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3 Chicks for Christmas!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by byoung20415, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. byoung20415

    byoung20415 New Egg

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    Jan 7, 2013
    Waddell, AZ
    Hello! I'm in a predicament!

    A short time ago I got a bunch of books to read up on how to raise chickens because I would like the fresh eggs. I was intending to read up on it some and get my back yard set up first before I purchased any. I was looking at the Buff Orpingtons, but I wasn't sure.

    Then, for Christmas, my daughter gave me 3 pullets! They're adorable! But, I'm NOT READY! They're in a big black storage container (about 26 x 20 x 12) with a piece of a dog kennel on the top to keep them from flying out, which they like to do - with a heat lamp on top - INSIDE, in my living room - and they just keep getting bigger and bigger!

    I haven't had one moments chance to read anything about them because my daughter (same daughter that purchased the chicks) had a baby! Now, I'm a grandma with chicks!! :D The sad part is my grand baby is still in the hospital in critical condition and will be for another 3 to 5 more weeks. I can't wait that long to get the information I need! Neither can my chicks! HELP!! PLEASE!! The container is NOT big enough!

    Are these chicks old enough to go outside? They're at least 6 weeks old, maybe up to 8 weeks or even older. I can't find anything in the books I have, or online, that shows the progression except for what you've shown here! (THANK YOU!) They're getting way too big for the container and I'll just die if anything happens to them.

    I'll have a 4 x 4 coop for them tomorrow, but its one that sits on the ground, and I'll need to get a nesting box in it. There's no "inside" for them to go - it's just the solid wooden back and roof with chicken wire on the 2 sides and front. I don't know if it's too cold to leave them outside that young. The coop was for my daughters roosters she had when she was showing them. She never kept it at our house and I didn't have much to do with them, so I'm really a beginner.

    I'm in Phoenix Arizona, and it's going to be close to 38 degrees out tonight. I'm not sure about tomorrow. It's warm enough during the day I think, today was around 62, just maybe not warm enough at night.

    I'm hoping someone can help me determine how old they are. Also, my plan is to put a cardboard box in the coop so they can bundle in that, and rig the heat lamp for them, too. Do you think that would be alright?

    My daughter would know, but I can't exactly bother her now, with her baby in the hospital. And, I'm there so much to help and support her that I don't have the time to read all the books. Anything you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

    Oh my gosh. I feel so overwhelmed and inadequate now! I know they can't stay in the storage container for much longer!!
     
  2. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    Oct 3, 2011
    Virginia
    My Coop
    [​IMG] Glad you joined.

    If your chicks are fully feathered they can go outside. They do, however, need a shelter from the wind, rain, snow, etc. If it is really cold they might need a heat lamp also.
     
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Shhh, shah, calm down. (hugs). You really ARE overwhelmed with all the new grandchild issues. Luckily, your chickens are old enough to move outside, as long as you rig up some draft protection... And that can be some cardboard, or a tarp, whatever you can manage. iF you feel you must set up a lamp for them, secure it very well - you don't want it to fall and start a fire, or be too close to anything that could catch fire. You could hang it at least three feet, maybe four, above their cardboard box, and off to one side so there is a "cooler" section for them to move in case they do get too warm.

    That will do for night time until you are able to address the chicken housing and other such issues.

    They'll be fine. You'll be fine. Congrats on the grand baby and good wishes for speedy recovery!
     
  4. mmktdox

    mmktdox Chillin' With My Peeps

    If your chicks are fully feathered they can go outside. I would block the wire only side with some plywood. 38 degrees fahrenheit is not too cold for them but they need protection from the wind and rain. It's been 0 degrees here and colder for weeks and I only turn on the heat lamp once it gets down to minus ten. But mine are all at least 18 weeks old now. They don't need nesting boxes yet, that can wait until later but a roost would be nice to get them off the ground.

    If you are rural, once they've been in their coop for a week or so and they know it's their safe place you could let them free range in your yard during the day. Some people don't free range at all because of predators but I love to watch mine in the warm weather outside. Good luck with the birds and the baby too!!
     
  5. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

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    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    Willobranch and gryeyes have some sound advise here. I would also add that you don't need to worry about a nest box for about 6-10 more weeks. They will just poop in it at this age. Give them some draft protection in the coop. I would keep them in the house tonight with NO heat lamp and then move them out tomorrow mid day, That way it is a little warm out and they will adjust as it cools at night. Congrats on the grand baby and [​IMG]
     
  6. byoung20415

    byoung20415 New Egg

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    Jan 7, 2013
    Waddell, AZ
    Thanks Everyone! I did panic a little, but they're totally fine! They love it out there!! It's 58 degrees out there now, and will be getting down to around 41 degrees. They have draft protection - plywood around the bottom of the coop - and they're covered. They seem really happy! I'll post some pictures, once I figure that out, because I love how happy they look! They're so friendly, too! By the way, the grand baby is doing well! She'll be staying in the hospital for another few weeks, but she's doing well. Thanks for the well wishes and great suggestions and advise about the chickens!! :D
     

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