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New Chicken Owner

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

So, this is my first time with chickens and I have no idea what I'm doing but I think things are going okay. We got 12 pullets from TSC about 2 weeks ago. One died the first night :( but the other 11 seem pretty peppy. My profile pic is a picture of one from tonight.

 

I'm surprised with how fast they are getting in their feathers and am wondering when they would be able to put them outside. Right now the heat lamp is keeping them between 75 and 80 degrees. I live in Wisconsin and its not really above 60 right now, I'm assuming thats too cold. We have an old ice shanty as a coop and are in the process of insulating it so they can stay out there all winter.

 

Questions:

  1. When should they be able to go outside?
  2. When can the heat lamp be removed?
  3. Are there any major things that need to be done (besides feeding, watering, and cleaning)?

Edited by jessicag14 - 4/4/12 at 7:43pm

12 RIR, 2 Barred Rock, 3 Random Bantams, 4 hunting dogs, many many rabbits

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12 RIR, 2 Barred Rock, 3 Random Bantams, 4 hunting dogs, many many rabbits

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post #2 of 10

Chicks should go out around 5-6 months. Chicks need to stay at 60 degrees F when they are 6-8 weeks. 

 

Welcome to BYC! frow.gif

 

It's the shape that makes the breed, and the color that makes the variety.

 

  -- -- Spa Days for Chickens -- --

 

 

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It's the shape that makes the breed, and the color that makes the variety.

 

  -- -- Spa Days for Chickens -- --

 

 

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post #3 of 10
5-6 MONTHS inside???? Whaaaaat????
post #4 of 10
Put the chicks in the coop on the 7th week :J
post #5 of 10
Also on the 1st week in the brooder set the temperature to 95° lower it 5° each week until you get to 70°
Edited by stellacorina - 4/4/12 at 10:46pm
post #6 of 10

Dont know what these guys are on ;). 4 weeks is ideal to go out to the coop. (just make sure they are all feathered out!!) As for a heat lamp you can take that away after the 8 week or so!! Im sure they will do just fine :) (Sounds like you have done some reserch) thumbsup.gif Can we see some pics? big_smile.png

Currently have :

6 Silkies, 2 Plymoth barred rocks, and 21 California valley quail.

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Currently have :

6 Silkies, 2 Plymoth barred rocks, and 21 California valley quail.

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post #7 of 10
O and I forgot to tell you about pasty butt its were the chicks have poop in or around their butt it's deadly if not treated how you treat it is take a warm wet towel and remove the pheses from the butt wink.png
post #8 of 10

Before they are all feathered out, start taking them on walks outside, or in a playpen or whatever, as many times a day as you can.  Chickens adapt to there environment, so you basicly need to get them used to it.  15 min and first and then longer, once they are completly feathered I wouldn't let them get below 60 degrees F without some insulation for a couple of weeks full time.  I live in the south and my chickens did fine in single digits with a 3/4 open coop, it is more important that they are healthy and used to changes and are out of the wind.  Getting used to longer cold snaps takes time, but chickens do better at cooler temps then they do at warmer ones.  Just don't introduce them to it to fast, keep an eye on them and provide heat if nessesary (seriously, I get the squiggly lines but the new BYC wont let me edit my spelling mistakes).

 

Once they are a little older (say 16 weeks), let them deal with the cold as long as the coop is clean, you've been taking them on regular walks, and they are out of the wind, there feathers will aclimate.  Cold isn't really an issue for most chickens, we just tend to be mother hens and worry that that wont do as well as we do in our chosen temperatures. If you are seriously worried about the cold I would choose breeds with rose combs and provide heat in negative temps.

 

If you are worried about introducing new chickens, then i would suggest the slow method,  putting the new chicks in a kennel a few hours a day inside the coop, possibly while you have the old chickens shut up in it, once you release them there will be a pecking order but it wont be as bad as if you just let them all mingle together without introduction.

post #9 of 10

I live in Wisconsin too, I have 5 week old chicks that are ready to go out right about now.  I am just waiting for this recent batch of cold weather to break before moving them out.  They are fully feathered.  I will also be putting a heat lamp with them so if they do get chilly they can warm up and go back to playing.  

 

post #10 of 10

I'm in Wisconsin also and my chicks have been outside since they were 2 weeks old. they're now 5 1/2 weeks old. They are in the coop with the heat lamp so they have something to keep them warm still.

 

 

 

                                             

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