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Author Topic: Here chicky chick chick  (Read 3967 times)
Jerrymac
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« on: April 26, 2008, 11:33:20 AM »

Yeah O know there are probably a lot of topics started about chickens and perhaps even have the answers to my questions.... OH wait... I don't know enough to even ask the questions.

I already sort of started asking another member a few questions about chickens. I won't mention any names but she lives up on B.C. She told me there were a few here that knew more than her. So here it is.

Gebos has some Rhode Island Reds I think I am going to go get some today. Little bitty things. Could probably hold five in one hand. I need to bring these birds up to adulthood.... Soooo..... What do I do? 
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2008, 11:55:38 AM »

You will need a light & box of some kind to keep em warm. For that few it doesn't have to be a big box either.  If you use the red heat lamp they will be less inclined to pick @ each other.  They need to be a little above 90 for the first week or till they get some pin feathers going on. no drafts, plenty of wood shavings (NOT cedar)  Chick starter & waterer.  Oh, & put em somewhere the cats can't get to...too tempting to have tasty morsels about! I used my office & opened the window.  As they get more feathers in move the light up, making it cooler.  Bout 4-5 weeks you can put em outside w/lamp in a chix house or barn, but make sure the area is predator/draft proof. Mine are in the haybarn in a 350gl water dealie. They are over  1/2 feathered now once they are fully feathered I will turn off the lamp if the temps outside are stable. If it's warm today I will put em in a little pen in the sun to play & eat.  They are so fun.  Amazing what instincts come out, they scratch from day 1, & if you give goodies (little bits of greens) one will take it & run around to hide it so others can't have it...they chase to get..they don't even know what it is! Enjoy!  Jody
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2008, 12:50:26 PM »

Biddies are so much fun. Like said above warm and safe.  But be warned: a hand full is never enough, you will want more. Smiley
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2008, 04:57:57 PM »

When I was at Gebos a couple of days ago they had three bins full of little chicks. They only had four left when we got there today. They have some feathers right around the area of the wings. So we got them a red heat light, feed, water dish, wood shavings. They said they will have more about the middle of next week.

So how do you determine male from female? Some one told me to lay them on their back. The males kick and females lie still. If that is true, we have one that isn't sure. It kicks sometimes and lies still other times.
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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2008, 06:19:28 PM »

How do you know of the light is getting them too hot?
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« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2008, 07:14:35 PM »

If they have room they will move away.  Chicks do lie down & stretch like dogs do, roll in the shavings & such. They sleep flat out sometimes! They will pant like other animals if they get hot too.  If you have a thermometer you can put it in the bottom of the box to see how warm it is, & adjust the height of the light accordingly.  They should be close to 90 at first.  It's amazing how fast their feathers grow in! The heat from the light will vary with the temp of the room.  Ideally they should have room to self regulate, move closer under or further away from the heat source.  Some like it hot....if they are all huddled up under the light they are too cold.  Have fun!  There is not much cuter than a chick!  Jody
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« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2008, 07:17:24 PM »

if they are scattered away from the light its too hot. if they are huddled under the light its too cold. if sometimes they are huddled and sometimes they are scattered you are good to go.
sexing chicks is difficult unless they are sex linked which Rhode Island Reds are not. the males are sitting on the couch with the remotes and the females are presenting honey do lists.
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2008, 09:07:14 PM »

How do you know of the light is getting them too hot?

They start to smell like fried chicken! grin

Sorry, Jerry, I couldn't resist.


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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2008, 10:07:26 PM »


They start to smell like fried chicken! grin



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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2008, 11:53:42 PM »

Do small chicks need a different feed than larger poultry? I'm wondering if these can handle the size of some of this feed we got them.
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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2008, 12:05:11 AM »

They should have starter crumbles, looks sort of like grape nuts..probably tastes the same too! You can crunch it up more in a baggie.  Gave mine nettles today...trying to brainwash em into loving them! **you love nettles**you looovvveee netttleeesss***you MUST have nettles**you will grow up searcing & destroying nettles****MMMnnnummy nettles** evil
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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2008, 12:19:40 AM »

Jody, oh you are a hoot and a hollar.  Jerry, you're gonna love having chickens.  They really are an interesting part of life.  Never a dull moment when you are around them.  Keep asking your questions, you will get great answers, always.  Have fun.....beautiful and most wonderful day, Cindi
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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2008, 02:18:43 AM »

