A couple of Questions i need help with please....

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Pixieswift

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A couple of Questions i need help with please....
« on: July 09, 2011, 10:08 »
Hello every one just a couple of quick questions im hoping someone can answer...At what age can i introduce my chicks to the rest of the girls...My bantam sussex hatched chicks 31st May which makes them nearly 6 weeks they are in a seperate house and run with her im watching out for the signs of her getting sick of them what am i supposed to look for? Also there poo has started to look a bit fizzy and some has a little bit of what looks like blood is this normal i have just started introducing them on some growers pellets mixed with chick food could this be the cause of it. My large red sussex just hatched 9 chicks on Wed how soon before they are allowed out into there run I have not long had hens but about 4 months into keeping them i had 2 broodies so im learning as i go oh and one more question Gladys my Bantam has 4 chicks 3 girls and one boy when should i take the boy away beautiful and gentle as he is i dont want a cockerel many thanks everyone  :)

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ferretkeeper

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Re: A couple of Questions i need help with please....
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2011, 11:16 »
Hi Pixie

I don't know how you have your place set up but I have a small chicken house integral with a run, completely enclosed, so I use that for any new introductions, put within the main chickens' area.

It gives the new ones grass to eat and scratch in, they can see out and the rest of the flock can see them but they can also go upstairs into the house if they want to be apart. The hens normally come over, wander round a bit to see what's new, then go off again. occasionally there's a hen fight through the mesh but it's better than face to face on their first day.

This has worked really well with my recent broody, I moved the nest in there, and the chicks all grew up in there. I put my cockerel in there on his own when he first arrived, although it was a bit small for him, so I only did it for a day or two. I also reared my first goslings in there, lifting them into the house part at night, same with the ducklings I have in there now.

 It's a good way of separating a poorly one as well, without them leaving the flock and the problems that can cause reintroducing.

You have to gauge it for yourself but you can tell when the chicks want to explore further, and the mum will definitely appreciate the space. I have divided up the chicken run as a whole into three separate areas. This means new ones can have one part while the rest of the chooks have another. They are separated by 4' high mesh attached to posts/rails so they can all see through it and some of my hens fly over on their travels. They can then mix gradually.

As I've said in a different post, it's important to make sure everyone gets their own food so with this set up the chicks eat inside the run, the hens eat outside and when everyone's finished I take all the feeders away and then open the doors for them to mix.

I have had no qualms in putting very young chicks/ducklings/goslings outside during the day when we've had warm weather, with plenty of shade and water available etc the goslings came on so fast. They go in that house I mentioned already or a little triangular thing meant for a couple of small chickens in a garden. It's a bit of a performance rounding them all up morning and night but they enjoy the fresh air and scenery so I don't mind!

I'm not an expert on poo, but red can be the lining of the intestines which they naturally shed from time to time. There's a page on this forum with pictures to help you identify!

With the young cockerel it depends what you're going to do with him. I guess he can stay with his sisters until he shows an interest in them, then he would need to be separated, but if you can find a home for him sooner then do that. If he's destined for the pot he'll need to be separated and fed differently anyway.
 
Hope that helps, Good luck with all the babies!

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Pixieswift

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Re: A couple of Questions i need help with please....
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2011, 12:07 »
Ferretkeeper thankyou so much for taking the time to tell me that, my set up is a large woodland out the back of our gardens is where they all live and free range it is a VERY big bit of land part grass part earth and part wood chip so they have the best of all worlds and a very large leaf mould pile and 2 large composting areas where they spend most of there time scratchin it around, they also have a mini marquet style roof for when its raining (they are very spoiled peolpe tell me i should have children as it will keep my mind of fussing over my choks so much) they have a large goose house with perches to sleep in and i have 2 amaller cocoon houses for the broodies with a long run attatched to each so they are seperate but can still see each other as far as i can see it looks like a lovely set up in the runs for the broodies they again have it sectioned into 3 bit grass wood bark and earth and a lovely outdoor perch that they sunbathe on but someone said i should let them out to free range with my other 4 girls but i thought 6 weeks is to young but im new to this im not sure. As for the baby cockerel he will go back to the breeder i bought him from i could never put him in a pot nor give him to anyone else to do that as he is so beautiful. Im waiting for signs from Gladys there mother as to when she would like to join the rest and leave her chicks but not really sure how i will know that people say i will just know but how??? :wub: again many thanks for your advice it is greatly received  :)

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bantam novice

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Re: A couple of Questions i need help with please....
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2011, 13:22 »
The mother hen's whole body language will change when she is ready to join the adult hens again.  She will not let them cuddle up to her and may shoo them away when she is eating rather than encouraging them to eat with her.  She will make it clear that she wants nothing more to do with them.

I let my chicks integrate at about  7 weeks and although they had been in full sight of each other, the older hens bullied the chicks when they all went together in the coop.  The first night was OK because mother defended them somewhat but by the second night it was every chick for him/herself.  On reflection I probably would not try it that way again. 

Joyfull has her chicks out and about with the older hens as soon as they come out of the coop with the mother hen and will be very protective at first.   They still go back to their own coop at night.  Unless they have been mingling like this from the first or second day I would wait until the chicks are a little larger and able to stand up to the pecking order bullying before letting them roost together.

Good luck and keep us posted  :)
11 bantams (and counting!) 2 dogs 1 cat

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joyfull

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Re: A couple of Questions i need help with please....
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2011, 13:43 »
some I had no choice as they were hatched in the hedgerows and now one mum has taught hers to roost in the cherry trees and they are only 5 weeks old  ::)
Staffies are softer than you think.

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evie2

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Re: A couple of Questions i need help with please....
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2011, 17:24 »
One of our lavender poot chicks found it's way into the apple tree yesterday ::) I'm sure it's a cockerel :(
May this day be blessed with gifts, understanding and friends.  Merlin 2001-2012 Pandora 2001-2013 xxx

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joyfull

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Re: A couple of Questions i need help with please....
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2011, 17:43 »
my 3 older lemon mf's all have the same sized combs so either 3 boys or 3 girls hope it's the latter  :unsure:

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Pixieswift

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Re: A couple of Questions i need help with please....
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2011, 18:12 »
Thanks everyone for advice my wee sussex batam has the 6 week year old chicks as i dont have a cockerel i gave her fertilised eggs to sit on but could not get any bantam eggs off my breeder much to my disappointment :( she has cream legbars so funny to see as they are the same size as her now ;) bless her she thinks there the same its like little and large she is a fantastic mother so caring and attentative not like the giant red sussex she is so rough with her 3 day old chicks when she is  scratching around she hurtles them across the house when they get under her foot and she is trying to bring them out of the house and run, into the free range wood with the rest pushing them to try and squeeze through the chicken wire she is feeding them and mothering them but the complete oppisite to how gladys was she was so gentle and my big sussex pecks the little ones on the head for no reason is this normal???



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