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Raising chicks: Week 4

If you purchased chicks at our Chick Days event, your chicks should be four weeks old now.

Temp: 80 degrees - to make it cooler in your brooder, raise the lights. If you find that your chicks are all gathered under the light, they are too cold. If they avoid the light, they are too hot. Adjust based on their behavior.

Feed: Start & Grow Medicated or Non-Medicated - because they are babies, you can free feed them. Fill up their feeders when they are empty. They won't overeat.

This week: Chicks are ugly!

So maybe ugly isn't the right word, but your chicks will be loosing their baby feathers and gaining a new coat of teenage feathers. Because they are shedding those baby feathers, they may also start pecking at each other and trying to establish that pecking order. You can help keep them distracted by placing mirrors, balls, bells or watermelon in their cages. Our favorite is to get a huge needle and string, and put it straight through a head of lettuce. Then hang the lettuce in their cage. They will peck at it and it'll move - entertainment for hours and it keeps them from pecking at one another.

Helpful hints:

  • Keep interacting with your chickens. The more you do, the friendlier they will be! If they have a health problem later, you will be able to help with it - cause they will let you near them. Keep building that trust.

  • At this point chicks will be perching on everything - hopping around and flying a bit more.

  • Keeping that bedding dry and clean is so important - plus it smells terrible if you don't! Because of the size of the chicks, we recommend changing their bedding three times a week.

  • Combs will be developing.

Featured product: Y-Tex Gardstar Garden & Poultry Dust

If your chicks are outside they have a chance of getting fleas, ticks and mites this time of year. Other birds coming around? They could bring those pests to your chicks. This stuff can help with that. It's a fine powder that you can spread around (don't breathe it in) that will kill those bugs and you can use it in your garden on other pests. $7.99 for 2 lbs.

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