I'm evicting my chicks tomorrow


12 Years
Oct 6, 2010
Bay Area, CA
They've been living the good life in the garage in their brooder for the past 6 weeks and it's time to move them outside.

I think I'll move the whole brooder into the big girls run so they can see each other but are separated and protected. And I think I'll bring them in to sleep in a dog crate for another week as it's still dipping into the low 30's at night here. But it warms up into the 60's during the day so I'm not worried about them being out there during the day.

And hopefully, if that goes well for a week or two, we can start letting them out for a bit to get to know one another. They still need to put on a bit more weight before I'm comfortable letting them all hang together.

But I'm SOOOO excited to get them out of my garage. There are pine shavings EVERYWHERE and every time I open the brooder to change their water or give them food, they all come flying out and immediately poop on the floor. And WHEW!!! That's some potent poop from those chicks.
I'm sure they'll love being out during the day. Wishing you a smooth integration
Thank you. I'm rather nervous about the integration thing. But I won't do that for at least another few weeks as I want the babies to get bigger first. They are going in with my alpha hen who's a Jersey Giant and she's a big girl. She at her smallest now as she's coming out of a rough molt.

So hopefully, the long adjustment of looking at each other will help.
You are doing the right thing by keeping them separated but can still check each other out. When I integrated mine it took about 3 weeks for everyone to settle down. Our 5 Hamburg chicks are 8 weeks old and stay out all day and Roost in the Hen house at night. I live in the Foothills and they are doing just fine with temps in the mid 20's. Good luck and keep us posted
Well, I did it. And I can safely say, nobody is happy. The babies don't quite know what to make of being on dirt instead of a tarp with shavings. And it's a big world outside with strange noises and other birds, etc. So they were quite vocal and whinny.

The big hens whined and just made an awful ruckus about having this brooder pen in their run and at their new guests.

I have one chick, who's the boss of the three and she immediately ran up to her side of the pen and puffed up her chest at my alpha hen. Who proceeded to stick her head just far enough inside the fence to peck her once on the head. Ouch! But now we have the pecking order all sorted out.

They've all calmed down but it was a very dramatic day. I plan on leaving the chicks in this set up for several weeks so they can all really get to know one another and settle down with this new situation. But I'm exhausted from today.
Today was much better. I think the two big hens have accepted this new "situation" in their run and there was much less upset chatter today. I also let them out into the big garden for about an hour which they LOVE. And they each got a bit of banana which they also love.

The babies did great. So much so that I'm going to leave them outside tonight. They were really upset when I brought them in last night and getting them back out this morning was a chore.

So I took a big sturdy box and cut two holes in it and ran a large dowel through it for them to roost on. I filled the bottom with about 3-4 inches of pine shavings so they can bed down there if they desire.

I cut a small hole for them to sneak into the box and then a long 3" hole at the top and put their heat lamp above it. I put a remote thermometer in the box and it's reading 65. So quite comfortable inside. Mostly, I want to make sure they are out of the wind The weather is quite calm tonight. Just a slight breeze which should die down as the sun sets.

So we're making progress.
Hey you are doing great ! My spoiled girlies get cottage cheese with pineapple every Sunday (ok more than on Sundays) they just love that . They don't eat Bananas ...strange.

But I don't think your chickens need a heat lamp. Let them feather out, it's better that way. It's ffrrreeezzzing here and mine are doing just fine :)

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