Different age chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by terjul, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. terjul

    terjul Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2013
    Mesa, AZ
    I have 3 girls that are 7 weeks and pretty much feathered out, and 6 girls that are only 4.5 weeks. We bought them all at the same time and they've been in the brooder together. We'd like to move the three older girls out to the coop next week, but we're worried that if we separate them, they will pick on the six others when they make the move to the coop in a month. Has anyone had experience with multiple ages in a brooder?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Yes they will not be friends in one month if you separate them. However, I don't tolerate a crowded brooder for long and so you do what you must LOL.
     
  3. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How well feathered out are the younger chicks and what's the weather look like where you are? If the youngin's are already feathering out well and it's not supposed to get very cold where you are, you could probably put them all out together, but like ChickensAreSweet said--if you separate the chicks for more than a day or two, it will reset the pecking order, and they'll have to sort things out when they meet again.
     
  4. kelloggscrafts

    kelloggscrafts New Egg

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    Nov 16, 2013
    I am very new to this. Just got my first 6 chicks 2 weeks ago they are doing well and have wing feathers. I live in Las Vegas, NV. I was just wondering how long before they can be put in the coop outside. I still have a heat lamp on them. I'm not sure when they can go to the coop-- the weather here is about 40 degrees at night.


    any suggestions would greatly be appreciated.
     
  5. terjul

    terjul Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2013
    Mesa, AZ
    The younger girls are all feathered, except a few that are still missing their back feathers. I'm in Phoenix so the days are in the 60's and the nights are in the 40's, however both of those temps are supposed to be dropping about 10 degrees in the next week. We're able to put a warming lamp in the coop, but I'd hate for them to get sick if we put them out too soon. My three bigger girls are sooo ready to 'fly the coop' so to speak, they're just getting too big for the brooder.

    Thanks so much for your advice...its appreciated!
     
  6. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, for what it's worth, we have a clutch of four chicks who barely have any feathers at all who have been eagerly foraging outside any day we'll open the door for them--even days when the temperature is barely above freezing. The main difference is that they have a broody hen to warm them up when they get chilly, but an accessible heat lamp will be a perfectly acceptable substituted if you can manage it. If in doubt, put them out and watch them. If they start chirping loudly in protest and huddling together, they're too cold, but it sounds like they're old enough to make the transition, especially with a heat lamp just in case.
     
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Heat requirements for chicks:

    90-95 degrees the first week of life and decrease by 5 degrees per week until fully feathered (even the head) - usually at 6 weeks of age. However, for winter chick-rearing, I give them at least 2 months with heat (toward the end it is just a 100 watt bulb available to them as they go in and out of their coop).

    I do let the chicks out of the coop onto grass at 3 weeks of age during summer, with the ability to go back to their heat lamp at will. But this is only during the nice weather part of the year. In winter it is basically raising them inside until you feel temps are OK to keep the coop pop door open. Usually in winter the cold air just blows in and makes the chicks cold unless they are already going in and out.

    When they are around 3 weeks of age you have to watch them carefully, as some of them may still have trouble finding their way back to the heat lamp and it is best to keep their little grassy area very small (summer advice again).

    A lot of people keep them in the brooder until they are fully feathered and I would say that is the standard. I am different in that I like them to get out onto the ground like Mama hen does it. But if you don't provide overhead netting and fencing, hawks and dogs will pick them up.

    I would not put 4.5 week olds out into a 10 degree temperature unless you can maintain temps as described above inside the coop. I would not allow any of your chicks to go outside in that weather- not even the older ones. I would keep the coop door shut until they are acclimated to those temps...use your judgement on that.

    Once they get cold they kind of sit there and will slowly freeze - they lose the ability to move toward the coop (chicks do this).

    I do usually brood inside my shed coops for the whole 6 weeks anymore, using up to three brooder lights with 60-100-150 watt bulbs in them (for a total of no more than 300 watts and no less than is required to maintain proper temps, which in summer may not be much at all).

    So if you want to brood in the coop, as long as you can maintain a draft-free state with the desired temps without risk of fire, you are good to go.

    Always hang heat lamps two ways not including the clamp (think flying chickens). I use metal wire and wire them onto something. I also hang it from the cord (the shade may come off). Also - only use ceramic sockets, not plastic ones.

    Never allow a light bulb to get wet from splashing rain- it will explode.
     
  8. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the OP was saying it's going to drop BY 10 degrees making it 50s day time and 30s night time.

    And my big girls are out as long as it's above 0. They don't care at all about the cold. They were trampling through snow today.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  9. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

     
  10. terjul

    terjul Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2013
    Mesa, AZ
    Yup, it will drop by 10 degrees to the 50's during the day and 30's at night. Sorry for the confusion. Right now they're in a huge brooder in our garage and even though we clean it every 2 days, our garage still has the brooder oder. LoL So I guess since I can't seperate them, I might just have to wait for another week when my little ones are six weeks and put them all out together and make sure they are warm in the enclosed coop. Thanks so much!
     

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