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hatching in winter when can they go out?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Mommysongbird, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    Hi everyone, I haven't been on this thread in a while, so here I am with a question.

    So we ended up with ONLY 4 pullets from our ONLY round of egg hatching. They are now 26 weeks old (6 months I guess) and we would like to add a few more to the coop. Our coop is big enough for about 7 - 10 FULL size birds (it is 4 feet x 6 feet with a run size of 4 feet by 14 feet, 6 feet of the run is under the coop). Our girls that we have now are not going to be very large birds at least I don't think they will, they are barnyard mutts mixed with Araucana and something?? Two of them are slim with tufts of feathers on their heads, one is white with black spots here and there and the other is solid black. The other 2 are a bit heavier and have tufts of feathers on either side of their faces, one is solid black and the other is EE color.

    I know when we get our eggs again, they all will be from the same people possibly and will be a barnyard mix again, so who knows what we will end up with, probably the same as we have most likely.

    So to my question, if we start some eggs in the incubator on the first day of November, they should hatch 21 to 23 days later and should be about 10 weeks old by January 31. Our winters are sometime pretty cold, but usually don't get below zero. Would these new birds be able to go strait out to the coop with the older girls or would we have to keep them seperate??

    Of course all this will depend on whether or not we get heat back in our house this week or not!
     
  2. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    If you use the minimum space requirements of 4 sq ft inside plus 10 sq ft outside you actually only have room for 5. (Technically your coop could hold 6, but the run is only 56 sq. ft. so five there.)
     
  3. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    I would keep them separate until they are about the same size. The older birds will pick on them establishing their pecking order and can really hurt the younger birds. If you do put them together make a place where the younger birds can escape to but not the older birds. I used a cage and made an opening just wide enough for the younger birds to get through but the older birds couldn't fit. The younger birds would come out and when the older birds would chase them, into their cage they went. Eventually the younger birds would come out more and more and the older birds lost interest in chasing them. Also I would let them free range together but I always had the cage available for the younger birds to escape into. I put plenty of treats out when I let them out and the older birds seemed more interested in the treats until the treats were gone then they may chase the younger ones or if the younger birds got to close to the older birds treats. This is just my opinion. I'm sure there are many ways to integrate the birds.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  4. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    I have 4 different age groups in my coop Nd haven't had any problems. I have adult hens Nd a rooster 12 week olds, 5 ,week olds and 4 week olds and I must be lucky. I use a dog crate to introduce young birds. No problems.
     
  5. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    I have a dog crate that I can put them in inside the run and we have a little wood 'planter' thing that we are going to turn into a small coop with a very small run, but I am more worried about putting them out in January in this smallish coop (would probably put them in the big coop one evening during roost, so they could all wake up together) but worried about them getting too cold.

    Would they be too young to go out in January into the smaller coop?? The smaller coop and run will be right beside the bigger one, so they could socialize during the day time for a few days/weeks but I am worried about the age as far as the cold weather goes.
     
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Quote:I didn't have a problem when mine were young like that too. If Mommysongbird's pullets are 26 weeks now and she hatches chicks out and when they reach 10 weeks old, the older birds will be between 9 and 10 months old.
     
  7. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:I didn't have a problem when mine were young like that too. If Mommysongbird's pullets are 26 weeks now and she hatches chicks out and when they reach 10 weeks old, the older birds will be between 9 and 10 months old.

    At 10 weeks they will almost be the same size as the older ones she shouldn't have a problem, my 12 week olds are only a tad bit smaller but not much. They are doing fine.
     
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Quote:If they are 10 weeks old they should be pretty well feathered out. can handle cool weather. I am a softie and even though they may not need it I do provide a heat lamp for them until they reach around 12 weeks. I also make sure their coop is draft free. Ventilation is a good thing.
     
  9. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Is there a way to hang a heat lamp in your coop. Do you work? I would do this on the evening before your days off if so, that way you will be able to observe everyone's behavior even if it is cold out. I think they will be alright all together. That is just my opinion. I have a 8 x 8 coop, that is why I suggested the the dog crate. I didn't notice where you are from Mommysongbird, (my name is Michele, what is yours?) By January here in Ohio it is really cold, snowy and down right nasty.
     
  10. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    Quote:Is there a way to hang a heat lamp in your coop. Do you work? I would do this on the evening before your days off if so, that way you will be able to observe everyone's behavior even if it is cold out. I think they will be alright all together. That is just my opinion. I have a 8 x 8 coop, that is why I suggested the the dog crate. I didn't notice where you are from Mommysongbird, (my name is Michele, what is yours?) By January here in Ohio it is really cold, snowy and down right nasty.

    I am home all day, we homeschool so watching them is not a problem and if need be we can keep them in the house until they are 12 weeks or so. Our girls we have now went out at 6 weeks, but I am thinking that 6 weeks may be too soon in the winter months. We will be getting rid of any roos early on (since I know what to look for now) and I have someone who will take them.

    I am Robin, we are in Virginia (southwest) so our winters are not usually too bad, but since we have had such a HOT summer without much rain, I expect our winter to be a little more 'wintery' this year, at least that is the way it usually happens.
     

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