I'm in a bit of a quandry about my four wk. old ladies

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MissCluck, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. MissCluck

    MissCluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    My four week old ladies, two each of Silver Laced Wyandotte, two Speckled Sussex and two Golden Laced Wyandotte are developing nicely in their indoor brooder and are looking ready for some turnout time in the chicken paddock.

    The weather here in NY is warm and summery and the chicks have a little down left but are mostly feathered and they are not wishing to remain under the heat lamp in their brooder. They are active and leaping around in their kennel brooder and I'd love for them to go out to the coop but I'm not sure if they are too young.

    They will be going out with my seven hens, five of whom are mature and just over a year, and two who are about eight months old, and my bantam rooster.

    I don't have a way to completely separate the new ladies from the others in the coop and small run if I want them to be safe at night so I was thinking to put their entire brooder kennel into the coop so they could dive in there if they were feeling insecure. I would also keep their chick food in there and then probably close it at night to be sure only they would have access to their feed.

    The little 'uns are too small yet to go out into the large 40 x 40' chicken paddock so I was going to lock everyone in the coop and small run area for a bit so the kids learn their new home. The coop is about 8.5 x 7.5 and the enclosed and covered paddock is about 14 x 16. Once they are comfortable I'd open the large area up to them.

    I think in the long run the chicks would be happier outside since it is warm and they'd have more space....but I hope I'm not jumping the gun a little. It was late winter/early spring with my first two batches of chicks so they were about six to eight weeks old before they went out.
     
  2. acid_chipmunk

    acid_chipmunk Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!

    Mar 29, 2010
    They will be fine out there now if your temps in NY are anything like what we are having here in PA!

    Putting the brooder in the coop is a good idea, but the older ones will most likely spend time in the brooder and eat their food. Try switching their food to a Flock Raiser type food and give free choice oyster shell for your layers.
     
  3. MissCluck

    MissCluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes... it's HOT! I do have a heat lamp strung out to the coop so I can turn it on if the nights get too cold. [​IMG]
     
  4. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Not worried about the temps for you, but the size difference from your chicks and adult hens can be a problem....A hen can kill a chick very quickly. Hens are very territorial. The hens will just run into your chick's brooder and eat their food and bully them. I would just be very careful to observe them closely at first if you plan on putting them with the adult hens.

    I personally wait until they are almost the same size before I integrate newbies into my flock.

    Good luck!

    Sharon
     
  5. MissCluck

    MissCluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm worried about the size difference too so what I've done is move the brooder (kennel) out to the coop and keep the door closed. The chicks and mature hens can see the chicks and vice versa but they can't interact. I can put the adults out for a few hours into the large run and let the chicks range around to explore their new world... then I can put them safely back in again.

    I miss them in my home office already [​IMG]. I was always turning around in my office chair to talk to them.
     
  6. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Quote:I'm sorry--I must have mis-read your post then! This sounds perfect! You're doing it EXACTLY right! [​IMG]
     
  7. MissCluck

    MissCluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I'm sorry--I must have mis-read your post then! This sounds perfect! You're doing it EXACTLY right! [​IMG]

    No you're right! At first I was going to let them all out together in the smaller of the runs and then thought better of it so I kept the door of the kennel closed! The little ones need to grow some more. I think they are pretty happy out there. Much more interesting than my boring office!
     
  8. LaurenM23

    LaurenM23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 16, 2010
    King George, VA
    I agree. If your weather is anywhere close to what we're having in VA, they will be fine! I relocated my 3 1/2 week olds this weekend and they are loving life! If anything, they are much warmer in the coop/run than they were in the brooder. Mine had all feathered out nicely, save for downy heads, but they were getting so active...they needed space! I thought they would be closer to 6 weeks before they went out. We've lucked out with warm nights since, which have been great to acclimate them to the change in locale. I'm checking their water at least twice daily, but all are happy and still super active!
     
  9. MissCluck

    MissCluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    My favorite and most bold young lady, Euphemia, was doing kamekaze leaps in the brooder! She'd rev up and jump as high as she could and try to thump her sisters! She's hysterical! Then I'd say, "Euphemia, what are you doing?", she'd come up to the side of the brooder and look at me!

    I am concerned about Fleur, who is the smallest and the slowest to develop but I just checked on them and Fleur was snuggled down amongst the other ladies contentedly.
     
  10. LaurenM23

    LaurenM23 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nothing quite like the little head tilt when they're listening to you! Hope all of yours do just great! Mine were loving life when I checked on them an hour ago...all nested all over the outdoor run taking in a hot breeze.
     

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