family crisis - need them out now but don't know what to do

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chicky_Baby, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. Chicky_Baby

    Chicky_Baby Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2011
    Due to a dog related disaster I lost most of my flock. The only susrvivors now refuse to sleep in the hen house and spend their days and nights in the company of my cow. (They survived the dog attack because they flew into the upper part of the cow barn so I guess this is logical.) The down side is they lay their eggs at her feet. Needless to say I do not see a lot of whole eggs. So we bought 43 baby chicks and put them in a room of my house. Then things got messy.

    I have surgery on my arm and hand Tuesday. Hubby is still recovering from a stomach surgery that went bad and now his surgeon says he has to have another one almost immediately. Both surgeries were unexpected and we already had home health out 3 times a week due to hubby's prior surgery going septic. Things are a mess right now. We raise English Mastiffs and Siberian forest cats so my household consists of myself, hubby, our 20 month old baby daughter, 5 LARGE dogs with more on the way in 2 weeks, 6 cats with more in the way in 3 weeks and 43 chickens. Something HAS to start sleeping and pooping outside and if it isn't the chickens it WILL be me because I cannot take the pressure any more. Serious, I need them out before something eats them, steps on them or loves them to death. They are Black Austrolorps if that matters.

    I have a very nice hen house. Can I put 3 week old chicks in it if I have lots of heat lamps? Any and all suggestions welcome.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    If the older hens are there, the chicks need to be protected from them. It sounds like that may not be a problem.

    My brooder is in the coop. I heat one area of it and let the rest cool down to ambient. Lat fall, that was often in the 40's and 50's. Many people would be surprised how much time they spend in the cooler areas but they do need heat to go back to.

    As long as you are happy with predator protection, can provide one or two heated spots, and they have pretty good draft protection, they should be fine. Draft protection means a breeze is not hitting them directly or they can find a warm spot that is out of a breeze. I don't know what your coop looks like but if it is built on the ground, especially if it has bedding, it is probably OK.

    I don't know how old those 43 chicks are. My brooder is 3' x 5' and I never have a problem, but if they are pretty young you might want to put up a cardboard ring or something to kind of keep them close to the heat source a couple of days so they know where to go back to for the heat. But it sounds like yours may be old enough this is not a problem. That's the only risk I can see with a large coop.
  3. suzeqf

    suzeqf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    I say put those babies in the coop with a few lamps at one end and let the hens hang out with the cow if that's where they feel safe and when everyone is big enough to be out and about they will figure things out for themselves but you will need to keep the big girls and little girls seperated until the little girls are biggers
  4. Othylocke

    Othylocke Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 18, 2010
    Dothan, AL

    Just make sure they are safe enough from predators.
  5. gardendufus

    gardendufus Chillin' With My Peeps

    My chicks have been out in my basically open air coop since I got them at about 2 days old. I sectioned off a smallish area to keep them somewhat contained, added a heat lamp and food/water. They have been doing fine. Admittedly it's only been two weeks, but nights here in CO have been from the single digits up to a really warmish 30. It has snowed and been cold outside, but I have had no trouble keeping good temps in the area they are in.

    I DO cover most of the area I sectioned off at night to hold in some of the heat but on all but the one coldest day I uncover it to allow them the day/night changes. They seem to hang out in the portion that remains between 70-80 and they are healthy and apparently happy.

    I say go for it about putting them in the coop, especially given that your older hens seem to have abandoned it.
  6. tyjaco

    tyjaco Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2010
    Cloverdale, CA
    I'm so sorry you are going through all of this :(
  7. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I agree with everyone else. Move them to the coop and provide them with a heat lamp or two. Hopefully your coop is draft free and predator proof.
  8. Desiree Brown

    Desiree Brown Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2012
    Schoharie NY
    we turned an old horse stall into a "chick stall" we put a top on it and a door on it and hung a heat lamp from the top we put on it. then as they got older we would open the door for them to have more room until they were big enough to get up onto the nesting boxs. We had them in there, i would say a couple days old, in March/April NY weather.. They did fine.

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