My first chicks (3weeks old) Brood box?

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Eirwen
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Re: My first chicks (3weeks old) Brood box?

Post by Eirwen » Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:59 pm

Hi Marigold,
I will definitely use the ceramic lamp as the main heat source, but if my little experiment works out I may use the mat as an optional extra or as you say, a back up if something happens to the lamp. I do have spare infra red bulbs here too. We've had a power cut once before when engineers were working on our line, and I used a microwavable heat pad to put under my Beardie. The give out heat for a few hours, I could get another one just in case, but we do have a big log burner in the living room we could all sit around if needs be.

Thanks for the tip about the juvenile moult, I'll definitely keep this in mind! The carport does lead out onto grass, so I could set up a secure run there for them to get used to being outside before putting them in the field on their own. :-)05

At what age can you start giving them treats like corn? And when should I start giving them grass clippings? And another question I posted earlier, when should I start giving them boosters like apple cider and extra vitamins?

Thanks :D
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Marigold
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Re: My first chicks (3weeks old) Brood box?

Post by Marigold » Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:31 pm

I have a lovely image in my mind of you all sitting round the woodburner, chickens cuddled up as lap warmers! Don't worry, we're all potty about our birds on here and some of us will be doing just that if the weather is awful and we get power cuts.
Healthy chicks do not need any supplements, everything they need will be in their chick crumb if this is well within date and a good brand. They grow so fast in the early weeks that its best to support this by only feeding the crumb, as otherwise you risk unbalancing their diet. The only additive that might be useful in winter is cod liver oil, in very small quantities, to ensure they get enough Vit D, but anything else is likely to be a waste of money and more for the owner's feel-good factor than their benefit, in my opinion anyway. I know many people add ACV to their water, but lots of keepers feel this is not only unnecessary but can reduce the amount they drink because they don't really like it, so as the proper stuff is expensive you could give that a miss too. If you do use it, get the unrefined stuff from an agricultural merchant, not the poncey kind you can buy in Waitrose, which is less potent. My hens remain boringly healthy for years on end with no supplements, except perhaps some mineral powder as a boost when they're approaching the end of their lay and the eggshells are getting a bit thin.
If you want to give mixed corn as a treat, they can have this in very small quantities (again, so they don't fill up on this and not get enough protein because its displacing the protein- rich chick crumb.) maybe a teaspoonful each per day, just to get them to come to you and eat from your hand, and to associate the rattle of the box with food, useful training for walkies outside, in time. They'll also need chick grit if they're getting corn, to aid digestion. Normal chicken grit is too big for them at first. Avoid grass clippings, they may cause impacted crops, and at this time of the year the grass is very low in protein and nutrients. When the new grass comes in Spring, its high in nutrients and tender, ideal for little chicks making their first forays in the sunshine. By then, yours will be hulking great girls who'll also benefit from it of course, with e grazing you can offer.
Eirwen
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Re: My first chicks (3weeks old) Brood box?

Post by Eirwen » Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:09 pm

Hehe if that scenario ever happens I'll be sure to post some photos :)
Thank you for your advice on supplementing! That will save me some pounds!
We've just been visiting my husbands parents, his father breeds and shows canaries, so he was able to give some advice on how we could use our shed that's near the house to house them before they go into their field if we needed to.. so still keeping options open at the minute, but they will definitely be going in our conservatory for first few weeks. Electric fence arrived today! Will be getting an appropriate thermometer next, and my lamp is arriving tuesday, so will let you know what the temps are for my brooder area!
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Re: My first chicks (3weeks old) Brood box?

Post by Eirwen » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:26 pm

I'm so excited! Waiting for my chicks to arrive later this evening :D I will post photos of the little ones and their set up asap. I decided to just stick with the ceramic lamp for heat, and have also got a little fan heater in the room as well incase the ambient temp drops below 10C in the night, it has a thermostat so only kicks in when needed, hopefully it won't be very often, I've had a min max thermometer in their for over 2 weeks and the temp hasn't dropped below 8.8C, and that's without any heating being on in there at all. It's not a very big room they're in, so easy to keep warm despite half the walls being made of glass.
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chrismahon
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Re: My first chicks (3weeks old) Brood box?

Post by chrismahon » Fri Dec 20, 2013 3:31 am

Definitely a big improvement over our setup last year then Eirwen. We had too many for the house and had to use a box trailer then two sheds, which obviously got very cold indeed.
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Marigold
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Re: My first chicks (3weeks old) Brood box?

Post by Marigold » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:32 am

Good luck, Eirwen, I hope your babies arrived OK. Are you going to give them Christmassy names?
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Re: My first chicks (3weeks old) Brood box?

Post by chrismahon » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:49 pm

It occurred to me I didn't mention the need to control the upper temperature Eirwen. We had terrible trouble on the rare occasions when the sun came out in the Dordogne. The sheds became ovens as the glass faced South. The chicks when slightly older couldn't cope with it and we had to open the doors and fit mesh panels in their place. They also need a cool place to go away from the lamp because when the ambient temperature increases so will the temperature under the lamp and they need to be able to move well away from it.
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Re: My first chicks (3weeks old) Brood box?

Post by Eirwen » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:02 pm

My chicks! One of the cream legbars is 6 weeks old! Not hard to spot which one! Others are supposed to be 3 weeks, not sure about the other lwgbar though, looks like maybe 4-5 weeks? I have 2 amber stars, 1 sussex, 1 speckledy, 1 'black rock', 1 blueranger, and 2 cream legbars!
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Eirwen
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Re: My first chicks (3weeks old) Brood box?

Post by Eirwen » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:07 pm

Pen is 3ft high and each panel is 2 fr across, they have roughly 2metres x 2 metres space at the mo. The two cream legbars have taken to flying/climbing up the fence to perch and sleep at the top at night, had a shock when I saw them there! Will give them proper perches soon seing as they're determined to perch as high as they can!
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Eirwen
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Re: My first chicks (3weeks old) Brood box?

Post by Eirwen » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:10 pm

Here's a better look at the makeshift pen!
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