baby chickensgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I'm so glad to find this site! we've just recieved some baby chickens-a couple of weeks old.I want to make sure that the lighting is of proper hight away from them. Also, when are the big enough to free range with the other hens?thank-you, your reply would be of great help for a first timer with baby chicks.
-- Rose Rosenbaum (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 21, 2001
set a thermometer in the same area the chicks are - make it the height of the babies - adjust accordingly - as for free ranging, that will depend on how well they are excepted by the others - you'll at least have to wait till they all feathered out and lose their baby fuzz -probably in the area of 3-4 weeks? let's see what others say
-- pat (email@example.com), May 21, 2001.
Rose--If you don't have a thermometer, just keep an eye on the chicks and they will let you know if they're too hot or too cold. Too hot: they'll keep as far from the lamp as possible. Too cold: they'll huddle under the lamp. Also, happy little chirps here and there, with scratching and napping going on means they are comfortable. If they just stand around with their little shoulders hunched, making loud, chirps -- means they are uncomfortable. As for letting them out with older hens -- remember chickens and their notorious pecking order. These little guys will be on the bottom. You will probably want them at least half grown and fully feathered, with no reliance on the heat lamp anymore. Good luck!
-- Lynn in SD (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 21, 2001.
I got my 50 chicks a day old, and none have died, except for the one that was made wrong that I destroyed on purpose. They are now 5 weeks old, and pretty well feathered out. Its about time to get them out on pasture.
The keys to successful chick raising are: dry fresh bedding replenished often... clean water at all times... free-choice self- feeder... heat lamp at a comfortable height for the chicks... completely safe housing: no drafts and no rat holes.
The way I know when the lamp is at the right height is that the chicks will act comfortable. If it is too high, the chicks will be too cold, and will pile up under the lamp, trying to get warm. If the lamp is too low, the chicks will feel too hot directly under it, and therefore will avoid the center under the lamp. If half of the chicks are sleeping under the lamp and half are running around eating and drinking and chasing imaginary bugs, they are perfect.
-- daffodyllady (email@example.com), May 21, 2001.
You first must realize, Rose, that no two stockman, no matter what kind of stock they raise, do things alike! My latest bunch of day-olds from the hatchery is now 4 weeks old. I don't put the hatchery chicks outside until they're fully feathered....depending on the breed, it could be a couple of months. They need those feathers to protect them from the weather.
Don't use newspaper under them. It's so slick they can't get a foothold, so it causes spraddle legs.
When it's time to go outside, the birds will be in their own pen. They will be able to see the free ranging birds and the free rangers will be able to see them. Or if it better suits your needs, you can put the youngsters in a cage within your pen. I free feed, always have food in the hoppers. The birds will stay in the pen for 3 weeks. This trains them to return to the pens at dusk, on their own, to roost. I then close the gate. Too many night time predators here to leave the birds loose.
When the 3 weeks are up, I open the gate. Because the old and new flock have been able to see each other, they intermingle without a problem. At least that's been MY experience!
Here's a great poultry site.
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-- ~Rogo (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 22, 2001.