Two questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ChickenCrazy8, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. ChickenCrazy8

    ChickenCrazy8 Songster

    Jan 16, 2012
    Canada, Ottawa
    My Coop
    I have two quick questions...

    1. How old do chicks have to be before you can give them treats (what treats could you give them)
    2. How old do chicks have to be before you could let them outside on a warm day.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    1. Depends on how treats defined. Insect treats can begin as first food. Scratch grains best delayed until sometime after grit consumed. For me I delay scratch until week six. Dairy products as often applied as treats not within my experience although I would waite until birds have been feeding for a few days to allow their digestive tract time to harden up for such odd foods.

    2. Answer is temperature dependent and for me a function of disease control. On extremely warm days 95 or more they can go out almost immediately. By time chicks in first full body of feathers, they can tolerate temperatures below freezing. Avoid moisture until chicks fully feathered. Disease control involves preventing of outside disease organsisms from being brought into brooder where such organisms can find such locations ideal for becoming problematic.
  3. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Songster

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Like centrachild, I hold off on scratch until later, at least 5 weeks old. The only "treats" they get, are grass and bugs that they get when I start putting them outside. Which brings us to your other question, and where I differ from your first reply. We have a small grassy area that gets direct sun, with a section of shade provided. After the first few days, once I know they are all eating and drinking and there are no visible problems, I'll take them outside at an hour or two at a time, even at 70ish degrees. Not on cloudy days at that temperature, but when it's sunny, it seems like enough. Your best barometer is the chicks themselves. When you first put them out, they will be chirping, because it's all new to them. But watch them...if they begin to settle down, and start to spread out pecking and exploring, they are fine. Just keep listening, and if they get too cold, they will tell you.

    I don't even go 95 in the brooder anymore. Hot spot at 90 for the first 3 days, and then that light gets raised. I've had much better results since I started cooling things down a bit earlier, a trick I learned from an old chicken farmer. By week 3, mine are outside in a small coop open on one side, with temps in the mid 50's to low 60's. I have 3 week old chicks outside right now, and was in the mid 40's last night. They huddled and were quite fine today. Of course, if you have any that are having issues, you'll want to keep them warmer for longer.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Erica

    Erica Songster

    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi ChickenCrazy8,
    I introduce sprouts when chicks are 2-3 weeks of age (sprouted wheat most commonly). I also introduce hard grit very early.
    After week 6 they're able to eat sprouted whole corn.
  5. depends on how warm the day is.
  6. ChickenCrazy8

    ChickenCrazy8 Songster

    Jan 16, 2012
    Canada, Ottawa
    My Coop
    Thanks so much for the helpful comments!!!
  7. RonC

    RonC Songster

    Feb 28, 2012
    Mine went out for exercise at about 1 week old. The weather was in the 70's sunny not much wind and they loved it. Just keep an eye on them. if they start acting as if cold take them back in to warm up. Think about what mama hen would be doing. Mine love raw oatmeal and started getting it at about 2 weeks as a treat. They have never liked dried mealworms but others love them. Give them grit in some form when they start eating any solids other than their starter crumbles. Crumbles mixed with water to form a paste is a good treat for them. They love it also and have never heard of any that don't.

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