Help! Outgrowing Brooder!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RawhideChicks, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. RawhideChicks

    RawhideChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 17 4.5 week old chicks (2 of which are silkie bantams; rest are all large breed). I'm in Alabama and the weather is running 60s in the day with upper 30s-low 40s at night. They are bursting out of the indoor brooder and seem unhappy. I'd love to move them into their outdoor coop but I am afraid it's too cold. They would be confined to the coop which is very secure and well-built. When will it be safe for me to move them? I don't want to use supplemental heat plus it would be difficult for me to get electricity to the coop that could power a heat lamp. Maybe could run a heating pad? I have to run extension cord from my house and it's a pretty long way.

    I need your suggestions!!!

    Thanks![​IMG]
     
  2. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Are they fully feathered out yet? Mine usually aren't until 5 weeks. I'd try to expand the brooder first rather than move them. At least for another week. After that they can all huddle up on the roost at night to keep warm, as long as it isn't drafty.
     
  3. newhenintown

    newhenintown Out Of The Brooder

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    Hayden, Al
    Good morning! Im also in Alabama so I know the weather situation pretty well. I have some 6-8 week old chicks that i just moved to the coop about a week ago. They were getting to big and too smelly for the brooder. How big is your coop? I know if they are cold yay have so many that they will huddle together and keep each other warm. I think our coldest night so far was 28° and I did turn my heat lamp on that night just because I was scared the chicks on the outside of the huddle was maybe too cold. If your coop is well ventilated and but isn't drafty then they should be fine. But I might still use some supplemental heat on our coldest nights because of their age. Also since you don't have power in the coop maybe one of those water bottles with warm water in it? You know the kind that people use instead of heating pads when they have an ache. Hope some of this helps.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. RawhideChicks

    RawhideChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks! My coop is about 4x8' inside not including the nesting boxes (I'm going to block them off) and is well-ventilated and off the ground. The chicks will be 5 weeks old Monday and are pretty well feathered. I thought I might keep the little silkies in a bit longer and a couple more of the smaller birds.
     
  5. RawhideChicks

    RawhideChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh one more thing. What kind of warmer do you mean? [​IMG]
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    They all will be fine....If your going to do the transition take them all out.....If you separate the flock you will have more problems to deal with......They will be fine....Put shavings on the floor of the Coop and they will be fine.....


    Cheers!
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. newhenintown

    newhenintown Out Of The Brooder

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    Hayden, Al

    I think this was directed towards me lol. This is what I was talking about. But they should be fine unless our temps start going way down but our weather is acting crazy for this time of year and I don't see that happening. They will keep each other warm and chickens are really built for cold weather. If it helps my mom has sulkies the same age as mine and there outside now. Have been since they were your chicks age and there doing great. Separating them isn't recommended because they may not recognize each other when you decide to put them together again and conflict can start.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. RawhideChicks

    RawhideChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes! I did mean you LOL:). Thanks for the help. I think I'm gonna get them out within the next week. They are cramped and the mess/smell is getting pretty intense [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. newhenintown

    newhenintown Out Of The Brooder

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    Hayden, Al

    Your more then welcome. I had just 12 in the brooder in my chicken room which is inside my house and I couldn't stand it anymore. The smell was horrible! Luckily they were all feathered so out they went. Our warmer then usual weather during the day has helped with their transition also. Do you still have their heat lamp on and where do you have their brooder?
     
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Have you been giving them outdoor time? If so, great. YOu might want to make them a huddle box. Simply a cardboard box that is big enough for them all to fit into with a bit of room to spare. I'd put a door on 2 sides so no one gets trapped into a back corner. The box should be high enough that there's not a lot of head room when they are standing up. Line it with extra bedding. If you put them into the coop in the morning, and leave them all day, they may go into the box at dusk. If they don't you could bring them in for the first night, and based on their reaction, leave them out overnight after their second day in the coop, or bring them in for 1 - 2 more nights. Then, they should be good to go. Don't let the chick theatrics get to you. They HATE change, and while they'll have a blast with the extra space, they will most likely freak out as bed time rolls around. They'll scream like they're being killed, simply b/c they are in a new place and it's getting dark! Don't hold the silkies or smaller ones back. It will make integration harder on them when you do kick them out. I'd do an all or none approach.
     

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