One feeding option my sister and I are looking into in fodder. If you're looking for a more cost effective feeding method maybe you should look into it
  6. jphendrix

    jphendrix Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 11, 2012
    Waycross, Georgia
    Yes we are. If it works I can save over 50% or more on feed costs. But I would still feed the little babies chick starter.

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