First night outside....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by arlee453, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    I worked all afternoon to put an outdoor weatherproof outlet on my building post so I could go ahead an move my babies outside. I moved their brooder light out into the 'chickNbarn' so they would have some heat and light tonight like they are used to, and moved the pan that was the base of their brooder pen out into the coop and filled with fresh pine so they would feel at home.

    They just are so much happier scratching around in their pen. Since the wire is 1" squares, and there is a top over the run, I figure they should be pretty safe out there. I did bury the wire out from the pen also to deter any night time diggers, and the coop has a floor of hardware cloth frames that I can take out and clean, but fit very snugly to keep out any bad visitors. Oh, and the coop/run is inside my backyard chainlink fence, and right next to my collie's run which should deter any larger predators like coons or possums.

    It's not been below 75 at night for over a month, or for the next week's forcast. It's been in the mid 90s minimum during the day, so I think they will be just fine even though they are a couple days short of 3 wks.

    Anyone feel that this was a bad idea?? I don't want to put them out too early, but since they are all the same age and cool nights are not an issue, I think they should be OK even though they are not fully feathered yet. Can you tell I'm having nervous mommy issues?

    I went out to check on them a bit ago and 5 were in the barn, and 3 outside. I moved the ones out in the pen into the coop to help them figure out where they are supposed to sleep. So cute to see 2 of them on the roosts already - they grow up so fast... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2007
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    A couple of pics of my chicks' first night outside...

    They've figured out the roost already...
    [​IMG]

    The Chick N Barn lit up at night...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Cute sitting on the roosts! [​IMG]

    Sounds like you did a good job of predator-proofing, and they should be plenty warm enough with the light, I would think.

    I'm just learning myself, but it seems to me that these chickies are sometimes tougher than we give them credit for being. Having said that, though, I can't tell you how many times I checked on mine the first few nights out ... [​IMG]

    Glad they are enjoying themselves out there!

    (You know, maybe in a way it's even easier on them. Mine were older when I put them outside, and they had gotten so used to coming back into the brooder after being outside all day that it kind of freaked them out to be moved. Yours probably suffer less stress being moved than mine did!)

    Enjoy them! [​IMG]

    trish
     
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Well, they did great! 8 chicks went into the coop, 8 happy chicks out there this morning.

    The light seemed to do fine - it was definately warmer in there this morning than outside, but it's already 78 out there, and the chicks have no interest in staying near the light.

    I turned it off for the day, and filled up their big girl feeder for the first time.

    *sniff*... they grow up so fast... ;()
     
  5. silkiebeginer

    silkiebeginer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 31, 2007
    My babies have been outside for 4 or 5 days now. They are 17 days old. They are in a safe pen with two hay nest for them. They are doing great, i started to put a heat lamp out there but my husband thought that was crazy since it is 75 at the very least. So i didn't. They huddle up together and sleep all night. Mind you there are 28 of them. They usually get in two different groups. It hasn't effected them in a bad way at all. They love the room and now the ones that can fly practice flying up on the roost. My silkie babies jump and hop after every bee and butterfly that happens by. I was worried about them but i noticed that the chicks with the mama hen were sleeping beside her at night instead of under her, so if she thought it was ok then its ok. Shes the expert. Now we have all the babies together. My bator babies and the hen babies. all are doing great.

    Jennifer
     
  6. Chelly

    Chelly Cooped Up

    May 11, 2007
    Great to hear how well they did.

    My girls are about three weeks, and really love being outside - now if we can get the coop and run finished, they too will go out as soon as possible!
     
  7. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Hi Arlee - they'll be fine with the temps - you don't need the light at night. I know many others will disagree with me on this but I raise mine as close to natural as possible. If they had hatched to their mothers in early spring while still cold, she would have them out running around farm yard all day. I put my 2 days old BO chicks out in their chick-n-hutch right away. It's in 90/100 temps during day and not below 75 at night. They've done great. During the day I open the hutch, to their constant chirping demands to do so, and they fly out and have free run of the large run (30' x 60') while the big girls are out free ranging. Mine are about 2 weeks old today and having the time of their lives running free. They hate going back into that hutch if it's still daylight out and pace in front of door peeping very loudly. I figure they build up immunities and learn how to be chickens and nothing ever froze to death at 75 degrees hot/humid weather.

    My previous two batches went outside at 2 weeks in April when temps were still "cold" for us and 1 week old in May when temps had started staying warmer. We still had a few nights down to 40s and I used a heat light on those nights only. They all began free ranging around our several acres at about 4 weeks old. Like raising kids, I learned a lot from those first two batches - mainly that they are tougher than we think. This last batch was raised sort of like my third kid, without a whole lot of involvement from me. [​IMG] and they are the friendliest and most well-adjusted chicks I have. They have been using the roost perch in their chick-n-hutch almost from day one and free-ranging (though in confines of fenced run) from 3 days old. They have so much fun and are a joy to watch.
     
  8. Chelly

    Chelly Cooped Up

    May 11, 2007
    Ruth, you have so much good stuff to share, I too was so afraid to leave my babies outside in the little run I made, but they LOVE being outside, even in temps in the low 70's they are still running around having fun.
    I just put them outside now - its a little damp from a big storm yesterday, but they jumped right in - flapping their wings - then I put in a peach! I cut off most of the flesh to eat myself, and now I see 8 little bums in the air in a circle around whats left of the peach!
    I think from what I've seen with my babies, the wind or breeze makes most difference, even if the temp is low, if there is no breeze they're fine! I baracaded the little tractor thing on two sides, as it was open all round, and that makes a big difference. (i put a piece of wood up on a third side if the wind picks up more)
     
  9. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

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    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    Hi Chelly - yes they do have more fun running around. I just came in from putting mine back in their hutch for their mid-day nap. The big girls come home around this time and like to snack, drink, and take a nap under their coop. The little ones had literally been running and flying around since this morning. I put them in their hutch and they ran to the food and water - took a few quick bites/qulps and then all collapsed on the hay floor of the hutch exhausted and sleepy and ready for their nap. Like a bunch of little kids. In a couple of hours both big girls and little girls will be up and ready to run again. If I don't open that run gate and let the big girls out they honk and bonk till I do. If I don't open that hutch and let the little girls out they peep and peep till I do. I figure they must be truly happy running free so that's what I let them do.

    I liked your story about the peach - I also feed the babies all of the same good foods I feed the adults and I haven't found anything they don't like yet. Everyone's absolute favorite is shredded cheese. If I toss out a bag of mixed/assorted foods, they will find and eat any cheese first. It's high in protein and calcium but they act like it's chicken crack.

    Here they are free-ranging inside run:

    [​IMG]


    And here are the big girls watching the "show" from outside the gate:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2007
  10. Chelly

    Chelly Cooped Up

    May 11, 2007
    How CUTE.... I need to try the cheese! I tried spaghetti and they looked like I was trying to set them up! It dried before they ate it.
    So far teh peach was the biggest hit, I tried bread and they didn't like it much at all.

    I can't wait to get our coop done, I might just have to do it myself, cause honeslty DH doens't seem to be doing much at all - been messing with the lawnmower all dang day! (I've had a heck of a day, I was in a good mood to start off with but now I'm just annoyed!)
     

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