[Market-farming] New Chicks

lucy Owsley boulderbelt at voyager.net
Mon Jun 2 05:42:27 EDT 2008

I start mine ASAP. If the weather is clear and warm they are on  
pasture as soon as they are out of the box. we use a chicken tractor  
with brooder lights inside, inside the tractor place chopped straw  
and put up a fence of chicken wire around the tractor so they have  
maybe 25 sq ft of space to walk around. if it is cool and wet they  
stay indoors. this has worked very well for me for the past 10 years.  
the benefit if the chicks learn to eat their pasture and are a lot  
(and I do mean a lot) more active. last year I had the problem of  
rock cornish cross chicks flying out of their pen and climbing up the  
shade cloth tent (a 12' climb!) like the non hybrid "normal" chicks.

I do not move the chicken tractor for the first couple of weeks. i  
replace bedding instead. i have found if you move the tractors too  
early you end up possibly killing several chicks with each move,  
especially if you are moving the tractors alone-they will not move  
with the tractor and get underfoot and it gets bad.

On Jun 2, 2008, at 6:25 AM, Pat Rupiper wrote:

> Does anyone know how soon we should start letting the little chicks  
> onto some grass (in a very protected run) for a few minutes? I read  
> somewhere that they would adapt better for free ranging if you  
> started them young. Thanks Pat (zone 6) Ohio

Lucy Goodman	
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm
Eaton, OH

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