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Raising Healthy Baby Chicks: Part 2 - Caring for 9-16 Week Old Pullets

Welcome back to my series on raising baby chicks into happy, healthy laying hens. In Part 2, we'll explore the period when your young chicks have transitioned into pullets, typically ranging from 9 to 16 weeks of age. This stage is crucial for preparing them to become productive, egg-laying members of your flock.

Transitioning to the Coop

As your pullets grow, it's time to transition them

from the brooder to the coop.

This gradual change allows them to adjust to their new environment. Ensure that the coop is predator-proof and well-ventilated. Gradually reduce the heat source, as pullets can regulate their temperature better by this age. Make sure the coop is equipped with roosts for perching and nesting boxes for the future.

Organic Diet for Growing Pullets

Your pullets are in a critical phase of growth. Continue to provide them with organic feed, but consider transitioning to a pullet grower feed with higher protein content. Organic feeds free from synthetic additives and chemicals are essential for the health and well-being of your growing pullets. These feeds support feather development and overall growth.

Providing Enrichment

To keep your pullets happy and active, offer them various forms of enrichment. Pullets are curious by nature, and they benefit from mental and physical stimulation. Organic options include hanging vegetables, organic treat dispensers, and natural perches for roosting. Encourage foraging to mimic their natural behaviors.

Socialization and Pecking Order

Pullets begin to establish their pecking order during this stage. While some pecking is normal, keep an eye on aggressive behaviors. Ensure there's plenty of space and resources to minimize conflicts. A spacious coop and multiple feeding and drinking stations can help reduce tension.

Health and Disease Prevention

Continued health monitoring is crucial. Observe your pullets for any signs of illness or distress. Organic remedies like garlic, oregano, and apple cider vinegar can be added to their water to boost their immune system. Preventive measures are key, so maintain a clean coop, provide fresh water, and follow proper biosecurity practices.

Preparing for Laying

Around 16 weeks of age, some pullets may start laying eggs. Ensure they have access to

suitable nesting boxes with organic bedding. Collect eggs daily to prevent any habit of eating them, and keep nesting boxes clean and cozy to encourage egg-laying.

In Part 2, we've explored the crucial phase of raising pullets from 9 to 16 weeks old. By adhering to organic practices, providing the right nutrition, offering enrichment, managing

social dynamics, maintaining health, and preparing for egg-laying, you're on the path to raising healthy, productive, and contented laying hens. Stay tuned for the third and final part of our series, where we'll cover the care of mature laying hens and the ongoing benefits of organic practices for their egg production.

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