Below freezing, but it's time for this boy to go out!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sable43140, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. Yes

  2. No

    0 vote(s)
  1. sable43140

    sable43140 In the Brooder

    Oct 13, 2018
    So, I'm in a bit of a pickle and I guess I just need reassurance that I'm making the right decision. We had one baby chick hatch late fall naturally (I know, I know, it's super late for that). He's six weeks old now, but has DEFINITELY outgrown his brooder. He's completely feathered and no longer uses a heat lamp going on a week now. It's 67 degrees in my house but he's by a window so probably closer to low 60's for his spot. My problem? I live in Ohio and it's below freezing regularly right now. I'm beyond ready to put his smelly chicken butt outside, do you guys think it's okay? He'd be in his own area, and I have 30 girls in the coop too, but it's still cold enough that their water freezes. *I refuse to put heaters in our coop.* Advice? Thanks!
    Farmgirl1878 and NoFlyBackFarm like this.
  2. Rachel Taylor

    Rachel Taylor Crowing

    Aug 17, 2017
    At six weeks should be fine is long as she has other chickens to huddle up with to keep him warm. Maybe take a week or so to wean him off the heat and get him used to the colder temperatures
    NoFlyBackFarm and azygous like this.
  3. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    He's going to require climate acclimation as well as gradual integration, so be prepared to do this eviction by stages.

    You will begin by letting him spend the warmer part of the day in a safe enclosure in proximity to the flock of older chickens. Gradually increase the time he spends outside. After a week, he should be good to start sleeping in the coop at night.

    He's still a shrimp, so you will need to set up safety precautions so he doesn't get injured when he has to start mingling with the big chickens. I use small chick-size openings out of the safe enclosure so a chick can always run back inside their safe refuge when they feel threatened. I leave the safe enclosure in place until around age ten weeks.

    In addition to that, you will need to take steps to have enough higher perches so he can evade the adult chickens between now and the time he reaches maturity. There's a real danger he won't get enough to eat if you don't make a feeding station for him up out of danger. I use an old card table for my chicks' food and water, and they feel safe enough up there to nap during the day.

    In the future, plan on brooding chicks outdoors in your run or coop in proximity to the flock. It drastically cuts down on integration time, and my chicks are ready to mingle with the flock at age two weeks. You can read about my integration techniques and why it works on such young chicks.
  4. NoFlyBackFarm

    NoFlyBackFarm Crowing

    Aug 6, 2018
    Pilesgrove, New Jersey
    KICK THAT BOY OUT THE HOUSE! He sounds like he's ready and I have a 3 week old w/ mother
  5. 4 Georgia Hens

    4 Georgia Hens Crowing

    Jan 3, 2017
    Northern Georgia
    NoFlyBackFarm and Farmgirl1878 like this.
  6. sable43140

    sable43140 In the Brooder

    Oct 13, 2018
    He already has his own area within the coop high up, the adults would never be able to get to him thankfully It's large enough that he would be in his own till at least 12 weeks. We've found integration goes best when they're at least bigger than my bantams, since they're the meanest in my group. I will definitely do the gradual winter introduction, I really like that idea. Thanks so much!
    NoFlyBackFarm likes this.
  7. SunriseChickers

    SunriseChickers Chirping

    Nov 12, 2018
    United States
    He'll be fine if he can huddle with your girls, but they might not accept him right away. You might just want to let him roam in the day time then sleep in the brooder at night. You'll also have to acclimate him. Wait for a day with more sun and let him out for a few minutes to be introduced to the cool weather.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: