housing for 4 week old chicks

ambrosegirl84

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 5, 2014
23
0
34
Montana
Hi, my first chicks are now 4 weeks old and all 3 of them are doing awesome! It is so fun to see them grow and change.

Right now I have them in the coop in a plastic tote with netting on the cover and a heat lamp. I think they are getting too big for the tote though! So a couple questions. ..

How do I go about transitioning them to the other hens and rooster? Will they harm the chicks even thoguh they have sen and heard them for a month now?

Other question has to do with Kermit my cat. He has lived with the chickens since he was a small kitten in order to protect him from our neighbor s dog. He can now climb in and out of the chicken fence freely. I'm afraid he will eat the chicks! Am I going to have to kick the hens and rooster out every morning so the chicks can run in the coop? Will my hens lay eggs outside if they are locked away from their nesting boxes?

Tia!
 

boskelli1571

Crowing
9 Years
Mar 7, 2011
3,552
1,261
371
Finger Lakes, NY
Hello & welcome! You're right - it's so much fun to watch them grow up, they are fascinating little creatures! So.....the transition thing. First, I would keep heat/warmth on them for a few more weeks until they feather out - 6-8 weeks. I would not move them in with the big girls until around 10-12 weeks, basically when they are big enough to run and hide. The older hens will pick on them and can be quite brutal. If you have some wire panels or can build a separation wall, so they can all see but not touch that would be great.
The cat - my cats go in and out of the coop with the older hens no problem. Would I trust them with small, peeping, fast moving chicks? Absolutely not - they look too much like prey. Put netting over the top of the chick compound, it should deter him.
Are you able to divide the run into 2 separate areas?? That would be the ideal solution - and yes - if you deprive them of nesting boxes they will lay outside and you may not break them of the habit when things return to normal.
Hope that was helpful. I'm sure others will chip in with advice for you - good luck!
 
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