Adding 8wk old chicks to existing coop with deep litter. Advice please.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Wrightsx4, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. Wrightsx4

    Wrightsx4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2012
    Northwest Michigan
    Originally I posted this in another section but must not have been the right one since I didn't get any responses so hopefully someone here will have advice - thanks!

    I have my 20-26 week old hens in a large coop using the deep litter method. In early November I will be taking my younger chicks out if the brooder and putting them into the partitioned grow out area under the nesting boxes with an enclosed run. I will put fresh pine shavings in with them - and probably their own deep litter from their brooder. The two areas are divided only by framing and chicken wire so bedding (and obviously air) will mix. I am feeding the chicks medicated feed for coccidiosis. The older birds have never shown any symptom of illness or infestation. Btw, I also use DE in the coop on and under the roost if that matters. I was thinking I should slowly introduce the "big girl germs" to my chicks by adding bits if their litter/pine shavings from floor to their brooder...? Is that good or bad? I'm afraid of shocking them in November after having them in the brooder in my house. I really don't want to remove the deep litter and start over in November with it already below freezing here at night. Am I being overly cautious? I've searched for the answer and have found lots of help with the social integration but none regarding the existing litter.
     
  2. jules1329

    jules1329 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2012
    South-Central Kentucky
    Wow. I feel like a bad "mother," because I just put my little ones (just over three weeks) in the big kid coop yesterday. They are in a chicken wire enclosure, so they're safe from my roo, but I just threw down some fresh litter on top of what was there. If they don't make it, I'll let you know long before November! :)
     
  3. Wrightsx4

    Wrightsx4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2012
    Northwest Michigan

    Lol- so now I know why nobody responded on the other thread- all the experienced chickeners are laughing at me! :lol: Haha. I'm okay with that. I'm probably over thinking it and worrying too much. They're my first chicken babies. The others were 6&12 weeks before I got them.
    I would put them out there at four weeks or when their backs are feathered (only 2 wks right now) but Michigan is really starting off COLD already this fall. I'd put them out at 4 wks if were spring. If we have a decent October with warmer days to warm the coop then the freezing nights wouldn't be as bad. Lately we've been 40-low 50's during the day and around 30-35 nights and it's only September. Should not be this cold already. I hope yours all make it but yes- please let me know...you go first! :D
     
  4. jules1329

    jules1329 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 26, 2012
    South-Central Kentucky
    I actually wish I had at least considered it, but I didn't even think about it. I think when you invest your time, money and heart into something, it's good to be cautious.

    We're still climbing into the 80s here, and typically mid50s to lower 60s at night. We did have a couple nights this past week that got below 40, though that's unusual. The chickies seemed no worse for wear.

    After a day in the coop, they're lively and curious. Most of the cockerels have red combs, now. There was only one this morning. Amazing!
     
  5. Wrightsx4

    Wrightsx4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2012
    Northwest Michigan

    It amazes me how much they change in such a short time. I posted a photo of my salmon faverolles chick six days ago asking if it looked like male or female. Now, after only six days she looks exactly like the pullet picture examples I've found. My chicks were all puffballs last week. Now they have regular feathers over about 60% of their bodies.
    Sounds like your little ones are doing great! I sure wish we still had your warm weather. They're predicting low sixties and sunny a few days this week so that's a welcome improvement!
     

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