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BCM eggs

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi, 

I'm new to chickens. I'm currently incubating a dozen or so Black copper Maran eggs that my son puchased for someone else...long story, but they are mine now. They've been in the incubator that came with them for 16 days now so I'm getting a little nervous about the upcoming hatching. I know that at least 4 of them are alive....I could see definite movement in them 2 days ago. I've been reading everything about chicks but I'm mostly concerned about the time of year that they will be hatching. Will I need to keep them in my house til May??? DH isn't thrilled about that prospect at all!

post #2 of 5

Here's a couple of articles about brooding them outside in the coop. This is my opinion, but you don't want to brood them in the house. This is NOT an exaggeration chicks are the extremely dusty. With the bedding, chick food, poo ground up into fine dust, shedding of fuzz and keratin it is a dusty (and possibly) stinky mess. Furthermore if you brood in the coop, they are already "home" and IMO do much better. Don't get me wrong I adore my little flock, I just don't want them inside. Good Luck and show us your new babies when they hatch.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update

post #3 of 5

My brooder is permanently built into the coop. I put chicks directly in there from the incubator in the heat of summer or even when it is below freezing in the winter. In summer it is pretty open, in winter it is wrapped tightly. I use heat lamps but those other methods work fine too. There are always more than one way to do about anything. If you have power outside in the coop, in an outbuilding, or in an attached or detached garage, you don’t have to brood in the house. You need a heat source, protection from the environment (rain and wind), and predator protection.

What you are trying to do when brooding outside (inside too if you can) is to set up one area that is warm enough but let the rest cool down. You want a varying temperature in the brooder. My chicks straight out of the incubator or straight from the post office are really good at self-regulating temperature if they have a decent temperature range to work with.

One of the challenges of brooding outside is that you can get a pretty wide range in daily highs and nighttime lows. You cannot keep the entire brooder one perfect temperature. That doesn’t matter as long as one end is always warm enough and the other is always cool enough. Some really cold mornings there is ice in one end of my brooder but the other end is toasty.

Even if you cannot brood outside, you are still not condemned to having chicks in the house until spring. They grow up really fast. Most chicks are fully feathered out at 4 to 5 weeks. I’ve had chicks raised in my brooder go through nights in the mid 20’s Fahrenheit with no supplemental heat at less than 6 weeks old. Mine were acclimated to colder temperatures by playing in the colder end of my brooder, I think that helps. The unheated grow-out coop where they were has good breeze protection but also good ventilation. That also is important. Feeding them a high protein starter helps them feather out faster. Having enough to huddle and keep each other warm also helps. I don’t know how cold your coldest weather will be, but if you take them out to play in the cold before they move they will get acclimated some plus you will see how they react to cold weather. That should boost your confidence.

I can’t tell you when it is OK to leave your chicks outside at night without heat. I don’t know your temperatures, what your facilities look like, how you feed them, or your management techniques. But if you work at it a bit you can get them out of the house sooner rather than later.

By the way, I sympathize with your husband. With all the dust they make, the noise, and the potential smell, I don’t want them in the house either. Besides, if I want to stay married I can’t brood them in the house at all and I like my wife.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #4 of 5

I hope you've prepared a coop for the hatchlings to live in. Even if you don't brood in the coop after the eggs hatch, you will need a coop, at minimum, a month from now.

 

Do give the heating pad system of brooding consideration. Even if you need to brood the baby chicks indoors for the first few weeks until you get the coop ready, the chicks and their heating pad cave can be effortlessly transferred to the coop upon completion, and by the time the worst of the dander and dust arrives on the scene, the chicks will be out in the coop and your house can be spared.

post #5 of 5

Welcome to BYC! Keep them in warm conditions until they are well-feathered.

I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

Reply

I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

Reply
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