first time chicken owner... need help.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by americanshorty26, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. americanshorty26

    americanshorty26 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2008
    Hi, My name is Amy and this is the first time owning chickens let alone even being around them. I have six beautiful hens that are almost three weeks old now. Considering my lack of experience and knowledge I think its going smoothly but I still have many questions.
    I have a large playhouse in my backyard that I am going to put them in. How old do they need to be before I can leave them out there all the time?
    Currently we have a wire fence for them to run around in. Will they be ok during the day to stay outside with no cover?
    When they do start laying eggs what do I need to do?
    What things do I need to have on handy?
    Really anything that you could tell me would be great! anything you can think of... please.
    Thanks for any info you can give me.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  2. Chicabee19

    Chicabee19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    n/a
    [​IMG]

    I am also new... so new that I don't yet have any chickens!

    Having your gals outside depends on where are you located, but if it's a warm sunny day they are definitely old enough to be out in daylight.

    I read that someone took theirs out progressively to get them used to cold or warmish temps - increasing time day by day.

    Surely other more experienced chickeners will chime in soon!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. shangri-lafarms

    shangri-lafarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2008
    NY-Upstate Adirondacks
    [​IMG] When they are fully feathered they can be outside, usually around 4-5 weeks depending on the breed
     
  4. seismic wonder2

    seismic wonder2 I got mad ninja skills

    Feb 3, 2007
    san diego ca
    Put them out when they look like chickens and not little chicks anymore.

    I'd find some way to cover their "run" to ensure nothing flies by for a snack.

    The play house is good but they will need a place in there to roost at night. My Silkies sleep on the ground in the bedding but that's a silkie thing. Most other breeds need a pole to sleep on that's a foot or so above the floor (higher as they get older) a 2x2 pole long enough for all your hens will do.

    When they get a few months old they will want a nest box to lay eggs in. Build or buy just large enough for a hen to get in and out of easy.

    Make sure they have food and water INSIDE the chicken wire just in case you forget to go feed them in the morning. If there's enough room you can keep everything inside the playhouse so they can eat and drink indoors out of the weather if it's cold or raining etc...
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  5. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

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    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Hi, WELCOME!

    This place is PACKED with info. You should find everything you need.

    Definitely go take some pictures and show them in the chick forum with their age and people will just OOZE great info on where to go next.

    Just remember to give them cover when they finally go outside. I put mine out @ 6 wks, but I just couldn't bare to part with them earlier.
     
  6. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 20, 2008
    Shamong
    I have a large playhouse in my backyard that I am going to put them in. How old do they need to be before I can leave them out there all the time?

    The brooder rule of thumb is to start at 95 deg. and reduce 5 deg. per week. So, your birds would be good if overnight it was around 80. Probably over 70 would be ok if daytime was over 80; IF they had all their feathers. Otherwise, I'd wait until they are 5-6 weeks, unless you can supply heat.

    Currently we have a wire fence for them to run around in. Will they be ok during the day to stay outside with no cover?

    Certainly, if you are there to watch them. Otherwise, I would at least get some deer nettting from Home Depot and cover the run.

    When they do start laying eggs what do I need to do?
    What things do I need to have on handy?

    You will want to supply oyster shell free choice and/or switch to a layer pellet. You will also want to collect the eggs often and eat them [​IMG]
     

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