Baby Chicks in the winter

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LazyGirl, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. LazyGirl

    LazyGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 29, 2007
    Hi. I got baby chicks this November and they are currently residing in our "Michigan" basement while growing. THey are 7 weeks old and are at about 55 degrees right now. I was wondering what age I can transition them to the coop with the older hens. I have a porch room i can use to acclimate them, and am hoping to catch a week or so of mid-winter thaw, but don't know if that would be long enough for them to acclimate to Michigan in the winter. Any ideas?
     
  2. jab91864

    jab91864 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    I'm in Northern Michigan. I wouldn't want to risk chicks at this time of year unless they have a heat source in the coop, and a place to escape harm from the older flock members.

    I don't have a heated coop but my birds are dry and draft free when inside and they are acclimated to the weather conditions. Seeing as your chicks are so young and have been in a basement they probably aren't use to cold wind and snow and I think that will be the biggest problem.

    If you could lock them into the porch room (is it draft free?) with a heat source maybe they will be ok and you could slowly work them into the flock. They need to be fully feathered before they are moved.

    Moving into an existing flock will be stressful, they will be picked on most likely until they are accepted and find their place in the ranks.....that can take several weeks.

    Good luck

    Julie
     
  3. BamaChicken

    BamaChicken Orpingtons Bama Style

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    Nov 14, 2007
    I definitely would not put 7 week olds in with adults that didn't brood them. They won't have a protecter and you could end up losing them. I agree also with the need of a light source at that age even with them on the ground. I have some nearly three months and i have a clamp light hanging in their sleep area an they get close to it at nite and even the daytime when it is cold
     
  4. LazyGirl

    LazyGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 29, 2007
    Thanks. I am planning on waiting at least another month until they are 10-12 week, but should I wait even longer?I'll probably keep them in the porch area which will be colder but still draft free (and I can still put heat lamps with them) for a couple weeks, but just am not sure how old they should be to do the transition (I have only 6 layers that are in the coop).
     
  5. BamaChicken

    BamaChicken Orpingtons Bama Style

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    One problem you many incur with putting the younger in with layers is that being low man on the totem pole they will get in the nest boxes to sleep and poop in them. I have had experience in this area so I don't like to put them in until they are close to laying unless you like cleaning up the nest every morning to prevent dirty eggs. In other words they won't be excepted to roost with the adults right away when they haven't been raised with them. I would certainly wait till they 12 weeks and give them time to mature a bit so they can get out of the way of an adult
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I usually try for 12 weeks, just like Julie says. Then they are a substantial size and fast enough to get out of the way of trouble, in general.
     
  7. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Jan 30, 2007
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    I always wait til they are 14 weeks before letting them in with the older hens and roosters...too much can happen to them quickly trying to defend themselves in winter and close quarters when the doors have to be kept closed for nasty winter weather...I have house chicks now that will be in here foreverrrrrrrrrrrr...well, only 2 thank goodness...lol
     
  8. LazyGirl

    LazyGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 29, 2007
    OK! I guess I'll just have basement chickens for another few months! Oh well...I wouldn't want to risk losing too many. Thanks for the replies. If I wait till they are 12-14 weeks then I won't have to worry so much about the weather, either. THat would put them out around Mid-Feb or March. By then, they will have to go out, since I am expecting baby #3 by early March.
     

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