Chicks and Brooder/Coop Transition

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CheeseandCackles, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. CheeseandCackles

    CheeseandCackles In the Brooder

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    Good morning!

    To give a little background I bought chicks about 4 months ago straight run and and ended up with more than I wanted in roosters. So I got another batch a little over a month ago.

    At week 6 for the new chicks, the brooder I was using quickly became too small. I underestimated how fast they outgrew the brooder without being the same size as my older chickens. The size difference is staggering. Naive me thought that I’d be able to integrate around this time but have since read otherwise. (Because of size difference) I’ve bought a larger brooder/pen and moved those 6 week old chicks to the garage with the lamp turned back on.

    So here’s my question:

    Should I build another smaller coop for this transitioning period until they’re up to size and can more readily integrate?


    I feel they’re going to outgrow this new playpen area quickly.

    64023A25-E433-4D7F-9BBE-CD73CF97C5A7.jpeg

    Here’s a photo of their pen area. Please excuse the mess.
     
    doublecrossranch likes this.
  2. MerazT

    MerazT Chirping

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    I actually built a lot of bidding spots in the run, they really like to hide in cynder blocks, and plastic totes with holes like from the grocery store they use for vegetables, I put them in the run when i was transitioning them out of the garage in different time increments at night however the older pullets don't bother them so I'd let them sleep there at night eventually they got used to them and don't bother them any longer ...here's a picture of one of the cynder block and basket set up. They'd come out when they'd feel comfortable and go back in by themselves. The bigger pullets were to big to enter but perfect for the little ones. I put food and water for them to in the baskets. Hope that helps, at least that's what I did, lol
     

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  3. Quackter

    Quackter Songster

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    Feathered out like that they can handle the cool pretty well. Like MerazT was saying, make sure they can hide from the big ones. It sounds like she did good with a make shift size sorter.
     
  4. CheeseandCackles

    CheeseandCackles In the Brooder

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    So I wanted to move them outside because they were so feathered I’d thought they’d be O.K. Then this TSC chick shamed me for thinking that and said I should leave them inside for another 3 months. I was kinda stunned. I will say last night it dropped to 61 outside, but thought the coop would stay warm enough with body heat.

    Thank you MerazT, I will look into constructing some hiding places.
     
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  5. Quackter

    Quackter Songster

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    Yeh, I'd say until winter your hens are the bigger danger. I lost a little RI Red hen last week, they had been in together for a week. 12 chickens in a 25x40' bushes and places to hide ,I "know" which hen did it and she's gonna be soup. The mean one is a black australorps, known for being all sweet and docile. They are with people, but she's down right vindictive with other hens. The other australorps I have doesn't act like that. Just keep an eye on them. TSC doesn't always have the best advice.
     
  6. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Free Ranging

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    My Coop
    These guys should be outside already. What you can do with that pen during transition is put it in your run so the older birds can see but not access them, then after a few days or so when they're used to them and stop showing too much interest, raise the pen by putting some bricks under it, so there's gaps big enough for the chicks to duck under to get out, but they can still get back in to safely eat and drink or just to take cover. Hiding spots are a must - if you don't already have clutter in your run to give the chicks hiding spot, make sure to add those before letting them mingle with the older birds.

    Here's how I did my set up: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/short-on-time-recycle-a-prefab-brooder.73985/ - my chicks were safely integrated and roosting with the adults before 6 weeks, so younger than yours.
     
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  7. CheeseandCackles

    CheeseandCackles In the Brooder

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    Wow! Awesome! And the pen in the run is a great idea. I definitely have some spare bricks that could lift it up too. What did you do at night? They go in the coop okay? Did you put the chicks in by hand after the adults went in?
     
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  8. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Free Ranging

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    Once the chicks and adults were ok in the run together I put a pen inside the coop (tight fit but it worked) so the chicks were penned separately inside the coop at night, just for night safety. After about a week they started following the adults inside and learning to roost so the pen went away.
     
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  9. slordaz

    slordaz hatchaholic

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    They shouldn't need heat feathered out like that, would give them some time divided by a close pen with divider daily and see how they do, chicks that size were with the odler members of the flock just fine when properly introduced
     
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  10. CheeseandCackles

    CheeseandCackles In the Brooder

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    So as an update I did the week plus of see without touch. But when I started the integration it was very rough. I put the pen up on cinder blocks to allow the chicks in and out without the hens getting in, and that was a big failure. When I came home from work yesterday, there were a pile of feathers where clearly one of the chicks had left the pen, gotten trapped and pecked profusely. They did have plenty of hiding spots also, but she the hens got her anyway. She survived, but now has a mangled wing and is isolated to my house. If anyone is reading this after the fact, I would strongly suggest just getting a second enclosure/coop/whatever and waiting until the chicks are full size before integration. It might be more expensive overall, but 100% worth the heartache.
     
    Quackter and chickens really like this.

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