Keeping my chicks inside longer due to vacation - Philadelphia

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by HeatherPeters, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. HeatherPeters

    HeatherPeters New Egg

    Jun 6, 2017
    I am located right outside of Philadelphia. My 6 chicks are now 7 weeks old. 3 sexlinks and 3 silkies. Our henhouse and run will be complete by next week.

    While I believe temperature and size-wise, they will be ready to be outside at the end of next week, we are leaving for a 1 week vacation. We have a pet sitter we have used for years, that will come by for our cats, and will also come by 2x per day for food, water and general clean up for the chickens as well.

    They are currently in 4 Rubbermaid bins that have been cut and attached to make 1 large square bin that is approximately 4 feet by 4 feet, and has screen for lids. We have a practice roost in there, pine shavings, stones and bricks for climbing, and a feeder and waterer up on bricks. It is located in the basement in our storage room.

    While we take them on daily field trips outside when the weather permits (and they love it), I do not want their first week in the new henhouse and run to be while we are on vacation...just in case something goes wrong, a predator breaches the coop/run, someone gets stressed and is bullying, etc.

    Given the set up I described inside, does anyone think there is an issue with keeping them inside until 9 weeks old so we can return from vacation and help them settle into their new habitat with a close eye on them? They won't get out the week we are away. I don't think the pet sitter can handle it. But we did order some fun, dry snacks to put in their pen to keep them busy and not get bored enough to start pecking each other.

    Trying to balance the fear of boredom inside for the week, vs. the fact that I know they are safe inside while we are away.

    I'd love comments and advice.
  2. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    I think you should put them in their house as soon as it is ready. If you've predator proofed as you built, there is no reason to think they're less safe out there. In fact, they might actually be more safe out there. I haven't seen your setup but I have seen plenty of chicks that age and I'm wondering if the risk of them doing something like knocking the water over has occurred to you?

    In the end, we all have our comfort levels and it's entirely your choice. But, my vote is ASAP, they're overdue.
  3. Chickassan

    Chickassan True BYC Addict

    May 23, 2017
    Berea, South Carolina
    Those are some big babies! My opinion is the same put them out asap. The bigger they get the more boredom wears on them and some ugly pecking can go on, treats probably aren't going to be enough to stave off baby brawling. I can't believe you've gone this long without problems. After a month mine were getting ugly and I had freaking faverolles.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by