Newbie with several questions!!!

Ana Robin

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 29, 2014
62
7
71
Good morning, all! I posted these questions in the wrong area (the intro section), so I'm now going to start a thread in the proper area. I'm sorry!!!

1.) My chicks are 2 and 3 weeks old. the older ones seem to be shying away from being held. Is this normal? Also, they like to peck at me now. The Jersey Giant actually pinched me pretty hard with her beak. What am I doing wrong???

2.) I switched over to an organic starter and they are all turning their noses up at it but will eat the original stuff (Nutrena?) no problem. I really need to get them switched over to this improved feed. Any ideas as to how I can accomplish this?

3.) Are mealworms okay for the chicks? I've read a couple of schools of thought on this. Some say go right ahead because that's what mama hen does... others say don't do it. My Jersey Giant, Golden Campine and White Orpington love to eat tiny mealworms. The others... not so much. I do provide chick grit with the worms.

4.) We are about to build the coop. Is chain link an acceptable run material, or do we need one with smaller holes?

and finally...

5.) My Barred Rock seems to be developing a comb. Is there a definitive way to tell whether or not it is a roo? My child is going to be more bummed the longer we wait to know because we cannot keep a rooster where we live. Sigh... this is one of the sweeter large chicks.

Many, many thanks, in advance!!!

Ana
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
650
336
Central Oregon
Regarding Question #1...yes, it's normal for chicks to 'freak out' when they see the "big hand" coming in!! You're not doing anything wrong. What you should probably do is pick them up, pet them, hold them, get them used to you. I put some dried meal worms in my hand..at first they freaked out, but now? Now they all peck and gobble them up!!LOL Be persistent and keep it up, they'll end up being your best friend.

Regarding Question #3...yes, I can only speak for myself, but WOW! My chicks go beserk for mealworms!! I have 4 chicks so I put about 2 tablespoons-worth of them in the palm of my hand, then lower my hand like a trough slowly in there and they peck away seeing who can get the most!

What I normally do is give them 2 tablespoons of cooked rolled oatmeal, cooled in the a.m. when I change water, feed, etc. and then in the late afternoon it's "mealworm" time!! I know, I spoil them!

Regarding Question #4..Not knowing what part of the country you're in, and if you have predators, like I do, I can't really answer that question. For me? I live in Central Oregon, and we are plagued with lots of predators...raccoon, fox, coyotes, and worst of all hawks! Because of this I will not be able to let my hens free-range at all. I'm building my run with 1/2" hardware cloth only and burying it down about 6" and "out" at an angle at least 12", then covering it over. Raccoons and fox especially are persistent diggers and I don't ever want to discover that I've lost all my hens overnight because of not building my coop and run like Fort Knox. But you will have to decide what's best for you and your circumstance.

Best of luck, and most importantly...enjoy your flock!!
 
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Ana Robin

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 29, 2014
62
7
71
Thank you so much for your input! I will try feeding them a pile of mealworms from my hand... sounds like lots of fun! We have an abundance of predators here... I will go for material with smaller holes and sink it a good way into the ground.

I'm already having fun with the little cuties!!! They are just precious!!! Thanks again!!!
 

rc4u

Songster
6 Years
Feb 3, 2014
333
31
139
question #5 about roo... if he has short tail and wing feathers then a roo if long tail and wing feathers then a hen.....jeff
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
650
336
Central Oregon
Thank you so much for your input! I will try feeding them a pile of mealworms from my hand... sounds like lots of fun! We have an abundance of predators here... I will go for material with smaller holes and sink it a good way into the ground.

I'm already having fun with the little cuties!!! They are just precious!!! Thanks again!!!
It is! Don't be afraid of the pecking at your hand that they'll do...I have one in particular that pecks hard, but that's all part of the game. On the material for your coop and run, I highly suggest going the extra $ for 1/2" hardware cloth...you won't regret it in the long run...have a great day today!!
 

Ana Robin

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 29, 2014
62
7
71
It is! Don't be afraid of the pecking at your hand that they'll do...I have one in particular that pecks hard, but that's all part of the game. On the material for your coop and run, I highly suggest going the extra $ for 1/2" hardware cloth...you won't regret it in the long run...have a great day today!!
Okay, thanks for the tip! You do the same!!!
 
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