Raising Baby Chicks - Notable Topic Index - Please Review

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nhnanna

Songster
11 Years
Jul 18, 2008
2,462
14
204
The chicken coop

I give my chickens all kinds of kitchen scraps as well as leftovers. I was told though not to give them potato peelings that they are toxic. I don't know how true it is but I don't want to find out the hard way so I just throw those away. I also give them the grain first to make sure they have a balanced diet. The other stuff I give as a treat. They love watermelon.
 

Sher

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 3, 2010
70
1
29
Roscoe, Texas
I have my first ever chick starting to unzipp. It started sometime during the night, in the last 5 hours, it has added a second hole and broken the space between. how do I know when I need to help it out? Thanks

Sher 1 Bearded Collie, 4 Angus/Herford calves, 1 16 year old cat and an incubator full of chicks.
 

BackToMyRoots

Chirping
9 Years
Jun 29, 2010
116
1
89
Matthews, NC
I shouldn't be up now, but I'm on vacation and completely addicted to BYC!

I just wanted to get a round of opinions on chics going outside who are a) not on medicated chick starter and b) living in a yard with two bird feeders and a bird bath. Of course I wouldn't let the chickies hang out where there are visible droppings, but should I even think about taking my two-week olds outside for a few minutes each day? If I don't, I'm a little worried about keeping my three in the brooder so long that they don't develop their natural immunities a little at a time--will thismake them drop dead as soon they encounter their first blade of poopy grass someday?

Man, life was easier when I was a kid helping to raise chickens and we didn't know how we could prevent untimely death with just two or three hundred simple precautions
 

CheerfulHeart2

Creative Problem Solver
10 Years
Apr 8, 2009
1,075
9
151
Phoenix, AZ
Sher - hope the hatch went well. For future reference, there are a few discussions out there on when to help chicks out of the egg. You might do some searches to see if you can find them. If not, PM me and I'll see if I can find them. As I recall, some folks never help, others do after x hours. Wet paper towels have been mentioned at times...not remembering why. Also, if you can post a thread in the section of the forum that deals specifically with hatching, you may get a better response, though sometimes it is hard to get attention with so many threads going. Pictures of new babies seem to go over well, so if you want post those under the right heading with "**pic** in the subject, you may get some comments.

BackToMy Roots
Having back yard chickens have added a lot of joy and fun to my life as well...and worry at times. I feed my chick's the medicated stuff, but I haven't vaccinated or given any other meds. The debate on all this has pro's and con's to both sides. My birds roam in the yard and are exposed to whatever the wild birds bring in. I realize someday they may all get Marek's and drop dead on me, but it is a risk I have decided to take as I don't have, or really want, to enclose them in a space that keeps all the wild birds away from them. I am also not too excited about vaccination and quarantine. I like letting them free range and am trusting that they will survive somehow. If they ever do contract something epidemic, I may start a new flock with a new policy. So, if it were me, and I am not mega expert, I would let them out to roam the yard. The one caveat, of course, is to protect against predators. I am in the city so I only worry about cats and only when they are little chicks. However, many areas have very determined predators so you may want to check up on that.

Good luck and welcome to the chicken hobby!
 

Sher

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 3, 2010
70
1
29
Roscoe, Texas
Once they are grown, mine will be able to free range within limits. i have electric mesh to put around their area. We have coyotes, Wild cats, skunks, racoons for sure, I saw them in the chicken coop we are redoing. She had a litter in one of the nest boxes, as well as a stray cat I can't get rid of. Predators are my main worry. I did not get the mereks on the ones I bought, but I do feed the medicated feed. I'm hoping I'm doing the right thing..grinn. Thanks for your post, it was interesting and I appreciate it very much. I need to learn so much.
sher
 

downinthecanyon

Hatching
9 Years
Jun 21, 2010
9
0
7
Hey, guys, thanks for the website! I have about 40 girls and two roos, all more than a year old, all doing great, except lately I haven't been able to get one of my barred rocks into the coop at night, and lo and behold, she showed up today -- with 15 newborn baby chicks! Do I try to corral her and put her back in the fenced
enclosure, or do I just let her do her thing in the wild? I'm afraid they will all get eaten....
 

Sher

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 3, 2010
70
1
29
Roscoe, Texas
Hi Cheerful Heart 2, I only got one chick out of that hatch, but it is doing well. I have a few araucanas in one incubator, but they are not doing anything. The LG bator is very hard to keep the temp regulated. I am sure that is the problem. I have started 40 other araucanas in the other LG, but i just bought a Hovabator. When It arrives I will just transfer the turner into it. I hope I get some araucanas somehow. My friend changed her LG and is doing alot better hatching. I am getting very discouraged. I did order some chicks so my lone hatchling would not be alone. They are a couple weeks from going out to the coop. I have now, 46 black astralorps, buff orpingtons, silverlaced wyandottes, rhode island reds and americaunas, as well as 10 guinea keats and 10 runner ducks. Whew! BUT I want to hatch my own. Ihave two coops, so I have plenty of room. I hope the hovabator does the trick.

Sher with 4 calves, two bearded collies, 2 cats, 46 chicks and keats, 10 runner ducks.
 

Ksurrett

Hatching
9 Years
Jul 28, 2010
6
2
7
I am new with chickens, mine are about 6 weeks old and I got them when they were a week old. The best thing I ever did was but the book "Raising Chickens for Dummies" that's how I found out about this website...When I got them I didn't have anywhere to keep them safe and comfortbale ( no coop yet) so I took our old igloo doghouse and cut the top off, I drilled a hole in each side and slid a broom stick in it for a perch and I coverd the top with chicken wire, I put pine shavings in the bottom and used a large dog bowl full of dirt for them to play in, they love the dirt..the baby chicks loved this thrown together house and it only took me about 2 hours to make. I made a short video of them playing with a peice of bread...it's tooo funny!
 
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