How much space, how soon?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ack13, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. ack13

    ack13 New Egg

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    Jan 2, 2008
    I've been doing a lot of reading and research into caring for the 10 new chicks (its my first time) that will arrive in around a month...and while there are many great pictures of brooders to be had, I'm having trouble determining how fast my chicks will grow, and how soon their space requirements will change. At what size/age can I put them into the prepared coop?

    A few more details- We will have standard Rhode Island Reds, Silverlaced Wyandottes, Orpingtons, and Blue Polish. Currently, I've been planning to start them in large quickly-replacable cardboard boxes with rounded insets and wire lids. They are going to be living in my basement, unheated but with lamps, until they are ready to be put into the hen house- which can be heated with lamps if need be. I live in the Bay Area in California- so while it is never really very cold, they will certainly need heat lamps until they are 4-6 weeks. Correct?


    It would be fantastic if someone could post a few photos of their chicks at different weeks to give me a better idea of how big the birds will be...and how soon they will outgrow the boxes I've prepared for them! Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008
  2. silky ma

    silky ma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    depending upon weather. If it is still cold out I would wait for the first month. Some breeds tollerate cold better than others. I raised 3 silkies in a home made brooder. I used a est. 24 gallon or 96 quart tote that I got from home depot. A wire top and put a heat lamp on a pole for them after hatching and a feather duster as a mom substitute.

    Basic space per chicken is 2-4 square feet. The more room the less stress. Id say when pretty much fully feathered they can go into a coop . Just make sure to have a heat lamp set up in :/case they get cold.
    You dont say what breed they are so pics of any chicks really wont help. Nor did you say what your boxes are like or where they are located.
     
  3. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

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    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
  4. ack13

    ack13 New Egg

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    Jan 2, 2008
    A few more details- We will have standard Rhode Island Reds, Silverlaced Wyandottes, Orpingtons, and Blue Polish. Currently, I've been planning to start them in large quickly-replacable cardboard boxes with rounded insets and wire lids. They are going to be living in my basement, unheated but with lamps, until they are ready to be put into the hen house- which can be heated with lamps if need be. I live in the Bay Area in California- so while it is never really very cold, they will certainly need heat lamps until they are 4-6 weeks.
     
  5. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    I didn't put my hens out till they were about 7 weeks old. I think they went out in mid Sept. ( in Upstate NY ). Our weather then is probalby close to what you have there. The one thing you need to be concerned about is draft. I see you are in the Bay area so not sure how close and how much wind you get. You want the draft off them.
    I think some folks put them outside as soon as 5 weeks. My coop wasn't ready so we had to wait or else they would have gone in earlier. They grow really,really fast. My brooder was a large sized dog crate they use in the airlines. They took up most of that space by 7 wks. Just follow directions with heat lamps temps. vs. age, etc. and you should be fine.
    I got my first egg today and I think it came from my SLW, she's so pretty.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Xtradust

    Xtradust Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Really, as long as your coop's warm enough, you can move them out whenever.

    It gets down to 39 at night here and up to 70 on good days, lately.

    I just moved my chicks out into the coop a couple days short of 5 weeks. I had put them out into the run for about an hour and they saw the red light in the coop and moved in. I put some food and water out there and they're out of my office!!!

    The coop is 75 inside with a Red Glass 60w bulb. I've got a thermostat on the way to help keep temp lower than that.
     
  7. silky ma

    silky ma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey Bay Area Im in Rancho near Sacramento.
    Weve been getting below freezing here but you sound like you will do fine. Just wait till they get well feathered. The types of your chicks have feathers where rain will roll off unlike silkies that look plump and fluffy one minute and when wet look like a wet emaciated cat when wet. good luck;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2008

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