Is there a protocol for acclimating chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by alaskan_crew, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. alaskan_crew

    alaskan_crew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 5, 2007
    Wasilla, AK
    Hi all.

    I just brought home 3 Welsummer babies born June 25th. I brought them home on Friday and the breeder guy told me that they were off of heat for about a week or two and they were still staying indoors.

    I let them outside in their new home on Fri and for a few hours on Sat. The temps here were in the low 70's during the day. I didn't let them out yesterday because it was cold and rainy. Today it is in the mid 50's but I've put them out a few minutes ago. The forecast calls for mainly overcast/rainy days for the rest of this week. I expect the temps to still be in the 50's to low 60's.

    How long should I let them be outside? How long does it take before they can be fully hardened off? They huddle together a lot both indoors and out so I can't judge their warmth by that, I think that they might just still be frightened. Any tips? Also, are they too young for treats?

    I know that raising chickens isn't really a science but the more I read and research the more complicated I seem to make it!!!
     
  2. Dragon_mom25

    Dragon_mom25 New Egg

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    Jun 12, 2007
    ok, they are 4 weeks, they should be almost totally feathered out. I would keep the light on for them this week, especially because it is rainy.

    Supposedly until they are fully feathered, 5-6 weeks, they still need a little heat. since you only have 3, they may need more heat in this rainy time becasue they may have too much space to heat up with their body heat.

    give them treats! my favorite on a cold day is a little cooked oatmeal, or warmed milk sopped up with white bread. something warm to put in the bird on a cold wet day. Hot days they love watermellon, just remember that too much fruit gives them the runs!
     
  3. alaskan_crew

    alaskan_crew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 5, 2007
    Wasilla, AK
    Thanks Dragon_mom25 for the help.

    What sort of light am I supposed to be using? I am keeping them in a dog crate at night with the light from the room on so it is not dark. It's room temp at night.

    How long should they be outside during the day? There is no heat source in their coop area.

    One weird thing is that they seem to exclude 1 of the chicks when they huddle. This little guy is usually by itself. Is this establishing a pecking order already?
     
  4. alaskan_crew

    alaskan_crew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 5, 2007
    Wasilla, AK
    Today the temp is 54 outside. I have the babies outside. I'm still not adding light or a heat source when they are out playing. They seem to be fine. I'm thinking that they are feathered out. Just a little downy fuzz here and there. Suggestions on how long they can be out for? Any suggestions on when they can be out full time?

    Thanks.
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I kick mine out with no heat as soon as they are feathered. It gets to the 50's at night and mine are fine. There is no set rule, just gotta do what works with your chicks.
     
  6. alaskan_crew

    alaskan_crew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 5, 2007
    Wasilla, AK
    Thanks for the reply! I was just about to bring them back in cuz I was beginning to think that I'm doing this all wrong!! I'll let them play for the day I suppose. It is starting to sprinkle but they are protected from the rain.

    I'm shooting for Sept to integrate them with my 4 older hens. Does that seem right?
     
  7. WindyOaksYokes

    WindyOaksYokes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I just got your normal variety heat lamp. I kept it on them til they reached 4-5 weeks (totaly feathered). And then only turned in on at night when it got chilly. You can raise and lower the heat lamp at your discretion. they will let you know when they are too hot... they move away from the heat... and if too cold they bundle up next to one another. With 3 though its hard to tell. There is alot of information about heating at http://cacklehatchery.com/page14.html

    No, it's not a science to raising chickens. Actually pretty simple... like your mother always told you "don't make it harder then what it is".

    Good luck, and hope this helps

    Tes
     
  8. alaskan_crew

    alaskan_crew Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 5, 2007
    Wasilla, AK
    Thank you WindyOaksYokes.

    I just went out and checked on the chicks (3rd time since I let them out an hour and 1/2 ago!!!) and they are huddled together.

    I'm gonna go and bring them in for awhile and let them out later if it gets warmer. Also, I just might have to go and buy another chick:)..........so they can stay warmer!!!

    Does Sept sound right for going to the big girl hangout?

    Also, I will research the link you sent me. Thanks!
     

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