Transition to coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BirdsInParadise, May 23, 2016.

  1. BirdsInParadise

    BirdsInParadise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2016
    Hey all!
    Question...
    When I transition my chicks to the coop should I have little nesting boxes already set up for them?
    Straw? Pine shavings? Blanket?
    Any and all advice greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It depends on what age they are when you transition they in. If they are still young (not of laying age) I would not put nesting boxes in, wait until just before they start laying. You do not want they to get in the habit of roosting in them. As far as shavings, blanket,ect. it is what ever you prefer. Shaving and straw are easier to clean and replace not to mention cheaper.
     
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  3. BirdsInParadise

    BirdsInParadise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for your response, Choco.
    I plan on transitioning them around 6 weeks. They are a little over 2 now and spend ample time outside already but still sleep inside under lamp. I have NO idea if they are boys or girls.
    If one (or both) are females, how would I know when they are just about ready to lay? (What's laying age?)
    Thanks for any and all thoughts, ideas, advice...
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  4. Choco Maran

    Choco Maran Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Laying age is about 16-20 weeks. You will know they are close when they start to squat down when you go to pet them. I change to layer feed at about 6 weeks. I will stay on grower untill then. Start grower after each chick has finished about a pound of starter per chick. A chick will eat about a pound of food a week.
     
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  5. BirdsInParadise

    BirdsInParadise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm currently feeding them Purina medicated start and grow. I was under the impression that they should consume this for 2 months.
    Does that sound correct?
    Is "layer food" what I should ask for at the feed store?

    Any ideas on sexing these critters?
    They're Silkies, BTW.
    THANKS!!!
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    At 6 weeks they are way too young for layer feed. The high calcium content of layer feed can cause organ damage that may not be apparent, but happening nonetheless. When the chicks are about 6-8 weeks old, you can switch to a grower/finisher feed and when they start laying, switch to a layer feed, which is formulated for active laying hens.

    @BirdsInParadise here are some Silkie sexing threads with tips and pics:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/579215/silkie-sexing/0_30

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/882746/sexing-silkies/0_30
     
  7. BirdsInParadise

    BirdsInParadise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the added info and links, Sumi.
    Greatly appreciated.
    Edit: what exactly is a "waddle" and "comb"?
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    To put it very simply, the comb is found on top of the chicken's head (males generally have larger combs than females) and the wattles are hanging down below the chicken's beak. In most breeds the comb and wattles will be red, or reddish coloured. Here is a diagram of the chicken, male and female's anatomy:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-diagram-and-anatomy-of-a-chicken-pictures-and-labels

    And just for fun, the different comb types:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-9-comb-types
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/caruncles-combs-and-wattles-the-features-functions-and-healthcare
     
  9. BirdsInParadise

    BirdsInParadise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see.
    Thank you!
     

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