Raising Chicks: Week 6
If you purchased chicks at our Chick Days event, your chicks should be six weeks old now.
Temp: 70-75 degrees. At this point, chicks may be ready to move outside. They won't need a lamp unless it gets cool out.
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: They are looking like chickens!
Between 6 and 8 weeks of age, your chicks will be much larger and will need twice the amount of floor space they started with. It’s also time to start thinking about moving your chicks from the brooder to more permanent living quarters outside. If the temperature is mild and the chicks are fully feathered, they can be allowed outside during the day. These chicks (pictured) ARE fully feathered. Their heads and necks have some longer feathers that will do a great job keeping them warm. If you purchased straight-run chicks (50/50 males and females) you may be able to distinguish the males from the females around 5 to 7 weeks of age. The combs and wattles of the males usually develop earlier and are usually (but not always) larger than in the females. Females are typically smaller in size than males. If you are still uncertain of their sex by appearance, you’ll be sure who the males in the flock are when you hear them attempting to crow. Coop checklist:
Approximately three to four square feet of space per mature bird
Sufficient feeders and waterers to accommodate your flock size so that all birds can eat and drink at the same time
Two to three inches of litter should be put down to minimize dampness and odor
A nest box for every four hens should be made available for laying pullets
Roosts can be considered for laying pullets but not recommended for meat birds because of the potential for developing breast blisters
If possible, prepare an area outside the coop for your birds. Outside runs or fenced in areas will allow chickens to scratch and peck to their hearts desire, returning to the roost at dusk to sleep. The house needs to have a secure latch that is fastened each night if they are allowed outside during the day. An outside run attached to the coop with screening on the top and sides for protection will allow chickens unlimited access to the yard and save you time and worry.
Featured product: More chicks
Okay, maybe you don't need any more chicks, but if you want to special order any, please do so before May 30. Give us a call or come visit. 575-523-8790