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I got new babies!! And I have a few questions.....

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So,  I have 10 new baby chicks!!  I have 5 Road Island Reds, and 5 Buff Orpingtons.  The Buffs are a few weeks younger than the Reds. I ordered them together, but unfortunately, they weren't ready together.  Anyway, they are older now.  I have had the Reds for 5 weeks, and the Buffs for about three weeks.  

 

 

The first two were taken three weeks ago...

 

 

 

 

 

These two were taken yesterday....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am usually against getting babies this late in the year, but after some ugly incidents, we are down to three white layers, a rooster, and two "unknown".  :hu So....my questions...  

 

~When will the Reds be ready to go out?

 

~Will I need a heat lamp? If so, at what temp outside, and for how long?

 

~Do I need to worry about the other chickens messing with them? (Although when I added the rescues back in the summer, all was fine. 

 

 

It's been a minute or two since I have had new babies to put outside, and last time it was in the spring.  Thanks for any responses!!  :)

post #2 of 7

I put my chicks out when they were about 6 weeks, it was around 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night, but i gave them a heat lamp. They will probably only need the lamp for about 2 weeks, and you only have to turn it on at night. You should tell me how cold it is where you live, and I can give you more info. Good luck!:)

2 Barred Rocks, 3 Rhode Island Reds, 1 Gold Star, 1 Gold Cochin, 7 Easter Eggers, 1 black cat, 3 black and white cats, 1 white and grey cat, 1 brown cat, 1 grey and white striped cat.
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2 Barred Rocks, 3 Rhode Island Reds, 1 Gold Star, 1 Gold Cochin, 7 Easter Eggers, 1 black cat, 3 black and white cats, 1 white and grey cat, 1 brown cat, 1 grey and white striped cat.
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks!  It is only just beginning to sow signs of winter here.  I live in Texas, so the winters are 'usually' mild.  But, the last year or two....not so much. haha  Right now the day temps are still in the upper 60's lower 70's.  At night, it's been about the mid-40's. 

post #4 of 7

Last year I put my chicks out into the coop when they were 5.5 weeks old.  I had to - couldn't handle them in the house one more minute!  They were mostly feathered, and I put a heat lamp out there for them even though I had weaned them off it the previous week and the coop wasn't even fully finished yet.  The first night I watched the temp in the coop drop..and drop...and drop. It was 20 degrees out there.  I kept jumping out of bed to check on them.  They were fine, all snuggled in a heap by the pop door, nowhere near the heat lamp.  Same thing the second night - except I only got out of bed once to look in.  Again, they were fine and nowhere near the heat lamp.  The third morning the heat lamp came out, and that night it snowed.  We got our last snowfall the 6th of June. These little critters are a lot tougher than we give them credit for - especially if we let them go about the business of being chickens instead of little divas.  ;)

 

Now I brood my chicks outdoors from the get-go, no heat lamp, under a heating pad cave covered with straw in the run.  It's not 50 or 60 degrees either - this year we raised 3 batches of chicks out there with daytime temps in the teens and twenties.  We even had a blizzard with sideways blowing snow. They thrived - best chicks ever! Didn't lose a single one, and never had one sick. They knew natural day/night cycles and treated their cave exactly as it was intended - like a surrogate broody hen. Their brooder pen was wire, and they were in full sight of the older birds from the beginning.  The result of that is that they were fully integrated in the flock by 4 weeks old.  Here's a link to more information and lots of photos.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors

 

Your chicks will be just fine.  A little confused at first, and they'll probably huddle together like they are freezing to death.....in reality they are clinging to the security of each other.  If they were under a broody hen, by this age and size they wouldn't all fit under Mom anyway and she'd have already been encouraging them to roost on their own.  So think like a chicken...even in freezing weather brand new chicks don't spend all their time under her...they are all over the place and just dash back under for a quick warm-up and to sleep at night.  She doesn't have a night light tucked under her wings either, so they learn from their first day out of the egg that daylight is for eating,  playing, drinking, and exploring, and nighttime is for sleeping.  


Good luck!

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you! I released my first batch outside in the spring/summer, but this time, it's different.  And yeah they are almost fully feathered, so I'm sure they will do great....I just get nervous.  I love how you said we treat them like divas.....my husband is forever telling me to "let them just be chickens, baby".  :smack :gig

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepDishChix View Post
 

I put my chicks out when they were about 6 weeks, it was around 60 degrees Fahrenheit at night, but i gave them a heat lamp. They will probably only need the lamp for about 2 weeks, and you only have to turn it on at night. You should tell me how cold it is where you live, and I can give you more info. Good luck!:)

Is 45 degrees too cold for 6 week old chicks?  They have been out for a week but tonight is the first night this cold.  I know some of you are laughing that 45 is cold but this is Florida! :cool:  There are 17 of them and they huddle every night. They feel very warm if you pick one up out of the huddle.

Cream Legbars, Black Copper Marans, Cuckoo Marans, Ameraucanas, Olive Eggers and an Araucana with a tail.

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Cream Legbars, Black Copper Marans, Cuckoo Marans, Ameraucanas, Olive Eggers and an Araucana with a tail.

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post #7 of 7

I will set up a heat lamp, maybe 100w, not 250w, in one corner of my 'new chicks' coop annex (it's about 7' x10' diameter), and watch what happens.  When the fully feathered chicks stay away from the heat source at night, I turn it off.  Mary

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