Chicks growing at different rates - how to handle move outside?


In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 7, 2013
Denver, CO
My three gorgeous chicks are growing differently. Two are getting bigger and feathering out much more rapidly than the third. When it comes time to move them outside in a couple of weeks, how do I handle that? Do I keep the third inside longer, wait til the last one is all feathered out, or move them outside all at once? I live in Denver - we've had snow recently but that should theoretically be passing and spring should be about here. We do have big temperature swings though. Also - the smaller one is starting to have bald spots where feathers hopefully will come in on the tops of her wings/breasts...

In other news, the bathtub-as-brooder is working really well - although after only a week they may need new digs - more because they're learning to fly than it's too small. They all now fly onto my arms and shoulders when I hang out with them - I guess that makes me a chicken momma.

Here they are...
Wait until they are all feathered. You don't want to keep one inside by itself. Your 3 precious babies are already working out their pecking order. If you keep one of them inside, the other two will view her as an intruder and she will be bullied. As long as they stay together, you will never have that scenario. My hens did not get moved outside until they were 7 weeks old. Everyone was fully feathered at that age. If you must put them outside, then be certain that they have the heat lamp outside to keep them warm at night. Generally speaking, if you grow babies outside, they feather out sooner. It is possible. Just make sure they have that reliable heat source. Your chicks are beautiful!! Enjoy them! I'd like to encourage you to visit my blog. I have a post that shows how quickly they grow. You can see how feathered they are week by week. Click here for that. You'll also see my brooder (I had 4 babies at the time) which worked very well, and you see how I made a lid for it. Also, I use sand in my coop and in my run. It is by far the best bedding that you could ever use for chickens. It is odor free, feces free, creates an extremely healthy environment for chickens, and chickens are very happy in it. Click here to see that.

Our Country Chronicles
I have 10 baby chicks of 4 different breeds. And some of them are growing faster than the others. All 3 of the black australorps are growing faster, and one of the wellsummers are growing faster. One of the wellsummers has had vent issues and she is small and one of her sisters is small too though not as small as her I think. The aracauna my daughter bought is also small. The 3 buff orpingtons are also small. Are some of them bullying the others off the feed so that they can't eat? I've put a second feeder in their cage, but haven't seen any improvement the last 2 days. I bought them at the local feed store a week ago.

I've got a live feed streaming of them in their cage so you can see them.

We've been holding them to tame them. Of course the one with the vent problems gets held the most. So some probably aren't held as much. The black australorps seem like they will be good bug hunters. One of them pecked my lip tonight while I was holding her. lol

Anyway, I'm concerned if I need to put them outside sooner than I had hoped or what? This is only the second time I've raised baby chicks. Last time was about 11-12 years ago, and I raised 25 of them that time. They didn't have this kind of problem, so I'm a little confused what to do.

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