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Central Texas--2 wk chicks outdoors?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Meeshmom, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. Meeshmom

    Meeshmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2014
    I have a coop with decent sized run attached. I have 2-week old chicks who are outgrowing the brooder I made--there's no more space in the garage unless I can get the hubs to get rid of a few things (ha!). I've got to make a change quickly! They're in the garage where the temps are pretty set @ 80 and seem to be fine. I've just started cutting the heat lamp off because they are sleeping away from it.

    In the evenings here, its getting down to 74-76 at the lowest.

    Any thoughts on moving them out now?
    I could give them access to the run during the day as it's 95-100 in the shade inside the coop at the hottest part of the day.

    My main concern is getting them back into the coop at night, since I can't exactly climb into the run. Suggestions on this would be great!

    Also, food/water--in the run or in the coop? in both?
    And, wing clipping...how? when? It makes me nervous...!

    I just started back to work full days, though I could possibly come home for lunch a couple of days a week.

    Thanks in advance. All the info and advice I've gotten so far has been great!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I would turn the heat lamp off entirely and put them out after a day or so of acclimating themselves to no lamp.

    There is no right or wrong place to put the food and water. I usually encourage people to keep in mind that if it's out and they are locked in, they will want out at the crack of dawn to get to them. There are other factors, of course. Food in the coop at night can encourage mice, for one.

    You could lock them in the coop for the first day, except that would be too hot for them, especially when you add in what warmth their bodies would add to the coop. You could also just leave the coop door open, if your run is secure. In central Texas, you will probably need to replace a coop wall with hardware cloth, anyway. Remember that there really is no such thing as winter to them in this climate. In about a month, when they have the rest of their feathers, the problem will be heat, not cold, and they will require shade and breeze to survive. They will sleep cuddled together even if they are a bit warm while they are young. It doesn't mean they are cold. If they are cold, they will sleep on top of each other -- and can easily smother the one at the bottom.

    Wing clipping isn't something I would consider this young. You don't know yet who will fly how high as adults, for one thing. For another, it impedes their ability to ecape a predator if they do get out. I've never clipped any wings. I have seen a few of my hens who were determined to get out actually "climb" the 6' fence and flop over. They "climb" by flapping their wings and grabbing the fence with their feet at the same time. Sompe people do, some don't. It's a personal choice.

    Jusy FYI, here is a thread about the sort of setups people in hot climates have found successful:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/163417/please-show-me-your-hot-weather-coops/0_20
     
  3. Meeshmom

    Meeshmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2014
    Thanks!!! Immensely helpful!
     
  4. Meeshmom

    Meeshmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2014
    So, we did a few modifications around the coop--adding hardware cloth around the sides. They are sooo happy! There's so much room to run and play. Hopin I can get them to go inside the coop this evening!
     

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