Now what's next?

Buckeye2002

Chirping
Nov 15, 2018
90
126
86
Omaha, Nebraska
Many of you have been following my threads:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...-what-are-my-options-realistic-please.1282037

My girls seem to like their new home:


and thanks to so many of you, I have survived. But my question is this:
What do I do now? Are there more vaccinations? (they received the MRK from the hatchery and I feed them Manna's Medicated Chick Starter) When will I know if I have any roosters in my flock? Should my 4-week old chicks beginning their "pecking" order behavior?

I am just wanted to make sure that I am prepared for my next steps. I still need to put in a second set of roosts, I need to take the roost planks off my nesting boxes, I guess I need to cover my nesting boxes so they don't go in there yet, I need to take down the last of my fencing that borders the coop below (I plan on getting an automatic door and let them free range everyday). I need to put my siding and gutters up and also put in ventilation on both ends. This is one serious hobby I started.

Thanks for the help...
 

EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
2,241
5,430
577
Southeast Alabama
You seem to be getting along pretty good with your chicken endeavor so far. Let us know if you have any specific questions as the come up. But you are doing great so far, mighty proud of you!
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
119,386
343,313
1,977
New Jersey
Things are looking good. Mock fighting/sparring are part of setting the pecking order. In a couple more weeks cockerels may become evident.
 

Melky

Spring has sprung!
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
4,154
20,246
962
Edgewood, KY
Typically unless you are commercial after Mareks vaccine on day one there are no further vaccines recommended. Medicated feed is fine. This help prevent coccidiosis. At 3-4 weeks should offer chic grit free choice in separate container. They may also start greens like cabbage leaves and dried mealworms as treat. Not more than 10% of daily diet. At 8 weeks advance to poultry grit. Covering nesting boxes is great idea won’t be using those for awhile and don’t need the extra work to clean. Make sure have roosts they can jump on while brooding. Weaning heat source by 5 degrees every 5-7 days starting at 90-95 degrees in first week till set to 65-70 then off. Should be feathered out by 4-5 weeks 6-8 latest. Then out in coop. Looks like maybe this far?
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,306
29,249
1,002
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
What do I do now? Are there more vaccinations? When will I know if I have any roosters in my flock? Should my 4-week old chicks beginning their "pecking" order behavior?

Unlike dogs they don't need extra vaccinations.

You'll start seeing possible roos as they get older. Once they're 8 weeks or older, you can post photos here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forums/what-breed-or-gender-is-this.15/ of suspect birds. Look for things such as larger, redder combs, thick legs, an upright stance, pointed feathers around the neck and base of tail (10+ weeks).

From my experience pecking order doesn't really start to show (usually) until they're in their "teens." Before that posturing or mock fighting is more like play or practice. You'll know you're seeing pecking order when you start seeing a bird dominate a food source, or bow and give way to other birds, for example.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,324
126,526
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Nice waterer stands!
Will you have heaters on waterers?
You may want to use just one and swap them out as they freeze.

Where/how did they sleep?
Wondering if heating lamps are low enough.
 

Buckeye2002

Chirping
Nov 15, 2018
90
126
86
Omaha, Nebraska
Nice waterer stands!
Will you have heaters on waterers?
You may want to use just one and swap them out as they freeze.

Where/how did they sleep?
Wondering if heating lamps are low enough.

I don't have water heaters. I haven't had any frozen water yet. I check on them about 5-6 times a day. The temp stays between 60-70 where the lamps are now and the chicks are pretty active I would say. They have always slept huddled together, but are usually quiet. Should I bring the lamps down. Some chicks actually roost on the first and second roosting boards.
 

Buckeye2002

Chirping
Nov 15, 2018
90
126
86
Omaha, Nebraska
Typically unless you are commercial after Mareks vaccine on day one there are no further vaccines recommended. Medicated feed is fine. This help prevent coccidiosis. At 3-4 weeks should offer chic grit free choice in separate container. They may also start greens like cabbage leaves and dried mealworms as treat. Not more than 10% of daily diet. At 8 weeks advance to poultry grit. Covering nesting boxes is great idea won’t be using those for awhile and don’t need the extra work to clean. Make sure have roosts they can jump on while brooding. Weaning heat source by 5 degrees every 5-7 days starting at 90-95 degrees in first week till set to 65-70 then off. Should be feathered out by 4-5 weeks 6-8 latest. Then out in coop. Looks like maybe this far?
"Chic Grit Free"?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,324
126,526
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
They have always slept huddled together, but are usually quiet. Should I bring the lamps down. Some chicks actually roost on the first and second roosting boards.
As long as they are quiet and not trying to climb on top of each other they are likely warm enough. Does the lamp shed heat onto the roost they are using??
Curious if they are sleeping on the roosts because 'chickens do' or are they trying to get closer to the heat lamp?
 

Buckeye2002

Chirping
Nov 15, 2018
90
126
86
Omaha, Nebraska
As long as they are quiet and not trying to climb on top of each other they are likely warm enough. Does the lamp shed heat onto the roost they are using??
Curious if they are sleeping on the roosts because 'chickens do' or are they trying to get closer to the heat lamp?
I haven't seen them sleeping on the roost, they just fly up there and sit..pick at each other...and only a few thus far.
 

MANNA-PRO

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