Sorry this is late. I have hatched out about 500 chicks this year and still going. I have aso hatched out about 200 turkeys and  400 quail. You want to keep chicks in a brooder starting out at 100 degrees directly under the heat lamp. Use a 125 watt heat lamp bulb if indoors or in a garage or use the 250watt bulb if outside.  for indoors you can use a rubbermade container if you dont have very many till they start to learn how to jump and roost which will be at about 2 weeks of age. You want to lower the temp under the heat lamp by 10 degrees each week till they reach 75 degrees  then they can be taken totally off the lights.  I do not use medicated feed at my place but most do I am all organic here. As I have clients who buy my organic eggs and meat chickens. Start out a chick on chick starter crumbles or mash with chick grit which you can go to walmart and buy parrokeet grit and that will work as well. A little bowl of sand works well also. For bedding from day old till they are eating from the feeder you will want to have newspaper with some feed spread over the paper to get them to start pecking on feed and not eat there bedding. Then you can house them on pine shavings (NO CEDAR) you can also use feline pine kitty litter pellets those are wonderful. You can use the plain clay cat litter as well. place the feed and water away from the heat lamp or your water will grow algae.  change your water every day. Do not give them very cold water but give them tepid water. change there bedding when dirty and have fun. There are several different ailments that can hit chicks at any age that it is hard to list them all. But if you ever have any questions you can allways pm me. I dont get on till evening but if you send me a pm I can give you my cell number and feel free to give me a call any time. RIR start laying at about 18 to 22 weeks just depends on what line. There is production lines, there is hatchery lines and there are show lines. They make goos mothers and some roosters can be very protective of there gals and can flogg you so be very careful on which roo you keep. You want a nice well mannared boy one that is protective of his girls but is also a gentelmen. Handle your chicks oftin so that they get used to you. And so that you can walk up to them and pick them up and pet them and it makes it so much easier on temperment. RIR are known for a temper at times. There are also several vaccinations that can be given to chicks. One has to be given before they turn 24hrs old. If you want to know more about that pm me let me know. I have a pro incubator that will hold about 400 chicken eggs or 1400 quail eggs, or 300 turkey eggs and 500 bantam eggs. Goose eggs are about 150. it also has a hatching tray. I use dry incubation. There is also a worming schedual that should be done once each season. For some reason this year Mites are very very bad. It has something to do with our weather this year and it seems that they are getting immune to several of the wormers. But there is some old poultry tricks that has been used for years that is helping. And it is using cattle wormers and pour on wormers.  Anyway sorry this is late I am not able to get on till after the kids go to bed at night. Oh and you will know if you have the heat lamp in the brooder right if they are not directly under the lamp piled on top of one another. They can smother each other that way. If that happens either lower the heat lamp lower or use a higher  watt bulb. You want them to lay just on the outside ring of the heat lamps. You know if it is to hot if they are in the farrest corner of the brooder. For that raise the heat lamp higher or get a lower watt bulb. And have fun. Once they start laying eggs put them on a layer ration either crumbles, mash or pellets and feed them free choice oyster shell.


Angi
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2008, 05:51:18 PM »

I got some Hartz Gravel 'n Grit. 30 oz box. Figured it should last awhile. These little guys are really going for it.
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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2008, 10:47:12 PM »

Yeah!!! Go, Jerry, go!!!  Best of this beautiful day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2008, 10:13:08 PM »

My goodness. Chicks really grow fast don't they? Gebos had more chicks today so I went and bought 12 more. The first 4 I got last Saturday are twice as big as the ones I got today. I'm sure the first were no bigger than the others when I got them.
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« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2008, 04:49:39 PM »

Somebody said not to use cedar wood chips. What is the reason for not using them. My son mentioned I didn't have to buy anymore wood chips as he could get all the cedar chips I could eber want.

He said he might could get some other also.
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« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2008, 05:35:09 PM »

Cedar causes respiratory problems for them and will kill small chicks.  Best to stick to regular pine shavings.
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« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2008, 02:50:53 AM »

Ceder is toxic to poultry. So dont use it on them. Or they will die.


Angi
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« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2008, 09:57:32 AM »

Ditto for most animals...parrots, canaries, finches.  Don't know why they sell it in petstores for rodents & stuff, not good for them either.  Jody
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« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2008, 06:31:16 PM »

Ceder is toxic to poultry. So dont use it on them. Or they will die.


Angi

I've been using Cedar Shavings with my poultry for years, the only loses I've experienced are from deformities.
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« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2008, 10:44:29 PM »

I have to comment here.  Two of our chicken barns are old horse box stalls, large ones.  Surrounding their box stalls is what was once the horses' paddock.  This paddock has had several enormous loads of what here is known as Bell Pole.  It is cedar bark mulch basically, but it is long, long and stingy and can only be spread with a pitch fork.  I spent tons of hours out there spreading these 15 feet high by 20 feet high piles of this stringy cedar all over the horses paddock for several years in a row.  Yep, I got huge and enormous muscles from probably a solid month of moving these piles of stringy cedar each year.  The base of this entire paddock area is probably 2 feet deep of this bell pole.

When I read the post about the cedar being so dangerous and deadly to livestock, it freaked me right out.  Now I pictured myself for the next 10 years trying to pitch fork all this stringy cedar stuff out of there.  Couldn't have done it actually.  The paddock of course has had years of manure from horses, and the barn critters on top of it.  When I turn over the mucky areas, the cedar stringy bark still has not decomposed very well, it is still pretty stingy and in tact.

