Acclimating chicks to a new enclosure

HomesteadDeb

In the Brooder
Oct 10, 2019
10
4
16
Hi guys! So I've had my babies in a large ventilated rubbermaid container (lid on to keep the cat out!) for the first three weeks and they've done great with the arrangement. I move them to a smaller box when I clean the big box and let them sit in my sunny doorway and enjoy the breeze so long as they don't act too hot or cold.
Today I tried them in a new temporary outdoor box while I cleaned and they really seemed to enjoy having the space to run back and forth and flap their wings and more things to perch on than just their brooder.
The problem is when I moved them back to their smaller box when the wind outside kicked up they were VERY unhappy with me. Stressed even, panting and holding their wings out. They calmed down and settled back in after about 15 minutes of this, but I'm a little afraid to try the experiment again.
Any advice on how to keep them calm during the transition?
(Photo reference is the smaller box they play in while I clean, and their new outdoor box, only used under strict observation!)
 

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rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
5,900
10,877
642
Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
They're probably ready for a bigger brooder at this point, assuming you still want to keep them indoors. A tote isn't very much floor space. See if you can pick up an appliance box or a melon box from the grocery store, or you can tape together several cardboard boxes to make a roomier enclosure.
 

HomesteadDeb

In the Brooder
Oct 10, 2019
10
4
16
Unfortunately there flat out isn't room inside my tiny house to put a box the size of the one I have outside. I took the broader heater out since they seem to be staying warm enough (they actually get too warm with it on sometimes) and added a perch to their indoor box and with more free space without the broader they seemed very happy this afternoon. I think the big problem with moving them earlier was that unlike the clear rubber tires they couldn't see out of the cardboard box. They fretted at being separated more than they do in the totes where they can still see one another.
 

HomesteadDeb

In the Brooder
Oct 10, 2019
10
4
16
They are only 3-4 weeks and don't have all their feathers yet. The big coop isn't ready but going to work on something more secure for outside than their cardboard set up so they can spend the day outside without me having to watch them like a hawk. I tried moving them back and forth again today and they were much more settled about it, so I think our during the day and in at night should be a good set up for the next couple of weeks until the co-op is ready.
I live in the southwest so it isn't at all too cold during the day, but I live in top of a butte and we can get some pretty strong winds at times.
 

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
5,900
10,877
642
Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
The coop not being ready is the main issue IMO, you'd be surprised at how well chicks can handle temperatures lower than suggested guidelines as long as they're protected from drafts/winds.

Hope you can get that coop set up soon, both for happy little chicks and your own sanity, so you're not having to bring them in and out all the time!
 

HomesteadDeb

In the Brooder
Oct 10, 2019
10
4
16
Coop is up! The girls are so used to getting moved around now they adjusted well to their new surroundings. Only a little fussing when two figured out how to use the ladder UP to the nesting boxes, but not how to get down haha. They figured it out eventually. Did bring them in tonight as we have a freeze warning and they still aren't fully feathered, but hopefully next week when the weather is milder they will get to spend the first of many nights in their new home.
 
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