Having "empty nest" issues tonight

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mkcolls, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. mkcolls

    mkcolls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tonight we moved our 7 EEs to the chicken coop. [​IMG]

    They are 16 weeks old today, so I know, not babies anymore. They free range with the 19 week old chicks and in the past 2 weeks have been spending a large part of their day in the barn (chicken coop is at one end).

    Our brooder is in our semi-attached garage. (breezeway in between) The EEs are the most human friendly chicks that we have and every night we spend some time with them in the garage. They "talk" with us, allow touching and cuddling, and wait to settle down until after the time that we spend with them each night.

    We have 6 each BA, JG, & SLW still in the "brooding pen" in the garage, and since they are large breeds the pen was getting crowded even though they only spent the night and really stormy days inside. They just don't seem to like or want the attention that our EEs did, and we are missing them.

    So, I'm having a pity party for "pushing" the babies out of the nest and now missing them. Crazy! [​IMG]
     
  2. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OMG-same thing here!!! It's pathetic but the past 2 nights, I swear I have had this panic'd feeling like every hour wondering how they are doing. Or walking out into the shop and first thought is who Im going to pick up first-and they aren't there!! Mine are only 8 weeks old and are in cages out in the big girl coop. Tonight when the sun was going down and the big girls were settling down on their roost, my babies were in a panic'd frenzy wanting out (stepping on each other, scared peeping etc). not sure what was up with them but I felt like a horrible mom when shutting the door. And I cant go check on them now or I will startle them all. (Almost as bad as my 12 yr old gone for 3 days to a bday party!)
     
  3. mkcolls

    mkcolls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, yes, yes, just what I want to do. We waited until the big girls were on roost before moving them out to the coop. We quietly carried them out and placed them on an unoccupied roost. The EEs were off and at my feet in a flash. We dimmed the lights to try to calm them but they did not want to stay.

    In order to check on them we have to open a large sliding barn door, go through the supply room and like you said startle them all. I really want to know how they are doing.

    Thanks for understanding. It isn't fun, these growing up moments. But I wouldn't trade them for all of the laughs and cuddles.
     
  4. KarenP

    KarenP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ohhh Boy!!! I also put mine in their coop for the first time tonight!! Even though they are only 4 weeks old, i've been told to put them out this weekend because of the nice weather. Here in New Enland the weather changes rapidly, this is probably the last really warm weekend and they have to get used to it gradually. I've been bringing them out daily to play and get used to their 8 week old roommates! I put them in their little box inside their coop and they quietly went to sleep while their roommates are roosting!! I checked on them once already and i am restraining myself from checking again. If i decide to get more chicks next year i will be sure to do it earlier so i don't have to worry about this cool weather!! This is the 4th time i have put a new flock out there this year and the worrying does not get any easier!!![​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  5. mkcolls

    mkcolls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Weather was an issue here also. We have had a beautiful week of daytime temps in the low 80's and nighttime high 40's to low 50's. We have not been using any heat even in the brooder so that they were ready for the coop temps.

    I was just praying that they were sleeping and that our EE cockerel, Magoo, would step up and take care of his girls as he has been while free-ranging with the older chooks.

    We are first time chicken lovers this year and had no idea how parental we would feel after brooding them for weeks.

    Do you think having broody hens will make it easier? I feel out of control. LOL What is up with that?
     
  6. KarenP

    KarenP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:No, i don't think broody hens will make any easier!! As crazy as it sounds, we will always be their mama!!! I can't wait for the morning to make sure they are ok!
     
  7. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The older girls in my coop are right at the babies cages, trying to peck them. I have locked the big girls out in the run (aprox 25 x 35) and let the babies have the run of the coop (24 x12). We sectioned off part of our barn for the coop as well...so have the same issue-go through 2 doors to check on them. And i hate leaving them in their cage all day while Im at work...issues with knocking over food dishes or filling up thier water with pine shavings....this is like being a first time parent all over again!!! and Im in WI so worried about getting them outside in time for them to adjust to weather conditions as well.
     
  8. KirstenJL

    KirstenJL Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in north-central Ohio and got my first chicks last November. Brooded them inside for 3 weeks, then out to an unheated mudroom, then out to the coop right around New Years--pretty much the last weekend above freezing. We had a horrific winter and I worried every night, but they did fine in the insulated, but unheated coop; they all survived (I did get cold-hardy breeds). So this past summer they took turns going broody and I bought some hatching eggs and let them have at it. Up side: SO EASY to let the hens take care of everything--zero worrying on my part. They watch over the chicks, show them around, make sure they get fed, keep them warm, keep the other chickens at bay, and when they wean them the chicks are already integrated into the flock. Also, no chicks or dust in the house. Down side: The only one I have seen is that that the hens get pretty aggressive while they're in mommy-mode and keep their chicks away from me (even though the moms are hand tame and were brooded by me when they were babies). Once weaned, the chicks are shy (some of them) and more wild than their moms were. But now that my first batch is 15 weeks old, some of them are getting braver and friendlier. I haven't made a big effort to promote this, so it would probably be pretty easy to tame them if you worked at it a little.
     
  9. KarenP

    KarenP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, all worked out fine last night! When i let them out, i noticed the older ones were trying to check them out, they were not even pecking them and the babies would scream if they even got near them! I decided to give them a break and let the older ones free range so the babies could have the run to themselves for a while. Looks like i have a bunch of whiney babies!!!
     
  10. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    I've had to juggle the inside/outside bit between the older girls and babies! Argh! Will be nice when they are all closer to the same size and I can get them out of the cages-I feel like im holding them hostage. I let the big girls outside and then the babies have full run of the coop. I tried once this weekend to bring the babies outside for awhile and kept the big girls in the coop....Funny as my babies want to run after and challenge the big girls, and the big girls can and will attack them! The babies are 7 & 8 wks now-so thinking another month till they are closer in size and time needed to get them used to seeing each other?

    My concern with the cold: I will have 13 chickens in a coop aprox 12 x 24, with 3 solid cement barn walls-the 4th wall is plywood half way up, then the entire wall has fencing then covered with an extra layer of chicken wire. When winter comes I plan on covering with plastic to further help with insulating. There is still plenty of ventaliation from ceiling and roof line, door etc. I am just worried that this is a pretty large space for only 13 chickens to keep warm. I am thinking of adding in some straw bale "forts" to help as well. Think this will work?
     

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