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chicks first trip outside? cleanliness? need pen?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by GoodEgg, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Hello all,

    I love all the info I get here. I'm learning so much and I love hearing so many ideas and what happened with everyone else.

    I have a couple of new questions.

    I want to take the chicks outside soon, if it is ok. (Someone mentioned having "clean" pasture ... my first question is whether or not it's even ok to take them out.) They are vaccinated for Marek's and cocci, no medicated feed. Have Pullorum certif. I have 4 ducks with unknown background from feed store, healthy, but no info on them. Ducks free range. Can chicks go where the ducks have been, or do I need to divide the yard, or wait until they are older? They are a little over 2 weeks now, and I had planned to take them out in another week or so if possible.

    The second question is about how they will act. When I first took the ducklings outside, I was afraid they'd run away and created a secure pen first. I needn't have worried. They will NOT leave one another, and at that age (about 3 weeks) would not leave the nearby human either. They didn't always want to be picked up and put back into the box to be brought inside, but they would NOT run away, and all I really needed was a little place to herd them into to make it easy to pick them up.

    I wonder about the chicks? Will they stay with us and learn to follow us around? Or will they scatter and need a pen (with very small mesh!) for safety?

    I don't intend to leave them alone at all, they are still far too vulnerable to hawks, and anything else. I always stayed right with (hovering over!) my ducklings at that age, unless I put them inside a fully enclosed cage. Just wanted to know if I need a pen then, or if they will be ok?

    Thanks!
    trish
     
  2. Melbourne's_girl

    Melbourne's_girl New Egg

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    Jun 3, 2007
    I don't know that much about ducks but in terms of chicks i think they would be fine outside. I don't think it is very likely for them to catch some disease just from being outside, as for the ducks i have no idea. you should probably separate the chicks from the ducks until you are sure the ducks won't harm your babies. You could try putting a fence between them so they could get used to each other at first. Hope this answers your questions!
     
  3. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

    724
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    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Thanks, Melbourne's girl! [​IMG]

    And I can at least answer my own question about the pen.

    I took a couple of the chicks outside today while a friend was here to help. After just a moment of looking around and peeping, they started following me closely, at a run if necessary, and sitting on my feet or right between them. Then they flew up on me and got on my shoulders, and one pooped on my shirt.

    No worries about them running away or being hard to catch at least! They stick MUCH closer than the ducklings did!

    I got a few more as an experiment, and had 5 outside. They felt a little more secure in a group and were less sure about following, unless 2 started for me and the rest came as well. Still they don't run away and prefer to have me right there and them standing on my feet. They started eating a little grass and chasing bugs too. (Have been on grit for over a week.)

    The ducks watched from a distance. Kupo thought about coming over (he's probably the most aggressive) but he didn't.

    I have hopes this can work out! Now I need to get the pen built, because all of a sudden the brooder box looks small when all 26 are awake and moving about! (Brooder is about 2 x 5 feet.)

    Thanks, just wanted to let everyone know in case anyone searches for this info!

    trish
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2007

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