Two week old chicks - A few questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by EeyoreD, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. EeyoreD

    EeyoreD Chillin' With My Peeps

    672
    18
    128
    Mar 26, 2012
    Attica, MI
    So I decided, after reading around here and some books that the only way I was really going to learn was to jump in and get some chicks.

    I got some from TSC last Friday, I forgot to ask how old they were but from reading threads they're usually 1-2 days old or so from there. Based on that I'm guessing mine are right around 2 weeks old.

    They seem to be doing really well. Had one with pasty butt the morning after I got them but cleaned it off, mixed some yogurt with the starter for a few days and it seems to be fine (hasn't recurred, no one else has it, etc)

    They're getting feistier now, which is fun to watch. It seems like they're starting to sort out status in the flock. On to the questions:


    Almost from the time I got them they FAR preferred to scratch for their food than get things from the feeders (I spilled some, oops). What I've been doing is scattering some feed in the bedding but also filling the feeders. They eat the stuff in the bedding first. Is this an OK practice? They'll be outside much of the time when they grow up, I figured it might be good to encourage that. Right now I'm cleaning the brooder out every other day.

    I don't have a thermometer for the brooder but I've been basing things on their behavior. While they do have space outside the heat of the lamp, occasionally I'll have one or two that flop down like boneless chickens in the circle of the heat lamp and just lay there breathing heavier than the rest (who are outside the circle). Are those just taking a sauna? I'm hesitant to take the lamp away as most of the birds move in and out of the heat as they wish. I just have a couple of panters and not all the time.

    Because they're getting feistier and more engaged (but still wary, which is good) is it too early to start giving them something other than starter? If so what would be good things for them? Stuff from the yard (dandelions, living and dead potato bugs, grass, tree branches, earthworms?) I do have grit for them once they start on something else but the grit bits seem HUGE, will they be able to just peck off what they need?

    Sticking with the feisty, do I (should I) give them some sort of toy or entertainment or something? While they are wary it just seems like they're looking for something to do. What would be good?

    It's too cold/breezy yet to give them any outside time, unfortunately. I'm assuming once it's warmer and/or less breezy getting them out is fine at this point since, from what I'm reading, the moms take them out well before now. Obviously I'll watch them like, well like a hawk... er perhaps bad analogy.

    And last one - should I have roosting material in there for them at this point?

    Oh they're Rhode Island Reds if that makes a difference.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ourfamilyflock

    Ourfamilyflock Chillin' With My Peeps

    121
    6
    83
    Mar 19, 2012
    Central Oregon
    Curious as well, we just got chicks yesterday they are almost 3 weeks old. 2 RIR and 2 Barred. We didnt buy a feeder and have been filling a plastic corn on the cob dish with the feed. Which of course instead of eating ouf of they roost on it and knock the food out all over the place then eat it off the floor of the box we have them in. Is this behavior going to cause us long term problems? Really didnt want to buy a feeder that we wont use more then a few weeks. Going to get a large feeder for the coop.

    How important is it that we get a feeder and the pine chips? Right now we have them in a large box and covered the bottom with brown paper bags and put a roost in there. We did get a water feeder.

    They are a lot of fun to watch, so far only one RIR was bold enough to get up on the roost, though when she gets up there, the other 3 peck at her feet, so she doesnt stay up there long.

    I wasnt expecting their peeps to be so varied. Whistles, chirps, whirls and of course peeps. Have read a lot, but its fun to get hands on experience. Will post pictures soon, once I get them off the camera.
     
  3. EeyoreD

    EeyoreD Chillin' With My Peeps

    672
    18
    128
    Mar 26, 2012
    Attica, MI
    Oh! Me either! Sometimes they sound like songbirds with little trills and such. I never knew!

    Yours just peck at your bold ones feet? Mine are doing "Chick Bowling" where the just full on run at each other and chest bump. When I hand feed one will jump up on my hand, not eat, but block everyone else from getting at things. In general mine seem to LOVE king of the mountain.

