Sand floor for new born chicks

by Terri
(Texas)

Question

Sand floor for new born chicks: Thank you for sharing the information regarding the sand floor in coops . Can you tell me if the sand would be safe to use for new born broilers?
Answer
I find it wise not to use floor covering with new chicks that is small enough to be swallowed. These are baby animals, just getting used to world, so I believe it would be best to wait a week or two on the sand. Once the chicks have learned what their feed looks like and where to find it, I think they would be less likely to overindulge in sand. A little sand will be good to get their digestion going, but too much sand and not enough food would be harmful.

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Cost of Baby Chicks

Question
Cost of Baby Chicks: I was wondering how much do baby chicks cost in the United States. I am researching chickens because I may buy a rooster and a hen. I love animals and would like to start a small flock. Please answer as soon as possible.

Answer

Baby chicks usually cost $1.50 to $3.00. This price is for your common breeds of chickens. Some rare breeds of chickens can be much higher. But, before you go out and purchase your baby chicks, have a plan of how you will house, feed and water them. The initial cost of the baby chicks is relatively small compared to your set-up cost(coop, feeder, waterer, nesting box and perches). However, if you are very resourceful and with a little help you can build all the things you need for very little money. The best advice I can give is to have these things set-up before you buy your chicks. This will save you money in the long run. Good luck.

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Banding baby chick wings

Question
What is the purpose of banding baby chick wings?

Answer
I’m assuming you mean metal or plastic bands. Many birds are banded with leg bands. Due to the immense change of leg size from chick to mature chicken a leg band would be too big and fall off a chick or be too small and restrict circulation as the chick grows.

The main purpose would be to identify the age and possibly the breeding of chicks. By banding one could brood several different groups together and know later which chicks came out of which parents. This would be helpful for show breeds.

Another reason would be to quickly identify a group of adult birds. Some egg farms remove hens from the production line when they reach about 2 years old.

By checking numbers, usually dates and possibly an individual serial number, it would be easy to know how old each bird is. Often different colored bands are used for easiest identification.

If you have purchased chicks with bands you can remove them if you want and it doesn’t violate any local poultry health laws.

The metal bands are closed into the flesh of the wing with sharp points, like one would get an ear pierced. Removal can be done with one person holding the bird and another with two pair of needle nose pliers.

There probably would be no bleeding, but if there is any scabbing of the area or blood I would recommend applying an antibiotic salve and keeping an eye on it. The hole or holes should heal up as the chick grows.

The plastic bands may just be tight around the whole wing and could cause problems with feather growth, circulation, and wing movement, so should carefully be cut free.

It’s possible these chicks were sold interstate or at an auction and some form of identification was required or preferred.

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Grit for Chicks

by Linda
(NY)

Question
Grit for Chicks: This is my first batch of baby chicks and I am wondering how long before I need to worry about giving them grit. They are two weeks old now. Thanks for any help you can give me. I love this site! Thank you for all the info!

Answer:
Thanks for the kind words Linda! We love that you love the site!

There is a product that is baby chick grit. You should start sprinkling this in with the food about every third day. Don't use too much because you don't want them to fill up on this and not get the nutrients in the starter feed. Not everyone does this, but it should help them develop by using this as a small supplement.

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