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Babies doing great!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by juliejohnson805, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. juliejohnson805

    juliejohnson805 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2016
    Central Alabama
    I have 16 chicks that are 5 weeks old that I have raised using the MHP method in a wire crate located in my chicken run. My other pullets and cockerels have done really well with them. This past week we started leaving their crate open so they can have access to the run at all times. It is going great! My boss cockerel is very protective of them. He watches out for the others around them and will run off one of the other cockerels if he gets too close. He also is very aware when we come into the run as well. I was not expecting him to behave this way so I am pleasantly surprised. I do have a question though.

    When do you think I can move them into the coop at night?

    I'm in process of adding on a Gentleman's Pad to house the 3 cockerels until they are older. I dont want them to mess with my pullets now.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    What does your coop look like? How big is it? I often have 5 week olds sleeping in my main coop with all the adults but my brooder is in the coop, not the run. That might make a difference. Once I let them out of the brooder, they do not go back in. I normally let them out of the brooder at five weeks.

    When my brooder-raised chicks are in my grow-out coop with no adults present, they typically start to roost at 10 to 12 weeks. I‘ve had some start earlier, some later, but 10 to 12 weeks is a good average. When I have brooder-raised chicks sleeping in the main coop with adult chickens, the pullets normally do not go to the main roosts until about the time they start to lay. I put up a juvenile roost higher than the nests but lower than the main roosts and horizontally separated to give them a safe place to roost that is not my nests. Until they are ready to roost they sleep in a group on the floor. I’ll mention this so you will have a rough idea of what might happen when you move them in.

    Your dominant cockerel sounds like a keeper. I’ve never had a problem with a dominant male bothering chicks but non-dominant cockerels can be a pain in the rear.

    You can just toss the chicks into the main coop after they all go to bed. I often do things like that with chick snot raised in that brooder in the coop, though usually the chicks are older than five weeks. When I do this I make it a point to be down there early to let them out each day until I’m comfortable they will be OK.

    If your coop is big enough this might be a good place for a “safe haven”. Build a pen, chicken wire works, inside your coop with openings so small the chicks can go through but the older ones cannot. It’s a good place for food and water for the chicks too that the adults can’t get to. Maybe lock them in this pen a couple of days until they get used to it, then open those small doors. They can come and go as they please yet quickly learn to run to safety if there is a problem. I don’t do this but others do and are really pleased with the system.

    I love reading about your experiences. It validates what a lot of us say about raising the chicks as part of the flock. I think it is very beneficial.
     
  3. juliejohnson805

    juliejohnson805 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2016
    Central Alabama
    Hoping I didn't speak too soon about my dominant cockerel....today he picked up one of the chicks and slung it around. He was stopped and started it 2 more times before .....uummm....getting a little discipline. [​IMG] It this type of behavior just part of the normal pecking order life in the coop?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    No, I would not think so. A peck for discipline is pretty common but slinging a chick around, I don’t like that at all.
     
  5. juliejohnson805

    juliejohnson805 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 24, 2016
    Central Alabama
    That's what I thought. Hopefully we will have the other coop and run finsihed this weekend so the cockerels can move into their own place.
     

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