three questions, please...

timco

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 14, 2008
69
0
39
Salt Lake City, UT
I have chicks that are just getting head feathers, and are getting pretty big. Most body feathers are there and full wings. 1, can I trim wing feathers at this age to keep them in the brooder? 2, can they have timothy hay? They just love playing with it but I saw one eating it the last time it was in their brooder. Is it safe for them? 3, how warm must it be in the sun for them to go outside for an hour or 3?

Thank you soo much,

Tim
 
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ibpboo

Where Chickens Ride Horses
12 Years
Jul 9, 2007
5,601
10
279
always changing
Not sure when you can trim feathers, probably not necessary at this young age, chickens usually do not fly very well anyway, you can put net or wire on top. I think hay would be ok if they eat just a little, my hens eat their beds a lot if I put hay in there, usually alfalfa or oat and they are fine, its like eating grass. They should be able to go outside for an hour or so, you can tell if they are getting cold, they will huddle. It was in the 60's today and I put my 3 day olds out for 45 mins while I cleaned their box, but boy did the hawk catch on quick so I brought them in right away, I did not leave them unattended at all while they were out.
 

cgmccary

Songster
12 Years
Sep 14, 2007
1,848
319
241
NE Alabama
age of your chicks?

1, can I trim wing feathers at this age to keep them in the brooder? 2, can they have timothy hay? They just love playing with it but I saw one eating it the last time it was in their brooder. Is it safe for them? 3, how warm must it be in the sun for them to go outside for an hour or 3?

1) yes, trim only 1 wing and ONLY the ends of the primaries (the last 1/3);

2) They can have timothy hay ONLY IF they have been given "baby grit." As a rule of thumb, I do not give mine hay or anything but their Starter feed for about the first 5-6 weeks.

3) If your chicks are more than a couple of weeks of age, then I'd say if 75-80 F degree & not wet grass, they could go out for 15-20 minutes (and if no cold wind). If they shiver, bring em in. If they are older, then maybe a little longer. But it need to be at least 75 & no cold wind, IMHO.​
 

timco

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 14, 2008
69
0
39
Salt Lake City, UT
They are on week 5 with us from the store. Not sure how old they were when we bought them but they had no feathers. May I ask why just trim 1 wing? I put a cover on the brooder to keep them in, but they can really fly now. We had given some baby grit (finch grit) and if in direct sun, it gets to the 70's...otherwise only 60 at most here in SLC.

Thanks again, Tim
 

MissPrissy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 7, 2007
24,434
104
371
Forks, Virginia
It is not wise to try and trim young chicks feathers. Clipping this early can lead to problems if you clip a blood feather. Yes, they can fly. It is good exercise for them. They need to do this as they grow. Maybe you can give them a stick to roost on.
 

timco

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 14, 2008
69
0
39
Salt Lake City, UT
Sorry I have not gotten the hang of the photobucket thing or I would post pics. I have a perch in there, and they love to climb on the little nest boxes I made for them. When I leave, they want to follow me and fly up on the brooder wall. (a dog crate, large pen) I have had chickens before and we trimmed their large, primary feathers often but I have not raised chicks before. They are contained now. I really love & respect these girls, and want only the best enviroment for them. I change their paper twice daily. They are really affectionate and love to sit on your hand.

Thanks, Tim
 

thisnthatfarm

Hatching
11 Years
Mar 23, 2008
7
0
6
Bellville, Ohio
To answer your question about why one wing....

when we first started raising chickens we knew nothing about them at all. My grandfather was our teacher by phone. I was having problems keeping my chickens in their fenced area and asked him what to do.... mind you I tried the mesh over top of the area and they kept jumping into it until it was torn to shreds. My grandfather told me to cut their feather tips and they wouldnt be able to fly into the net or over the fence. So I went outside to do as instructed. I cut both wings, not knowing that I should have asked if I should cut one wing or both. That night I was pretty proud of myself and felt confident that I had done what I should. The next morning I awoke to all my chickens over the fence again. When I called my grandfather to ask him what happened he just laughed and said that I evened the bird out to where they could fly again.... silly me. At least I learned why you only do one wing, even if it was the hard way!
 

timco

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 14, 2008
69
0
39
Salt Lake City, UT
When we cut my chicken's wings as a kid, we did both and I assumed it was the lack of 'lift' they would have that it worked. We always cut the outer 1.5-2" of the adult chickens. It's been a while, but I can still imagine just where we cut them. Thanks for the reply!

Tim
 

ChickenMommy

Songster
12 Years
Mar 9, 2007
110
0
139
North East Texas
Quote:when I did only 1 side on my hens they were still able to fly out over my fence. Only once I clipped BOTH side where they not able to fly out. Funny, chickens are different I guess.
 

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