Grass and weeds even grow amongst this stringy cedar bark mulch.  I think there is enough other organic material for the greens to take root, and do they ever.

We have had chickens and ducks on this paddock area for a couple of years now.  I have never seen any sick chickens or ducks.  So I wonder about people indicating that cedar is toxic too.  Maybe in enclosed small areas?  I don't know.  I know they put cedar in bedding pillows for dogs to keep fleas down, but the dogs don't come into direct contact with it.  So, I really think that more thought needs to go into the facts about cedar, toxic or not? 

Brian says that he does not have issues with poisoning from cedar.  Has anyone else ever had any issues with any type of cedar poisoning, curiosity never ever got this cat, hee, hee.  Have the most beautiful, wonderful day, we be lovin' this life we live.  Cindi
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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2008, 03:06:19 PM »

I have only heard that cedar shavings are bad for chicks, the babies, not for the older ones.
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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2008, 06:39:46 PM »

Hey,

Year 1 myself w/50 black sex link chicks and they are about 3 weeks old now. A few things I have learned and seem to work is if you want to stay off medication or vaccinations for coccidosis(sp?) which is common in chicks....... add about 1Tbsp. of cider vinegar to 1 gal water in their waterers. I have been adding some of my Kombucha fermented tea to all the birds waterers as one of the byproducts from its fermentation is acidic acid (vinegar). I also have been mixing in 1% kelp (seaweed) to all their feeds as it supplies all the minerals and good source of Vit B12. Big feed sack for $60 frt. in will last a few years if not more.

As far as heat lamp goes if they are all under it and peeping loudly too cold and trying to get as far away as poss., too close. I have my brooder (cardboard box) in the unheated hen house so in AM usually move the lamp up and lower a little in evening.

What fun the little cuties are.

Also I got a few year old free range layers for $1 ea and they were the deal of a lifetime as the 6 of them lay 5-6-5-6-5 humungous eggs alternating days!!!! They and the now down to 5 adult guinea fowl (had 8 and addn'l dog but now minus dog and the 3 he killed) They have the full run of the yard and quite the distraction to sit and watch for hours on end. Put their daily treat of table/kitchen scraps mixed w/milk kefir and eggs shells that I crush small enuf to fit thru kitchen colander screen in a tin loaf pan and when go out and tap ring against the pan they come tearing over from wherever they happen to be. Also hilarious watching the games of chicken rugby when one finds a fresh mouse corpse from one of the cats. Took the adult guinea's about 3 weeks in coop-pen till let out and they are here to stay now. 3 roost in coop and two dog knows where but all are out there in AM.

Hard time finding wheat in Sask. if y'all can believe that but finally found some for trade of some honey and free range eggs as is from a farmer who retired 15yrs ago and walked away from a bin w/about 100 bushels in it which he was glad to trade and just got 2 X 1/2 ton loads of screenings from the seed cleaning plant for $50 which is a good mix w/a lot of peas in it which they seem to really like. Also bought some feed oats and rolled corn as both were cheaper than the almost $14 they want for a bag of layer feed so make a mix of all and brings the cost of production way down to earth.

Also got subscription to 'backyard chicken' magazine as was under $10 for the year and among other things learned you can judge the freshness of an egg by putting in water and the lower it sinks the fresher and more towards floating the older.

Now it would only stay above freezing at nights would do rest of projects and herb garden.

Bees are working the willows hard and now dandelions are starting finally so everyone is off on another season.

cheers

peter
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« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2008, 09:02:59 AM »

Peter, oh, that sounds like a great idea about using Kombucha tea.  I need to rejunenate the mother that has been sitting in a bottle in my kitchen in a dark corner.  I haven't had the chance to make any tea for awhile, just been too busy doing other stuff.  I wonder how long the mother lives for?  I looked at her this morning and she looks like she has gone dormant, off to set some Kombucha tea after I go to acupuncture and then off to Lee Valley tools.  I have broken three of my most favourite gardening implements in the past couple of weeks, I was down to the last one and it broke yesterday, rats!!!  I am going to get my Son-in-Law to take it to his pal and get it welded.  It actually broke on the metal part, go figure that one.....I am kind of afraid to go to Lee Valley tools, because, I know they got some pretty cool stuff there, hee, hee.  Beautiful and most wonderful day, lovin' life.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2008, 12:21:49 AM »

A chicken can lay a new egg every 23 hours, that doesn't mean she will or even that she wants to.  I have 13 laying hens a get 7-9 eggs a day, about average for a flock of mixed stock--Orpington/Brahma crosses.
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« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2008, 04:57:54 PM »

Wow, glad I found this thread. My wife and I plan on getting some chickens for our operation here.

Are there any good sites or books that anyone would recommend for a starter?
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« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2008, 09:04:14 PM »

The Backyard Chickens Learning Center is a great place to start, and they've got a great forum where you can ask and get answers to your specific questions.
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