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Alternate housing for chicks that are picking? (pics)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Heather J, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2008
    I put my chicks out in the coop in a little nursery area when they were two weeks old, which worked great, but now they are too big for the space and have started picking. I lost a chick a few days ago and found another one with a bloody rear end this morning. I doubt he'll make it, he was just too weak when I brought him in and settled him into a safe place to recuperate. I'll do my best, but I'm not expecting a miracle. [​IMG]
    I pulled back one corner to let them run the whole coop for a few hours because I didn't have time to move them to the outdoor pen. I've been moving them to the outdoor pen during the day for the past few days, but it's a major painto chase them down morning and night. You can see the day pen below.
    [​IMG]

    The little pen is 6x12 and inside my main run. The big question is this: at five weeks, if I put a heat lamp out there at night (it's easy to move from the coop four feet away) could I leave them in it all night? It needs one more tarp (an easy addition), and it would be in the 'secured' outdoor run, which is shown below. I'm concerned about predators, even though I have a six-foot fence and I haven't had any problems with the muscovies that spend the night in the main pen (they don't mix well with my other ducks/geese because they joined the flock months later).
    [​IMG]
    My other option is to keep moving them back and forth for a few weeks more, and opening the nursery wire so they have the run of the whole bottom of the coop when I put everyone to bed. I really want to stop the picking, which I know is being caused by the confined spaces at night...

    The forecast is showing it's supposed to get down to 65 or so at night, so a heat lamp will be necessary for a few weeks yet, just to be on the safe side.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2008
  2. tazcat70

    tazcat70 I must be crazy!

    How old are they now? If the outside is secure, and they cannot get through the fencing, and they are over 6 weeks or you have a heat lamp, I would think that they should be ok.
     
  3. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2008
    They'll be six weeks old on Friday. I brought them back into the coop last night because we've had some rain and I worried it would get even colder than usual last night. The enclosure is secure against coyotes and the occasional mountain lion, but I know I had eggs stolen from it last winter by a raccoon or opossum, and I'm sure one who was truly determined could get around or under the ton of netting I've drapped the run with. On the other hand, with the adult ducks in there at night for several months now, I've never had a problem.

    The alternative would be to bunk them with the adult chickens and let them run with them all day. I'm just not sure how to deal with the chicks in the evenings when the adults get to free-range. And I'd have to line the fencing between the chicken and duck enclosures since I used 2-inch chicken wire to keep them separate and I had a chick get through it last week.
     

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