Afraid to move to the big coop...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by larsonll, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. larsonll

    larsonll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, I got a bug in my bonnet today, after watching my five year old daughter chase a 5 week old chicken all over the back porch, christening all things in its poopy path. She had opened the brooder to hand feed the girls, and Dr. Henny Henny flew out. As a matter of fact, all of them are trying to fly out of the brooder when the top is removed.

    They are 5 weeks old, mostly all feathered out. 8 are completely so, while one Maran still has mostly pin feathers on her back and one small EE has all back feathers but breast feathers are not yet meeting in the middle, even though she is the same age.

    I went to Ace hardware and bought a light bulb holder with a clamp. I have a Catawba Coop tractor ark, so the roosting area is very small...only about 18 inches high. I cannot hang a standard heat lamp. Of course, Ace only had 25 watt red bulbs in stock, not 40 watt.

    It's going down to a low of 53 in the am. Do I chance it tonight with the 25 watt bulb or wait until I get a 40 watt, or wait for tomorrow nights low of 55 degrees? No rain in sight for 10 days, so now is just a great time otherwise.

    Just in case all of you are wondering how I will keep 10 chickens in a Catawba Coop, I'm not. One is a roo and I'm only keeping 4 + 1 bantam. The other 4 are going to my mom's coop.
     
  2. domino7

    domino7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As long as it's draft free, I wouldn't even use a heat lamp.
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    No matter how feathered out they are or aren't, or what wattage bulb you have, I go by how well they've been transitioned to the temps. What temps have they been kept at compared to the temps they will be forced into?? If they've been use to 65-70 degree weather at night without a lamp, then most likely they will do okay (won't be happy, but won't die) with a tiny bulb at 55 overnight. A 40 W bulb would def. be better - so personally I'd wait another night to get the 40. If they've been use to house temps. PLUS a lamp, I'd take a week to wean them down.
     
  4. larsonll

    larsonll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice. They have been on the back porch weaned down to ambient temps which have been 60-85 degrees over the last week. I have lowered my lamp when the temps go below 60 to keep it about 65. So, they'd be adjusting by only about 5-10 degrees lower but I'm thinking that they'll be warmer than 53 piled up and under a small bulb. No drafts but not air tight.
     
  5. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If feathered out and five weeks old no additional heating is required as long as the temperature is above 55 degrees. At around eight weeks they begin to be able to withstand much colder temps. Be sure they are not in the wind though, as drafts are not good.
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well - how'd they do Larson???
     
  7. MED747

    MED747 Out Of The Brooder

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    Yep I have 4 week old BA that are feathered and they have no heat lamp, it gets into low 50 high 40 at night here
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  8. larsonll

    larsonll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Original poster here! This is the coop I am dealing with, which I built personally, so I really do love it;), although I now realize the benefits of a stationary coop. But I'm still new to this, and only plan on keeping 4-5 hens and will build a run soon!

    [​IMG]

    Ok! They did just fine![​IMG] 53 degrees was the true low at 7am for my 5 week old chicks. I used the 25 watt red bulb in the roost since I had nothing else. I have to admit that I covered the top of the tractor ark with towels and blankets to cover the cracks. Neurotic, who me?

    I woke up at 7am on the weekend despite my usual plan to sleep in until the kiddies force me to wake up...sunrise here was 720am. Made some coffee and waited for the sun. I was thrilled to hear lots of peeps walking out to the back yard!

    I had to lure them down the ramp with freeze dried mealworms but only 6 out of 10 actually did it. I had to pick 4 up and release them to fly down the ramp, more or less.

    They loved, loved, loved their full day in the enclosed area of the ark below the roosting area. So funny, they did not display the hen-pecking behavior so much as when I got them out there today. Lots of running and bumping breast action going on. I provided separate chick grit for the first time in a hanging bowl, and darn it if they did not try to eat it all. Oh, the hanging feeder stayed so clean! No shavings as in the brooder:D. I only put in nipple waterers and so far, so good.

    They did not go up the ramp tonight. At 9pm, way after sunset, I had to pick them up from the corner of the bottom run and put them in the roost. So surprised that they actually were docile enough to let me do it...I expected scatter city.

    I am happy.
     
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yeah, it will take them a while to learn to go up the ramp to their new home (partly because they don't associate it with "home" yet). And the reason they were so easy to pick up is because they really are helpless as it gets dark, which is why they make such an easy meal when predators get to them [​IMG]
    You can go in and pick up the meanest, wildest rooster from the roost after dark w/no problems whatsoever.
    I'm glad they seem to enjoy their new home and are settling in just fine [​IMG] I'm sure it's a big relief - and now you can sleep in a bit...lol.
     
  10. larsonll

    larsonll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Warming up here...low is 56 tomorrow am. I had to pick all the chicks up again to put them in the roost. Thank you, teach1rusl, they really are completely helpless after dark. And here, I just thought they were starting to like me!

    I went out to check on them tonight and had their light on, but 3 were panting, so the light was removed. Here they are, all on top of each other in one of the nest boxes...the coop is 7.5 feet long, but they pile up together in the 12 inch wide nest box. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sorry about the sideways picture. Don't know how to fix that! The original picture is not sideways.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011

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