Removing heat lamp and other questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by firefighter9208, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. firefighter9208

    firefighter9208 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 4, 2008
    Springville, Alabama
    Maybe I'm posting in the right forum. I have a few questions.

    1. My chicks are 9 weeks old now. I have them in a 10x16 coup (unheated, but no drafts) on deep litter. When can I remove the heat lamps? Are they old enough now??? Please say yes. [​IMG]

    2. When do I switch from starter/grower feed to laying mash???

    3. When do I need to start offering grit???

    4. When do I need to start feeding oyster shells or crushed egg shells?? Now would be great. I hate throwing away egg shells that I know they could eat.

    5. When can I start feeding things other than the starter/grower. For example: bread, vegetable peels, etc....

    6. Do I need some type of feeder to put bread etc... in or do I just throw it on the floor (ground)and let them eat it.

    7. Are they old enough to let outside??? They are fully feathered and it gets in the 40's and up during the day here most days.

    BTW: They are eating me out of house and home. 25 chicks are eating 50# of food in about 12-14 days. And they aren't wasting it.
  2. Nemo

    Nemo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    N'rn Wisconsin
    If the birds are fully feathered, then you can prob'ly turn off the light. Keep it handy though, just in case. If you find them all huddled together for warmth, then you might need to turn it back on.

    You need to give them grit as soon as they start eating something other than store-bought feed. Soft foods like yogurt, cottage cheese, soft bananas, etc, should be fine without grit, but otherwise they will need it to "chew" the food.

    You can start giving them little treats occasionally. Keep it a small part of their normal food. We have a couple of old dog bowls we use for treats. You don't need anything special. You can even scatter it so they have to search for it.

    Calcium (oyster and egg shells) isn't needed until a few weeks before they start laying. I think I remember that layer feed should be started when they are 16 weeks old. You can start shells at the same time. You can stockpile shells until then. Bake them a bit to kill any bacteria on them, crush them up, and store them until you need them.

    You should be able to let them outside. Be sure they can get back into the coop if they get chilly.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by