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Chicks freak out going back to brooder at night!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello!
My hens (6 of them) are just shy of 6 weeks I think. One is a late bloomer and not fully feathered. She was sick right off the bat. Anyways she's doing better now but much smaller and like I said, feathers not all there.

During the days right now in western Colorado, it's been between 55-75 mid day. I've been putting them in their coop around 11 or 12 and bringing them back to the brooder in the garage about 8 or 9 at night because it's still high 30's to mid 40's at night. I do NOT use the heat lamp in the garage as it stays around 65 during the night in there and they do good with that. The light seems to be too hot.
Anywho, tonight I brought them back into the brooder and they freaked out!!!! It was not dark in there but they were squealing and trying to fly out!!! I have a lid on it with chicken wire to keep them from escaping but I was so worried they'd hurt themselves. My chicken friend suggested to turn off lights and see if they did better. They did start to settle thank goodness!!
Is it too cold to leave them in their coop without a lamp right now??
The inside of their coop (the closed part) isn't big enough to have the heat lamp in it without it being a fire hazard I don't think. So I'm not comfortable with having it in there. Sorry for the lengthy post....

Suggestions??

post #2 of 8

what are they doing when you go to bring them back inside?  If it's after dark, are they huddled in a pile or are they perching?

 

If I was you I'd leave them in the coop and check on them several hours after dark to see how they are fairing.  If they are perched they are not cold if they are huddled in a pile they need more heat.  I'm not as cold as you but I took away the MHP at about 4 weeks after going out to the coop after dark and finding them all perched and no where near the MHP.  They've been fine since then.

 

At 6wks old they may be tougher than you think.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply!!
One night, they were all huddled up but last night they were just outside pecking around when I went to get them to put them back in the brooder so they were obviously fine. But by the time midnight came I'm sure they'd be chilly. At least my late bloomer would be.....

post #4 of 8

At 6 weeks & fully feathered, they should be plenty big enough to handle the rigors of life outside the brooder. My only concern would be the little one that is under-developed compared to its flock-mates. But chicks are very good at wriggling into the thick of things to stay warm.

 

 

My current flock has been outside for  a bit over a week now and it is so nice to have them out of the house, and they are so happy to be out of the brooder. They forage all day in a secure yard. It took them only 3 days and now they put themselves to bed at night....

 

 

 

If you are worried about nighttime temperatures, hang a heat lamp bulb in the coop. Hang it high to heat the coop, not like a brooder setup. That should generate enough warmth for them.

"Experince is the teacher of all things." Julius Ceaser

"The only real valuable thing is intuition." Albert Einstein

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest" Mark Twain

 

My Coop Project

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/656727/coop-project-maken-the-plunge-getting-chickens

Reply

"Experince is the teacher of all things." Julius Ceaser

"The only real valuable thing is intuition." Albert Einstein

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest" Mark Twain

 

My Coop Project

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/656727/coop-project-maken-the-plunge-getting-chickens

Reply
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you! I have to say it's lovely to hear that they will learn to put themselves to bed.... I've been concerned about that. It's quite the scene when I go to try to collect them at night. I basically have to crawl on my knees and forearms and be super fast to snag them up. It's very awkward and they're so fast!!! haha!

 

I'm wondering, would it be ok to leave the little girl and one other chick together in the brooder for another week or so at night or until she's fully feathered and leave the rest in the coop together (just so little amelia isn't alone), or would that cause behavioral issues?

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

DSC_0406.JPG

Here's little Amelia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here's Betty White. They were both supposed to be leghorns but Betty clearly is NOT. lol! I love her just the same. Buff Orpington?

 

As you can see, Amelia is way behind.... She's so much smaller than all the others that she can walk right under their belly's.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsMommaB View Post
 

Thank you! I have to say it's lovely to hear that they will learn to put themselves to bed.... I've been concerned about that. It's quite the scene when I go to try to collect them at night. I basically have to crawl on my knees and forearms and be super fast to snag them up. It's very awkward and they're so fast!!! haha!

 

I'm wondering, would it be ok to leave the little girl and one other chick together in the brooder for another week or so at night or until she's fully feathered and leave the rest in the coop together (just so little amelia isn't alone), or would that cause behavioral issues?


OMG that is so funny.:lau

 

I know exactly what you saying...I can see it in my minds eye, because I have been there so many times myself.

 

As to separating the flock, as you suggest: I'd just let things be...Each day we get closer to summer and it gets warmer. Your little under-developed chick, Amelia, is going to grow out feathers and catch up with the rest of them. With chicks, let's face it...they are just Soooo Cute, it's easy to Love Them to Death.

"Experince is the teacher of all things." Julius Ceaser

"The only real valuable thing is intuition." Albert Einstein

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest" Mark Twain

 

My Coop Project

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/656727/coop-project-maken-the-plunge-getting-chickens

Reply

"Experince is the teacher of all things." Julius Ceaser

"The only real valuable thing is intuition." Albert Einstein

"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest" Mark Twain

 

My Coop Project

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/656727/coop-project-maken-the-plunge-getting-chickens

Reply
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ok thank you!!! Hopefully not much longer!

Their area before the enclosure

The coop and chicken area (working on some walls with hardware wire right now to surround it all including the roof)

 

Me with my new chicken coop! So excited!

 

 

Here's the coop. They huddle into that back area (where my legs are in the bottom pic) so it's sooooo hard to get to them and completely ridiculous.... my husband sits there laughing at me the whole time!

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