A BIG Thank You! and a question


In the Brooder
9 Years
May 24, 2010
I'm new to chickens and bought 5 pullets who are now 5 weeks old. They ran out of chick starter so I went to buy more. The guy at the feed store told me that they could have layer feed so that's what I bought, then I checked this board and found out that they are way too young for the layer feed so thanks to this board I went back and got chick grower. It sounds like there could have been serious damage done feeding them the other stuff!

Now for the question, 3 of the five are fully feathered and ready to go outside to their "big girl" pen. The 2 RIR's just lost their fuzz on the backside just above the tail feathers and the new feathers aren't in yet. They are really overcrowed so I'm ready to put them outside but it's still in the 40's at night. The first three should be fine and will have a heat lamp until it warms up but I'm planning on keeping the RIR's in for another week or so. The question is will they be picked on by the others if they are introduced a week or 2 later even though they have all been together since the beginning and what is the best way to re-introduce them.

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Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
Whatever pecking order has already been determined (and believe me, they establish that even as 3 or 4 day old chicks!) will be upset when you pull 3 of 5 out. Those 3 will work it out, but when you put the other 2 back in with them, they'll all go through the whole thing all over again.

If you could all 5 out at once and keep the heat lamp in the coop with them all, the ones that need more heat will stay closer to it and the ones that do not will move away (as long as you have enough space for them to do so).

What you don't want to do is take away heat suddenly, from ANY of them. They kinda need to be "hardened" off the heat lamp, first during the day, and then later at night, too. My brooder chicks usually have a few days of NO auxiliary heat inside before they go outside, and if the nights are too cool, then I put the lamp out there - securely fastened! - for them and turn it on at night for a few nights.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your chickens and enjoy them as they get accustomed to their new lives.

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