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Get your Chicks out the box

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Stef, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. Stef

    Stef New Egg

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    Apr 25, 2007
    France
    Is it Just me or is this keeping chicks inside for weeks a bit strange and alien to the chicks?

    Our chicks have been hatched for two weeks now. They had 1 week in the Nursery with a light and then as the spring is fairly warm they have been outside during the day ever since. They love it, running and jumping, flapping their little wings. We bring them in at night but they have no more light on and sleep sound together at temperatures of 9ish They are now 11 days and even though it's overcast and 14 degrees they were so happy to get out this morning.

    Is it just me??

    When we have them hatched with their mums, which we will later in the spring (maybe May) they are outside within a day. Surely you are over molly coddling them, keeping them indoors until so late. I think you are in danger of breeding out any hardiness in the poor creatures. Next they will want to sit in front of the Playstation during the long summer days and develop anaemia. Where does the doctrine come from?

    I hope others will back me on this? Because these chicks of yours are being kept in too long. If you are in colder climes at least get the light off a bit sooner, they are very much more hardy than you think.

    Just my two Penneth

    Stef
     
  2. Sherry

    Sherry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2007
    Southern WV
    I basically agree. I mean they have to get used to either cold or hot at some point.

    I think my probem was thinking they are babies, they can't talk and tell me what they need so I tended to overcompensate.

    I finally unplugged the light, temps in the upper 30's to lower 40's and they were/are fine.

    My Daddy told me, if they are feathered they are fine. But, as I mentioned in another post, he also told me the rooster is where deviled eggs come from.[​IMG]
     
  3. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    There are many reasons people keep chicks inside for so long. Some of them:
    1: If people are brooding without a hen, they may not have a warm enough location outside the home.
    2: Chicks raised in close proximity to you will be more friendly and easier to handle.
    3: It's easier to check on chicks when you don't have to get all bundled up to go outside.
    Having said all this, I just hatched out 5 babies in the coop under a foster biddy in January in Vermont. I did heat the coop to about 55 degrees, but the mum kept them quite warm.
    I think it's personal preference - some folks just like to have the chicks close by so they can cuddle them.
     
  4. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    Apr 4, 2007
    Mansfield, MO
    Stef, you are using your good common sense. Only you can decide when it is warm enough, etc. Good job.
     
  5. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    They are now 11 days and even though it's overcast and 14 degrees they were so happy to get out this morning.

    Do you mean 14° Celcius or 14° Farhenheit. It does make a difference!

    Most hens don't raise a clutch of chicks until spring and chicks raised under a hen are kept warm by the hen and can do well in chilly temperatures.

    Remember that everyone has different ideas about how to properly raise their chickens, and no one way is necessarily better than another. Everyone has to find the way that works best for them. My way wouldn't necessarily be your cup of tea.

    I think one of the advantages of boards like the BYC is that one gets to see how others raise their birds. It may not be the same way I raise mine, but that doesn't make it wrong. And I may learn something in the process of reading about other flocks.

    Congratulations! You have obviously found what works best for you and your flock.

    regards,
    keljonma​
     
  6. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2007
    Maine
    I agree.. on some levels. I do think the chicks are probably hardier than we think. They are so cute though, and it's fun to cuddle and hold them. Plus.. it makes them much tamer.

    On the other hand.. when humans tamper with genetics (developing new strains, etc) we DO breed much of what makes them hardy out of them.

    As a non-chicken example: One of my labs is totally an 'indoor' dog. If the temp is below 60 outside, she'll shiver until I let her back in. She has a horrid flea-saliva allergy. She could never survive 'on her own' in the wild, despite her wolf forebearors. Our other dog, on the other hand, LOVES to lay outside in the snow when it is 20 degrees out, watching whatever is going on. He has been known to kill wild things (mice and skunks, mainly). He is very hardy, and probably could have made it without us coddling him (heaven forbid! He's such a love bug!)

    And I also agree, you have to use common sense. But a real hen 'mom' can't be over-rated as far as keeping her babies warm, no matter what the temp.

    >>just on a side note.. your tone is a little harsh. I hope that is just my reading of your post? It could be a little offensive to some. [​IMG] <<
     
  7. Stef

    Stef New Egg

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    Apr 25, 2007
    France
    I am not sure what you mean by Harsh QotL? I read it back to see but I see nothing I consider Harsh?. I am sorry if you feel that. I will try to soften my speech.

    I am just a little concerned when people seem to have to go to so much trouble to house chicks for so long. If I were a little chick I would not want to spend my chickhood stuck in a cardboard box under a harsh lamp when I could be outside playing in the grass.

    Almost every piece of advice I read says keep them in for 5 to 7 weeks and lower the temperature slowly, with respect this is nonsense. Only my opinion of course but if you live in a moderate climate and follow these guides you are in my opinion subjecting the babies to unnatural hardship. If you need proof just let a week old chick out on a warm spring day and watch it run and try to fly as it plays with it's siblings. Yes a mother can't be substituted but when you choose to incubate you also have to choose to play mum.

    We don't leave them out at night until they are about 4 weeks weather permitting.

    keljonma. 14 degrees C if it were F that would be -10 degrees C brrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

    Here they are out 21 April in France Max Temp 17 degrees C

    We have a little triangle as a run, in which they spend sun up to sun down.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    wow is it really that cold? And the chicks thrive in it? Amazing...I didn't realize the temps were so low. But hey, if that works for you who am I to question it? If they are thriving then you know what you are doing for sure. Keep the pictures coming as they are so cute.
     
  9. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2007
    Maine
    Stef,

    I appreciate that!

    Your chicks certainly look happy and healthy! And I agree with Ozark Hen, keep the pictures coming!

    -Meg
     
  10. eggchel

    eggchel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    14 to 17 degrees Celsius equals 57 to 62 degrees Fahrenheit.

    chel
     

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