Starting with baby chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mjroberts, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. mjroberts

    mjroberts Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok new to the baby chick thing. I know it has been said before but I can't find it the answer. So my chicks are two weeks old now and I was wondering when can I put them in the coop and run. The other question is I have been giving them mealworms do I need to give them grit with them or does the starter feed have it in it. Thanks for any comments
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Mine live in the coop from day one, though of course with a heat source at first. Last time I had a batch, they started avoiding the heat at 3 weeks, cuddling together in a corner at night, as far from the heat as they could get, and it was going below 70 at night. If yours are indoors with a heat lamp, I'd suggest you see how far away you can get it without their piling up under it to get warm. Then take them outside for short outings on sunny days -- give them a cardboard box on its side or the like to go into if they get cold. You get the idea, just start acclimating them. You may be able to move them safely in a week or two. Six to eight weeks is usually given as the fully feathered age. However, chicks raised by a broody in my coop with only mama for warmth feathered faster, I believe.

    Of course, if you can set up a heat source, you can move them now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree and mine are out from day one regardless of the time of year. Even with the heat lamps the building got into the 20s a few nights.
    Never lost a bird.
    I just hang a lamp for a few birds, put a hover in with 2 lamps for lots of chicks. They really need to be able to escape the heat. More natural.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. mjroberts

    mjroberts Out Of The Brooder

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    It's getting in the 40's here at night I think that is to cold for them right now but I will try and climate them when I can.

    The other question I have is do they need grit for giving them mealworms
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Haha, look how those little bitty chicks are way off in the corner in the top picture!

    I have never had chicks who tolerated as much heat as I keep reading about, 95 the first week, etc.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't think they do. Mealworms are soft. Grit is for grinding seeds and other hard things like roots and vegetation. The gizzard should be able to handle worms without grit. Harder insects like crickets would be a different story probably.
    Feed does not contain grit because the ingredients have already been through a hammermill.

    If you hang a couple heat lamps that create a spot between 90 and 100, that is almost identical to having a broody hen. She won't heat the entire ambient space but just provide a warm spot. They don't hang out under her very often and they don't die.
    I say 2 heat lamps in case one goes out during the night.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    There are two 2 week old chicks and five 1 week olds.
     
  8. mjroberts

    mjroberts Out Of The Brooder

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    I have been using a 60 watt bulb not a heat bulb will that work or do I need to put a heat lamp in the coop. My coop is only 4' x 4' will that be enough heat for them and is that big enough for 6 hens and two laying boxes. I red that it was one laying box for every three hens do I need to add more laying boxes.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    2 boxes is plenty for 6 hens unless 2 go broody at the same time. 16 sq. ft. is tight for 6 hens unless they're bantams. It might work if they're docile, good friends, you never have to bring in replacements and they are only in there to sleep. Otherwise they might go stir crazy. I like a minimum of 4 sq' per bird in the coop.
    I have gone as low as 2 1/2sq.' but they weren't full grown and were only in to sleep.
    A 60 watt works for brooding in a tub but in a large area you need a heat lamp of some kind. Between 150 and 250 depending on the ambient temps.

    More space helps prevent lots of problems, fighting, more cleaning, bad air(respiratory issues), etc..
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  10. mjroberts

    mjroberts Out Of The Brooder

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    They will sleep in there and go and come as they please in the run which is ten feet long. I have 6 buff clicks that will be hens sooner or later is that going to be to small of a coop
     

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