Failed miserably moving to chicks to coup

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by TominWa, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. TominWa

    TominWa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2017
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    Weather 40s /60s age about five weeks. Thought.....thought.....putting up a big cardboard box on the floor with a nice light (anchored twice per suggestions on the forum) and put my little girls into their new home. Nice and warm in the box inside the coup. Deep litter flooring no less.

    It worked pretty good all day. Checked on them constantly. Now, they are fairly tame....fairly.....they walk up in the brooder to my outstretched hand and peck as the little goodies. Some like their little necks rubbed and a couple will step onto my hand when I push it under them and play airplane with me. We all get along but it isn't a big love fest. Mostly they tolerate me and treat me as staff.

    About 9:30pm I went out to check on them for the last time and all of them ran to me...ran, and started jumping on me. SAVE ME! SAVE ME! they chirped with a hint of desperation. One tried to climb up me.

    I was weak, helpless. I put them back in the cat carrier and back into the house and "home" into their brooder. Glad I didn't take it down. Then they all piled on top of one another for a while, despite the warm temperature for a few minutes.

    I did something wrong.

    They say around here on the forum that 6 weeks is the date. Some say "oh just put up a light". Me, I'm waiting for the 6 week mark. I suspect the weeks and outside temperature mean it's all different as to when or how to take them outside permanently. I don't know. I did something wrong.

    Raising chickens from scratch is not as easy as one would think. [​IMG]
     
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  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    If they've been under a heat lamp 24/7, total darkness is new. New is scary. With those night time temps, they don't need any extra heat. And they don't need to be kept indoors. Your chicks will be fine and get used to nighttime. But they will be scared at first. That's completely normal for heat lamp raised chicks.
     
  3. TominWa

    TominWa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think where I messed up was my box set up. I built a three room brooder. Kitchen with the heat lamp, the bedroom off the kitchen and a playroom. Three big 6sqft boxes so the boxes without the heat lamp are darker.

    In the coup I assumed....assumed...the coup itself would serve as the bedroom and playroom, but they wouldn't get out of the box with the heat and it was too bright.

    Will wait a week till the full six weeks and move the entire brooder into the coup for a couple of weeks and cut holes in it so they can get in and out into the coup.

    I agree, the temperature shouldn't have been a problem.....they were frightened half to death and I was worried I would cause psychological damage.

    I don't want neurotic chickens! I'm going to need a vacation after all this.....wait! I can't go anywhere....they need me too much!
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Just put them out in the coop now without any brooder. They aren't going to be scarred for life or neurotic. They just have to get used to nighttime. They won't be happy for a night or two, but they get over it. The longer you wait, the more set in their ways they can be. And the more they will protest.
     
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  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You big old softy! You did something "wrong" all right. You broke the contract your chicks made you sign which states, "Under no circumstances, under severe penalties of extreme torture and other punishment, will I subject my innocent little chicks to CHANGE"!!!! The horror! Shame on you!

    If you wish to get back on their good side, go ahead and try the move again, this time installing a little night light for a few nights until they adjust to the (shudder) CHANGE.

    And listen to June. The chicks will be much happier without the confines of the brooder, and besides, it's simply unnecessary.
     
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  6. TominWa

    TominWa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A nite light? why didn't I think of that.....brilliant!

    Look, I'm not above putting on a chicken costume here......that was miserable last night. Frightened little innocent bundles of chirping goodness looking up at me with their big soft eyes. I swear one of them was crying.

    I have to admit though I am confused about the heat. Dropping into the 40s at night, there is no way I can prepare them for that, I am already turning off the heat in the house but it hovers in the 60s at night. Wouldn't that be too big of a temperature shock without a box and say a 150watt bulb to have some place to get warm?

    They really should make us take classes down at the feed store before giving us these things.
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    To put things into perspective, I'm in pretty much the same climate as you. I've got 7 3-week-old chicks outside in a grow out coop/run right now. No heat. No night light. They are happy as can be. They are a lot more hardy than most chick-care books will have you think.
     
  8. TominWa

    TominWa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2017
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    My Coop
    Thank you for your encouragement and tough love. I am obviously not as strong as you are, and am a poor excuse for a chicken keeper. Yes, I admit, they are obviously special chickens. I will attempt another run into the coup in a few days. I'm not sure I am emotionally ready after last night and need to prepare myself....and the chickens.

    We will have a long discussion tonight before reading time....together - and somehow make the transition from their pampered four star hotel into ...well....less than what they are used to.

    Pictured Scarlett, Helga, Diana, and Rose

    Perhaps a webcam and baby monitor in the coup....just for a while?[​IMG]
     
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    You can ease yourself into it with taking them for 'field trips' to their coop during the day and bring them inside in the evening.
     
  10. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    The heat thing can be confusing until you understand why we give chicks heat in the first place. It's simply a matter of compensating for their lack of feathers, down being a poor insulator against losing precious body heat.

    As chicks feather out, we reduce the amount of heat accordingly. As the feathers come in starting at one week, they require less heat to warm back up, and we also want to begin the process of weaning them off heat. By the time chicks are three weeks old, most don't require any heat during the day unless you have them outdoors where it's below freezing like it is here where I live and it's a giant conspiracy to kill all my beautiful lilac blooms. (Azygous has a big sad.)

    Where was I? Oh. By the time chicks are four weeks old, they have most of their feathers and are able to keep from losing body heat unless it's below freezing, like here where there's a conspiracy against spring and all the plants that thought it was okay to leaf out and bloom.

    If it would make you feel better, go ahead and hang a 75 watt bulb for the first night or two, but not during the day. It will help the chicks acclimatize and you will feel like less of a monster.
     

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