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and speaking of weather...question re young birds

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chicknmania, May 1, 2007.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    I mentioned in an earlier post that we are moving our chicks (young birds) outside; probably today. We are trying to decide which is best, since it's still cool here at night (40's-50's)..we thought about just taking our young birds out of the house into the garage in their cages for the first week so that during the day we can put them outside, and at night we can bring them in the garage and close the door. We would then take them to the barn after a week or so in the garage, and put them in a big pen in the barn til they get acclimated to the others, but of course it'd be colder there and they are predicting possible cold (low 40's) nights through mid-May. Or would it be too stressful for them to have to move twice (to two new locations) in the space of a couple of weeks? Which is worse, stress or cold? Should we just move them to the barn now? It is running 60's - low 80's during the day, depending on what the weather feels like doing. Also, they are getting pretty crowded in their cages, which is why we decided to hurry up and move them out. They have been in the house all winter.
     
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    chicknmania,
    Are these your 4 month old birds? What are night time temps like inside your barn?

    My birds are older than yours, but here, I have been keeping a light on for the birds in the barn/hen house at night. Temps here have been around 60°F during the day, and in the barn at night are about 40-50°F. I have found that the birds will roost closer together when they are chilly.

    I think the stress is worse than the cold, although cold can be a stress, if they aren't used to it. It is more important that they are not in a drafty situation. As long as they will be protected from drafts in the barn, they should be fine. We gave our birds vitamins in their water during the week before and week after the move to the barn.

    They seem to adjust better to the move from indoors to outdoors if they are gradually accustomed to being outdoors. I think if these birds are your 4 month olds, they are definitely old enough and are fully feathered, so could be moved directly to the barn. That is, providing they have been allowed outdoors to play and not locked up in front of the tv this whole time. (from your other post) [​IMG]

    Our birds were hatched in June and left the house at 6 1/2 weeks, so a different situation than yours. I had a harder time adjusting to not having the little darlings in the mud room than they did to being outdoors.

    Doesn't this weather stink this year!?
    Good luck!
    regards,
    keljonma

    if edited, probably for typos....
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2007
  3. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Yes, these are the four month olds. Where they are now they can see out the walkout door, which we open for them on nice days. The other chickens come down the steps into the walkout outside and look through the door at the young ones in the house; that's the only exposure to the outdoors and other chickens that they've had, (except when they were newly hatched) because their cages are too big to get in and out the door without taking them all out. The garage would definitely be more draft free then the barn, because it is insulated; the barn is not, though they would be in a pen with high wooden walls and wire enclosure on the top third. The temp difference when it's cold between the barn and outside is maybe five to ten degrees, depending on how windy it is. All the other chickens in the barn huddle together when it's cold. Also, I didn't mention this before, but they are used to staying up late (10:00- 11:00PM !) because of the activities of my teens. I'm guessing this would be an additional stressor to suddenly switch to where everyone else goes to bed before sundown! LIfe is complicated...especially for them!
     
  4. Newchickenmom&kids

    Newchickenmom&kids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2007
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    Wow...mine are around 8wks and they've been outside for weeks and we live in Illinois. They are doing beautiful!
     
  5. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    central Ohio
    PS, yeah the weather is pretty wacky...but I just look at it as...when it's nice, we enjoy it more, and when it's not, we enjoy a nice fire inside! That last cold snap did ruin all our flowering trees, which was dissapointing.
     
  6. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    I would maybe be a bit concerned about the drafts, especially since they haven't been exposed to them before this.

    Can you start letting them out during the daytime to be with the rest of the flock? I think they are certainly old enough to be with the others on a full-time basis. Maybe let them out in the barn and let them get used to the new housing. I think it will only take a short adjust and they will soon follow the others around the barn and yard.
     
  7. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    central Ohio
    We took them out in their cages and put them, cage and all, in the yard to get used to those chickens who come up to the yard. They are creating much excitement...poor old Whitey, our 9 year old senior roo, is very disgusted. I guess we will try putting them out this way for a few days, then bringing them in the garage at night, before we take them to the barn, where they will meet the "barn chickens": (the ones who almost never come up to the house). We are very concerned about minimizing stress for all of them because of all the viral crap the flock has been exposed to. That's a good idea about the vitamins; I think we're going to put the whole flock on them for a short while, anyway. I hope we're not being too careful. It was funny though, because Dazzle roo actually saw them outside, then went to the walkout door to look for them; he's saying...these are the same ones, right? Smart!
     
  8. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    We were able to let our chickens stay outside since they were 2 weeks old. They have their own coop and I utilized the deep shavings so they will be able to keep warm and a wire window for air circulation. They spend the days outside in a fence area to feed on newly sprouted grass, along with their medicated chick feed which I will discontinue after they have eaten the 50# bag.
     
  9. iopele

    iopele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2007
    Texas
    Quote:I read that chickens rate above dogs and below monkeys on the animal intelligence scale--pretty dang smart! Apparently they can understand a cause and effect relationship--as in, if I eat this blue corn, I get sick, so I won't eat the blue corn--which dogs can't do. And they show evidence of culture in that they pass on what they've learned to their chicks. They can also delay gratification for a reward--the study quoted gave chickens a choice between pecking a button immediately for a small food reward, or waiting for more food. 90% of chickens waited, up to 22 seconds, for that bigger reward, and then taught their chicks to do the same. Who'd have thought it? I guess being a birdbrain isn't too bad, lol! I'll try to find the link to that article, it was really interesting.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    central Ohio
    Getting off the subject a bit, but that is interesting about the intelligence thing; maybe worth doing another post, cause I have always thought they were smart, but never read much about it. What was funnier was Dazzle twice more brought back his friends; different ones each time; to look through the walkout door, throughout the rest of the day.

    It was just as well we didn't put our babes in the barn last night; a predator (we think a mink or skunk) got in our small pen where my son had his Speckled Sussex rooster and two hens; killed and ate Star, one of the hens, then went to the opposite end of the barn and killed Icy Hot, our Shaver Red hen sitting on eggs and just a week or so from hatching them; then chewed up the eggs too and left bloody eggs and chicken parts all over the place. We are very sad today, but our youngsters are doing well and all are adapting well to each other so far. I think we probably will keep them in the garage a bit longer, til we discourage whatever it was that visited us last night.
    Thanks, everyone, for the advice re the big move.
     

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