Chicks in the winter, when can they go out side??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ElaynasChick, Nov 25, 2019.

  1. ElaynasChick

    ElaynasChick In the Brooder

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    Hello!! i have 7 chicks all 6 weeks old they currently live in my garage in a big brooder/gaylord box and the temperature is 55f in the garage (so they are used to 55f) and the out side temperature is 30f-mid 20f so when would it be okay to move them out side because that is a big temperature drop. also i am feeding purina starter grower non medicated (they have already been introduced to the soil and so signs of Coccidiosis) is this feed okay until i switch them to the layer feed when they are 18 weeks? or is there an in between feed? Thank you all.
     
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  2. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

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    They are ready to be moved out now. They are fully feathered. Birds experience temperature drops worse than that when they get older. Your birds need to get out and exposed to the normal weather ASAP so they can acclimate.
    If you are concerned about the temperature difference, give them a huddle box inside the coop to sleep in. Basically a box turned on it's side that is large enough to fit all of them in it.
    As long as your coop is dry, draft free at the roosts and well ventilated, they will do just fine.
    I would keep them on the starter for life. Just offer them oyster shell in a separate container (or two or three) on the side when they hit 16 wees old. Starter has a better protein amount than any layer feed I've found. And keeping them on a starter formula for life enables you to add chicks in the future without having to worry about them eating layer feed when you integrate them. Additionally, when hens molt, they do not need all the extra calcium of layer feed. If you intend to ever have a rooster, they don't need it either. The extra calcium can eventually cause kidney damage in birds that do not need it for shell formation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
  3. Callender Girl

    Callender Girl Crowing

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    Starter for life? Is that preferable to an all-flock feed and the oyster shell?
     
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  4. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Crowing

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    @aart has discussed this in a way that I found helpful, maybe she will do so again. We switched our layers to all-flock before we integrated our new flock in July, and everyone is doing well on it. We will probably order more chicks this spring, so I may switch everyone to grower before they arrive and then just keep everyone on that. It's kind of silly and wasteful to have different feeds if they don't need it. .. what do y'all think? It's kinda confusing!
     
  5. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Crowing

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    @Callender Girl, you should definitely keep oyster shell available in a side dish if you have layers. Also grit, of course for everybody but I'm sure you know that.
     
  6. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    It's pretty much the same thing.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    The moving the chicks out or the feed? :D

    I think both have been covered well already, but I feed Flock Raiser from brooder to butcher, with OS in a separate container for the layers.

    As for moving the chicks outside, the huddle box is a good idea.
    I've used one in the brooder after turning heat off, it takes some coercion to get them to use it, but then they are familiar with it when going out to the coop.
    Might depend on how you've managed the heat.
    More info on heat and pics of brooder and coop would help garner suggestions.
     
  8. Duckfarmer1

    Duckfarmer1 Songster

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    I’m going to chime in here for a question of my own...so you really don’t give them layer feed?? And what about the huge mess and waste that the crumbles make?
     
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  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Really....never have fed layer feed.
    I like the higher protein main feed to balance with the scratch grains I like to give.
    Plus chicks, males, and non laying females don't need the 3-4% calcium in layer feed.

    This had about eliminated and billing out for me here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/aarts-waste-free-funnel-bucket-feeder.67218/
     
  10. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

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    Calcium can build up in the systems of non-layers and give them kidney damage. So it's good for laying chickens. But not for broodies, chicks, juveniles, roosters, molting hens, injured hens, or wintering hens.

    As for crumble... depends on how you handle it. I have a couple high-sided tubs that mostly contain mess. If you're just feeding chickens, you can put water in it to make a soft block. No waste. (My ducks can't manage to eat wet feed--it packs too hard--but Miss Lydia says hers can.) And allflock does come in pellet form.
     

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