Cons of keeping chicks in the brooder too long?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ChickenParadise, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. ChickenParadise

    ChickenParadise Out Of The Brooder

    9
    0
    37
    Feb 11, 2014
    I couldn't find any article or page that listed any cons or repercussions to keeping chicks in a brooder for a longer period of time besides the added upkeep. Here in South Dakota it is really cold. For 5 silkie chicks in a 6 by 3 foot brooder, what is is wrong with keeping them until they are grown up? Will they lack foraging skills? Is it not enough space?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,699
    2,648
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    The bigger they get the more ventilation they need. Also, if you don't continually lower the brooder temperature, they never get an opportunity to acclimatize to outdoor temps.
     
  3. ChickenParadise

    ChickenParadise Out Of The Brooder

    9
    0
    37
    Feb 11, 2014
    I lno longer have a heat lamp and they are in a insulated yet unheated garage to acclimate.
     
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I think it delays development a bit. And from my experience, causes them to be a bit more flighty. The sooner they adjust, the better. However, we all have to work with what we've got.

    The garage is probably a good adjustment space. But what is really cold and how old are you chicks? Do they perch yet or still huddle?

    Also, boredom can lead to picking or fighting. If they haven't been out yet, brings some of your dirt in for them to play in and get some exposure to whatever's in your ground, so they can build some immunity. When you start to take them out, do so for short periods of time at first. Say half hour per decent day. Decent means not raining, snowing, or wind howling. But even cold or cloudy is OK with sunny obviously being the best. And provide them a huddle box where they can warm up together. They may stay in it at first because that's a big scary world they've never seen before.

    Also, when they do move out... you won't wan't the coop insulated, but rather ventilated.

    I am unfamiliar with how cold silkies can tolerate, but **heard** they don't tolerate the cold as well as standard feathered breeds since their feathers are more like down.
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,836
    4,047
    421
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    @Blooie has Silkies in Wyoming. She was worried about how well they would tolerate the sub-zero temps, but hers seem to be doing just fine this winter.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,699
    2,648
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    That's cool. Keep lowering the temperature unless you see them crowding together during the day.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,532
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    My other thought would be, how much sunlight/daylight gets in the garage or wherever they are kept? I think if they have no sunlight, you're going to run into Vit D deficiency? I'd try to get them exposure to daylight a few times a week, or supplement with Nutri-Drench or something like that.
     
  8. ChickenParadise

    ChickenParadise Out Of The Brooder

    9
    0
    37
    Feb 11, 2014
    Thanks for your replies. I have taken them out a few times already. I think that I will move them soon to their cool outside.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by