Chicks FIRST night outside....NERVOUS NELLY!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by newchickenfamily, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. Hello BYC...

    We just put our three 7-8 week old chicks outside into their Chick N Barn/Yard for the first time. Hubby finished predator-proofing the Barn & Yard, so today was moving day. Tell me if I am doing this right:

    They spent all day in the Chick N Yard, but I did not see them step one foot into the Barn the whole day. [​IMG]

    At around 7:30 p.m., they were still scratching around in the Yard, so we rounded them up and put them in the Barn and shut the door. Tried to show them the roost, but they jumped right off and did A LOT of upset peeping for awhile, trying to get out the door. Finally settled into one corner of the barn.

    Also, we DID NOT put feed/water into the Barn for the night. Is this a mistake??? Their feed/water is in the run. Do they need the feed/water overnight??

    I read somewhere that we should keep them locked in the barn for a few days so they will get used to it, but I'm not crazy about that idea. Should we just lock them in the Barn @ night until they get used to the new digs? Thoughts on that?

    One more thing, we DO NOT have a light out there for them. We stopped using the light in their garage brooder a week or so ago. We are in Northern CA and our weather is pretty mild right now. Is no light OK?

    I'm feeling very nervous about the whole thing, if you couldn't already tell. This is our first experience with chickens. Any advice, words of encouragement would be much appreciated! BYC IS THE BEST!!!
  2. AngelzFyre

    AngelzFyre Songster

    Sep 18, 2007
    Pell City, Alabama
    I kept feed and water out 24/7 for my chicks, most slept through the night but a few did get up and always went for the feed first, then water.
    I'd especially keep water in there if it's hot/humid at all.
    If your chicken yard is contained, I don't see why you'd have to keep them up in the barn, I think it meant for you to keep them up if they stayed in a barn/coop at night and free ranged for the day so they'd know where "home" was and come back.
    I didn't keep lights on after they were adjusted to the lower temps and about to go outside but if you've got a place where you could put a nightlight in until they are used to the place(since it's new to them), they might be more comfortable if they are up and about. Otherwise, I'm sure they'll be okay without one.
  3. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    I'm sure they will be fine. They'll enjoy their new coop and run once they get used to it. You will probably have to put them in the Barn each night till they figure things out but assuming the run is attached, I would let them stay out and play all day and put them in barn to sleep.

    They'll be fine without a light as well now that they are 7-8 weeks old - as long as temps are 60 or higher.

    As far as food and water, you could put a small dish of each in barn for them so that they have it when they get up with the sunrise. They don't eat or drink at night unless they have a light on in which case they run around and chase bugs all night long and need the water at least.

    I have a thread about raising chicks naturally. I have many chicks that have never seen a heat lamp in their lives and have gone outside in a Chick-N-Hutch from day one. Never lost a chick yet.

    Good luck and enjoy watching them grow.
  4. brookwoodpat

    brookwoodpat Songster

    May 11, 2008
    How did you predator proof your chick-n-barn? I have one too. I'd like to know what you did to make it secure.

    I'm trying to leave mine out all night in it, and as you can see it is 3:46 am and I haven't gone to bed yet.... I did just check on the chickens and they were all crowded into two nestboxes. I've had my GSD out all night hoping to scare off any preds. But I have to get a few hours sleep. I almost brought them in for the night, and then came back in the house and left them out there. This is going to be very hard...

  5. goldnchocolate

    goldnchocolate Songster

    May 9, 2008
    You all are such good momma's to your babies...[​IMG]. When I put my first chickens out in their new coop I had a baby monitor set up so that I could hear them if anything was wrong [​IMG]

    newchickenfamily: How did the first night go?
    1 person likes this.
  6. brookwoodpat

    brookwoodpat Songster

    May 11, 2008
    I had a horrible scare, because usually when I go out and they are penned up, they are all out in the yard, but they weren't. One was sitting in the entrance, and didn't even get up when I approached, and I had thought it was lying there dead. I couldn't believe it, as I left my GSD out all night. Even when I got there, no one came pouring out. But when I opened it, they were all there, just in out of the sun, even though the pen is under a shady tree (but its going to be 100 degrees here -- in Maryland. And it's been this way for a few days and will be this way all week. Almost if nature is getting a dig in for the Senate not passing the Climate Security Act -- maybe they'll do something when the coasts are all underwater) Anyway, the chickens survived the night. I'm tired, but think we are starting on a new era -- no big chickens sleeping in the house. I do still have five chicks -- a week old today -- in the dining room -- 2 black star, 2 americana, 1 buff orp I'm calling Big Bertha -- she is three times the size of the others and supposedly the same age.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2008
  7. Thanks for all your words of encouragement! The first night went just fine!! [​IMG] I think I'll go ahead and put their little chick waterer/feeder in the Barn for my own peace of mind.

    Pat....If you would like I can email you photos of how we predator proofed our Chick N Barn & Yard. I think hubby did a good job. We really thought long and hard on how to keep it secure....
  8. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I know exactly how you feel. I went through the same thing a little over a week ago now only my chicks were close to 3 months old by the time i could bare the thought of putting them out in the coop and run with the other chickens. I started out putting them in the run during the day for the first 2 days, Day 3 they were going to spend their first night in the coop with the other 6 chickens who are over a year old. about 8:30 here the sun starts going down so the older birds shuffle into the coop one by one but the babies didn't want to go in the coop so i had to round them up and lock them in the kennel. I had to repeat that for about 3 days before they finally realized thats where they had to sleep. My chickens don't have ANY light in the coop but i did leave a flash light in there for the first 2 nights for about 15 minutes just long enough for them to find their spot on the roost and get familiar with where the feed and water is in there. I keep feed and water in the coop as well as out in the run and free range them during the day which means i keep a few water dishes around the yard as well. I say give it a week and they should have the routine down. [​IMG]
  9. brookwoodpat

    brookwoodpat Songster

    May 11, 2008
    yes, I'd be very interested in the pictures of how you predator proofed the chick-n-barn. I'm sure a lot of people would be also if you could post them on the forum. Either way, by email or forum, I'd be interested
  10. Aww glad they (and you) made it through the first night.

    Please post the pictures, so we can all see, would you?

    You all are such neat folks...

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: