Fully Fledged...???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jcbydesign, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. jcbydesign

    jcbydesign Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 21, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I hear the phrase "fully fledged" referred to but what exactly is that, what do they look like and how can I tell? My three chicks have lost most of their down and have bald areas under their arm pits. I want to move them into the coop but I understand I need to wait until they are fully fledged...but I don't know what that looks like. Help! [​IMG][​IMG]) Thanks a bunch.
  2. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I always thought 'fully fledged' and 'fledgeling' referred more to birds that had to be able to fly before they could make their own way in the big wide world. I personally wouldn't use it when talking about chickens, but maybe I'm in the wrong there...

    As to your question about moving chicks into the coop, I'd say once they are fully feathered out and off the heat lamp they're ready to go out in the coop. But don't just chuck them in there to mix with the big chickens straight away cause they'll most likely get their butts kicked. I always put them in a corner of the coop separated from the big ones by chicken wire. leave them like that for a couple of weeks and keep an eye on how much interest the big ones are showing in them before you take the chicken wire away and let them mingle freely.

    I usually put my chicks out in the coop at about 9 weeks and keep them separated for another 3 weeks or so. But right now I've got three 12 week olds still in the brooder cause they're quite small and cause it's pretty cold here just now. I'm going to put them out in the coop this week I think, maybe with a 60w bulb for some additional heat...

    Hope that went some way to answering your question [​IMG]
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don't know a good way to describe it or anything specific to look for. It means they are fully covered with feathers. With most chickens that is somewhere around 4 to 5 weeks old. I've never waited more than five weeks old to turn the heat lamp off. When they have their wings down, those bald areas will be covered, but I can understand the concern.

    My 3' x 5' brooder is in the coop. It is mostly wire, but with a draft guard to keep the wind off the chicks, and has tremendously good ventilation. I keep one area of the brooder fairly warm, starting about 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit and raise the light as they grow. This past spring when I put one day old chicks in the brooder, the far corner of the brooder was 70 degrees during the day. I have no idea how cool that corner actually got at night. The chicks spent the first two days mostly under the heat lamp, but by the third day they were playing all over the brooder. When they got cold, they would go back to the heat. A lot of people would be amazed at how long it took for some three day old chicks to get cold enough to go back to the heat.

    With my set-up, mine get used to the weather pretty quickly but with a safety net. I don't know what your conditions and circumstances are so it is a little hard to offer specific advice. I suggest getting them used to colder weather for a week or so if they are not already and you really do have cold weather. Then, if you have a draft-proof coop and decent ventilation, move them permanently outside. Depending on their age and your conditions, they may be able to go permanently outside now.

    Again depending on their age, expect them to sleep in a pile on the floor. My brooder raised chicks usually do not try to roost overnight on the roosts until they are around 10 to 12 weeks old. They are not cold, they just get a lot of spiritual comfort sleeping in a pile. My broody raised chicks often start roosting at about 5 weeks with Mama, but the brooder raised are not in a hurry.

    Hope this helps a bit. Good luck!

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