Help! My Chicks are Escape Artists!!

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
663
336
Central Oregon
I'm freaking out here...getting ready for church this morning and my 2-1/2 week old chicks are constantly jumping and trying to get out of the brooder!!! What the heck? I'm using one of those plastic bins...it's a big one...stands 18" tall. I noticed a week ago one of the chicks starting to jump so I cut the lid so that there was an opening for the light but when I cut it it ended up a bit big on the opening. so I'm using a piece of cardboard (weighted down with a magazine) on one side of the opening, and a hank of chicken wire on the backside of the lamp area, but the little buggers are STILL trying to get out!!
barnie.gif


They are inside, along with my little chihauhua Zoe, so I'm deathly afraid that if one of them gets out it's history if Zoe gets it....HELP PLEASE!!

I have located a huge cardboard box (I mean BIG) and I'm working on it out on the porch, but from what I've learned here at BYC I shouldn't put them "outside" til they have feathered out somewhat. Mine are getting their feathers, but still have lots of down. I'll be putting their heat lamp into the porch brooder, but I'm freaking out here...

Help, please!!!
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ellie32526

Songster
7 Years
Oct 21, 2012
423
21
103
North Texas
I'm freaking out here...getting ready for church this morning and my 2-1/2 week old chicks are constantly jumping and trying to get out of the brooder!!! What the heck? I'm using one of those plastic bins...it's a big one...stands 18" tall. I noticed a week ago one of the chicks starting to jump so I cut the lid so that there was an opening for the light but when I cut it it ended up a bit big on the opening. so I'm using a piece of cardboard (weighted down with a magazine) on one side of the opening, and a hank of chicken wire on the backside of the lamp area, but the little buggers are STILL trying to get out!!
barnie.gif


They are inside, along with my little chihauhua Zoe, so I'm deathly afraid that if one of them gets out it's history if Zoe gets it....HELP PLEASE!!

I have located a huge cardboard box (I mean BIG) and I'm working on it out on the porch, but from what I've learned here at BYC I shouldn't put them "outside" til they have feathered out somewhat. Mine are getting their feathers, but still have lots of down. I'll be putting their heat lamp into the porch brooder, but I'm freaking out here...

Help, please!!!
he.gif

I used the cardboard box my freezer came in for my brooder and suspended a heat lamp overhead to keep the temps right. When the chicks were about 8-10 weeks old I moved them into the storage shed that was to become their new henhouse. We had not completely finished building it out, but they were getting crowded.

If you use the cardboard box, I would still keep them in a place where they are protected from drafts and extreme temps until they are fully feathered. You also need something on top to keep them from flying out. Once they learn they can fly they will start testing their wings. I had some trying to escape too, but I made a wire top to cover the box so they couldn't fly out. They are pretty defenseless against any predators right now.
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,066
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
There's no reason that they can't get out into their big box on the porch right away, as long as you have the brooder lamp at the right height to give them the temp they need which should be at 70 - 80 degrees by now. I do hope that their brooder bin doesn't have the top completely closed in with the lid and light. That's a recipe for disaster with cooked chicks. A wire top will help with air circulation. I only speak up, because I almost cooked my chicks last week in a bin when the dimmer switch malfunctioned. Their bin had a wire lid on top, and even so, the temp got up to 110.
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
663
336
Central Oregon
There's no reason that they can't get out into their big box on the porch right away, as long as you have the brooder lamp at the right height to give them the temp they need which should be at 70 - 80 degrees by now. I do hope that their brooder bin doesn't have the top completely closed in with the lid and light. That's a recipe for disaster with cooked chicks. A wire top will help with air circulation. I only speak up, because I almost cooked my chicks last week in a bin when the dimmer switch malfunctioned. Their bin had a wire lid on top, and even so, the temp got up to 110.
Thanks for the info! Here in Central Oregon the night temps are still pretty well down there, like right now it's 36. The box I'm going to use out on the porch is big...BIG. It's about 3-1/2 feet square and is 28" tall. With the temps still low at night, even with their light, I'm afraid they'll get too cold....DILEMMA!! My temps in the current brooder have maintained a constant 85-89 degrees and they still sleep under it and sometimes "around" the light. So I don't think that's the problem. I've got escape artists, plain and simple I fear....YIKES!
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
663
336
Central Oregon
Yes, I've done that in "spots". What I did was take the lid that came with the bin and made an L-shaped cutout on one end to accommodate the light, but my handy-dandy cutting skills I ended up with a cutout that was a little big. So I'm using a piece of cardboard weighted down with a magazine on one side of the 'hole' and a hank of chicken wire on the backside of the light...but they're STILL trying to get out! I've tested the temp in their bin and it's right at 88 degrees so it's not that it's too hot or too cold...can't figure it out. Guess I have escape artists, like it or not!
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
663
336
Central Oregon
Is your porch enclosed? If the porch is not predator proof you may have a HUGE problem with predators......
Not in the typical sense. It has three sides that are plastic'd right now (from the winter) and the other side sits against the trailer. So it really isn't predator proof. I'm almost beginning to think that I'll have to keep them in the house til 6-8 weeks or fully feathered out and then put them to the coop straightaway. I'll jury-rig electricity out to the coop and provide them with a light just in case it gets too cold for them at night....aaaaaaaaaaaack!!
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iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
663
336
Central Oregon
I just had a thought! Could it be that because my bin/tub is "clear" they can somewhat see to the outside world and that's whats driving them to want OUT???? Just a thot....can you tell I'm getting desperate??
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