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In the Coop or Out?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by smazon, Mar 6, 2015.

  1. smazon

    smazon New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2015
    I have a chicken coop and a large fenced in area for my chickens. I'm wondering if it is a good idea to put the new brooder and chicks in the chicken yard or if they need to be in the house? The brooder has lamps and adequate heat. There will be no way for the other chickens to get into the brooder. And I would prefer not to raise another batch of chicks in my finished basement.
    Also, introducing the last set of chicks did not go so well. 3 of the 5 died within 2 weeks and the 2 remaining are a pullet and rooster that seemed to have formed their own "roost".
    Any advice?
     
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Is your brooder weather proof? It is best to introduce younger chickens to older chickens when they are approximately the same size.
     
  3. smazon

    smazon New Egg

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    Jan 10, 2015
    They would be protected from weather. Yes.
     
  4. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    I usually wait till the chicks are 14 -15 weeks or older to integrate them completely with the rest of the flock, they're big enough to fight back or fast enough to get outta dodge if they need to.....

    my last coop, I was able to divide it and the run down the middle with framed out hardware cloth so they could all see each other. at 16 weeks, I opened the section in the middle of the run (a screen door) so they could begin to integrate at their own pace, yet still retreat to their own section if they wanted. After a couple of days and not much trouble, I took down the divider in the coop and all was good
     
  5. smazon

    smazon New Egg

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    I will try something similar. Thank you
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    My permanent 3’ x 6’ brooder is in the coop. They go in there straight from the incubator or the post office. The chicks I have in it right now were about three days old when the outside temperature was in the single digits Fahrenheit. Inside the brooder one end was pretty toasty but the other end was quite cold. They stayed in the warm end. Chicks don’t care what the conditions are outside the brooder, they are only concerned about inside the brooder. Keep one area toasty and breezes off of them and they are happy.

    I don’t know why your chicks died. Did the older chickens kill them, did they get sick, or did something else happen? How old were they? There is not enough information there to even try to guess what might have happened to yours.

    We are all unique and do things in our own ways. Some people integrate chicks at a very young age. I normally wait until about 8 weeks of age, more because of my set-up than anything else. Some people need to wait until they are practically grown. How much room we have and how we manage them play a part. I’ve never lost a chick integrating mine at 8 weeks old so I am being pretty conservative for my circumstances bot for some people 8 weeks could be a disaster.

    Until chicks mature, they often form a sub-flock. Sometimes that will even last past maturity. More mature chickens outrank immature chickens and can be pretty brutal in enforcing their pecking order rights. The immature chicks quickly learn to just avoid the older chickens, it’s safer. That’s why it’s important they have enough room to avoid them. I don’t know the age of your two, but they may integrate with the main flock when they mature. If there is a mature rooster in your main flock, it is very possible this younger rooster will have his own territory for whatever harem he can attract.
     
  7. smazon

    smazon New Egg

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    I'm not sure what happened to them. How do I tell if they got sick? They were 8-9 weeks old when I integrated them and I thought maybe the older chickens weren't letting them eat. They used to like to huddle in the corner of the barn and I thought maybe they got squished by each other. I'm just not sure. The "yard" is aprobably a 20x20 space. That should be plenty of room to avoid the other chickens. This is the first time I've had chickens and I'm slowly learning.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    It’s definitely a learning curve. One suggestion to make integration easier is to have different feeding and watering stations so the younger can eat and drink without having to challenge the older ones.

    It is real hard to say what happened. If the older ones had killed them, they would have been pecked raw, maybe even partially eaten. That doesn’t happen that often at that age. Even if they had been raw and partially eaten, it could easily have been a raccoon or something else. When you are there looking at them it’s not always easy to tell what happened. Over the internet it is really hard.

    A fairly common cause of death is the chicks getting sick, usually with Coccidiosis, when they hit the ground. Some flocks are infected with the Coccidiosis bug but they have developed immunity to it. The chicks are not exposed to it when they are in the brooder and have not developed immunity. Especially if the ground is wet when they hit the ground, they can get fatally sick from it instead of developing immunity. That Coccidiosis bug thrives in wet conditions so instead of eating a few and developing immunity they eat a lot and get sick. When they get sick with it, they stand around acting lethargic and all hunched up and fluffed up. They look miserable. But this is only a maybe. It could have something totally different.
     

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