Chick Question : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I've been reading where it is good to give new chicks cider vinegar in their water to help prevent disease. Also, I read where electrolytes are good for new chicks. Is it ok to do BOTH??

-- tang (, April 06, 2001


During the real hot days, we would give our chicks electrolytes - doesn't it have a form of vitamin B in it? It helps to cut back on the stress also. As for the vinegar, haven't heard of that one before. I'd make sure of the amount to use first. A friend of mine would put half an onion and garlic in their water to help keep them healthy. She would do this for several weeks and drop it enough days before butchering.

-- Pat (, April 06, 2001.

I've learned about chickens from doing a lot of things wrong.Last year I bought my first book on chicken diseases,although I've been raising them since 81'.I haven't needed to use it yet. ,I've never used vinergar or electrolytes.But I do Feed my young chicks oat meal with game bird feed 24% protien to start them out.It's not medicated.I very rarely have chicks die if I hatch them myself.The only ones that die are the ones that hatch with a crooked leg ,which I might get one in a hundred.The oat meal keeps their butts from getting clogged,and seems to keep them healthy.I feed it for a week to 10 days.I buy it in bulk at a natural food co-op at 50 cents a pound,it's cheaper then quaker oats,and I wet just enough that they'll eat in an hour, and feed once in the morning and once at late afternoon and I leave them access to the game bird feed in a seperate feeder all the time.Give then grit ,always keep their water clean,change their litter often so it doesn't smell ,a light to keep them warm, make sure they can move away from the light if they are to warm and no drafts.If you do all that and started with healthy chicks none should get disease.

-- Steve (, April 06, 2001.

I've never had a sick chook (knock wood!) I don't use cider vinegar, but any day-old chicks I buy I don't give water the first 3 days. I give them straight non-flavored Pedialyte. The electrolytes help them to get over the trauma of their trip. I've never used it at any other time.

-- ~Rogo (, April 07, 2001.

Thanks for the tips! I raised egg chickens about 20 years ago and having to do some "brushing up". Besides egg layers I've decided to raise 25 Barred Silver Cockerels, which I hear are like Cornish Cross, for meat chickens. Although I'm told by people who have raised them that they do not have the leg and heart attack problems the Cornish Cross are prone to. I know raising meat chickens is a whole different bird than the layers so I appreciate the feedback! I don't believe in medicating anyone or anything if they are not sick to start with. We have an ongoing battle between us beekeepers over such an issue. I'm glad to hear these natural ways of doing things. thanks :) tang

-- tang (, April 08, 2001.

Yes, I have used cider vinegar in my chicks water, 1 teaspoon per quart to start with, and then adding a little more if needed. The purpose was to keep them from pecking each other, and it worked pretty good. At least, there were no fatalities from cannibalism like I had had in the past.

-- Lela R. Picking (, April 11, 2001.

tang, I have raised chicks for a number a years. Some successful, some very learning experiences. I agree with the above reply. I don't like to medicate--prevention is much healthier. I have a very good recipe for the littles: In a gallon container add: 1 cup brewers (nutritional )yeast, 1/2 cup granulated garlic, 1 cup honey, 1 quart of yogurt(I make mine with my goat milk,since I have an abundance) stir and then fill with water. Take this to the chicken house and add to 4 more gallons of water. Then in their waterers add 1 peeled, whole onion to each one. This may sound like a lot but we produce a very healthy bunch of chicks. This also prevents worms that they can get if you raise a lot at a time. p.s. The above measures are guestimates I don't use a measuring system. If my memory serves me right(I don,t count on it though) I might have got this from a past issue of Countryside.

-- debbi (, April 12, 2001.

I have never had a pecking problem with chicks or adults and I believe it's due to giving the birds enough room. My brooder is a 4 foot long dog cage covered with 1/2 inch hardware cloth to keep the little ones in.

I also put a circle of 4 foot tall 1/2 inch hardware cloth around the brooder. The diameter of the circle is 10 feet. The chicks leave the cage on their own to play in the circle when they're about one week old. They don't always return to the cage to sleep ~ where the light bulb for heat is ~ but it's there if they want it.

Outside, in the pens/coops, allow 3 square feet per bird. Daytime free ranging is also healthy for the birds. Too many predators here, so the birds are trained to return to the pens at dusk to roost. I then close the gates.

-- ~Rogo (, April 13, 2001.

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