    I had no idea these little things were so much fun. (I am so about to be a tragic victim of Chicken Math)
     
  4. highpointfarm

    highpointfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 29, 2012
    Orange County NY
    I give my chicks a roost as soon as I get them.... As for the panters, they should be fine... If they want to move they can.. especially if they have a good amount of cool area... I dont like to give my chicks anything extra untill 3 weeks at the earliest.. Dont worry chicken math happens to the best of us, and the best of them enjoy it =] instead of sprinkling feed in the bottom of the brooder, sprinkle grit instead.... They will take what they need, and leave what they dont... RIR are definitley a high energy breed... I love mine =] sound like they are doing fine... It would help though if you uploaded a pic of your settup.. then i could tell you if their was anything else that you needed =]

    Hope this helps
    Caleb
     
  5. EeyoreD

    EeyoreD Chillin' With My Peeps

    672
    18
    128
    Mar 26, 2012
    Attica, MI
    Thanks Caleb!

    Here's a pic of my (rudimentary) setup. Ignore the bedding on the carpet please and for goodness sakes don't tell my Mom.
    [​IMG]

    I know that, fairly quickly, I'm going to need to find a larger space for them. I just haven't figured out what that should be yet. I've gotten lots of ideas from the forum so it's just a matter of picking one out and setting it up.

    I used to have 2 heat lamps, one for each bin, but after the first couple of days they all seemed too hot for that.

    BTW if the food (there is one for each bin) and water (there are two) seem too small... I'm home all day and check in on them frequently, top off and/or hand feed. When I expand I'll put the larger waterer I have and the large feed tray in.

    I don't know any other breeds but the RIRs are such fun so far! They're starting to develop personalities though I can't always tell them apart yet :/
     
  6. highpointfarm

    highpointfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 29, 2012
    Orange County NY
    Well you settup looks fine just a few things to consider... 1 Compared to my house, your carpet looks great =] I cant see my carpet anymore LOL
    2 I HIGHLY suggest getting a chick feeder, and waterer... They are HUGE helps. Plus in about 3 days, they are going to be kicking up a storm and those bowls will be filled with poop and bedding in a matter of 20 seconds... I use childrens play blocks to prop mine up.. Other than that they look fine... You may want to find a way to raise the heat lamp.. or what i do is for the first 2 weeks a 100 watt bulb then 3 week 80 watt, then 4 60 watt, and then 5 and 6 40 watt bulb....'


    Hope this helps
    Caleb

    PS if you have any questions, just PM me =]
     
  7. highpointfarm

    highpointfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 29, 2012
    Orange County NY
    Here is my settup.. I will be putting 6 more chicks in their tomorrow... usually have hardware cloth cover, but i took it off for the pics..
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  8. EeyoreD

    EeyoreD Chillin' With My Peeps

    672
    18
    128
    Mar 26, 2012
    Attica, MI
    Oh you've got a veritable condo compared to mine! I'm definitely going to have to get them something to roost on. They love to play king of the mountain on my hand when I stick it in there.

    I was actually going to raise the light up but they still periodically huddle underneath it so I was going to wait until they maybe had a few more feathers, though those seem to appear overnight.

    I also have a chick feeder and a waterer but they're so huge that they take up most of the bins. I was going to swap to those when I figured out what their larger space was going to be (I'll probably get that set up this weekend)

    Thanks!

    (And I love the one on the left with the racing stripe down her back!)
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  9. barnyard betty

    barnyard betty Chillin' With My Peeps

    124
    2
    91
    Apr 5, 2012
    Like your setup! Seems cozy and comfortable. I would like to do something similar if I can convince my boyfriend that the old stark metal wire brooder is not that comfy!
     
  10. highpointfarm

    highpointfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 29, 2012
    Orange County NY
    What i suggest doing is cutting A side off of each bin, and duct tape them together... Because also they might have a hard time getting along when you join them later on in life.... They earlier they meet each other the better.... on my roost i actually have a 18 inch by 6 inch base to keep it from falling over... They love it !
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by