Leaving chicks for 2 days

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickmama320, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. chickmama320

    chickmama320 Songster

    Mar 3, 2009
    Back Swamp NC
    My girls are 2 weeks. On Monday I am going to my parents for 2 days (I should be back Wednesday night). So I'll be gone for just over 48 hours. I have been putting the girls outside during the day but bringing them in at night. Right now, I have been putting them in a cat carrier at night (they were an impromptu purchase so I didn't have a real brooder set up). I haven't had a heat lamp on them because my house is 77* (I don't want to pay insane amounts on my power bill lol). During the day here it has been in the mid to upper 80s but getting into the 60's at night which I know is too cold for them so that's why they have been coming inside. I put the cat carrier in the run with them and the last 2 nights that have been bedding down on their own in the carrier so I just go out and get it and bring them inside.

    Here's a pic of my coop set up:

    The hen house is too tall for them to get into and I don't have a ramp for them. While I'm gone it is forecasted to be 93-94* during the day and 72-74* at night with a slight chance of thunderstorms (10-20% and it hasn't rained in weeks). What would you guys do? I do have an old dog crate that I can clean out and leave them in the house in. I just feel bad doing that since they have gotten used to being outside during the day.


  2. llaaadyel

    llaaadyel Songster

    Sep 12, 2010
    Lower NY
    My first thought would be for you to take them with you. Your set up is fine for older chickens that are ready to be outside, but honestly what you are doing is not what is best for your chicks.

    77 although pretty warm I admit is not warm enough for 2 week old chicks. They don't have feathers to keep them warm. The normal temperature for them at this age should be around 85 to 90 all day all night. Adding a warming light to them isn't going to skyrocket your electric bill. (I know I don't know your personal economic situation).

    Leaving them outside for 2 days when it is possible that it will rain in a cat carrier could result in killing them. They are likely to get wet and have nowhere to go to dry and warm up.

    Is it possible to ask a friend to help out for the 2 days?

    With all due respect, improptu purchase or not, you have them now and need to make sure that they are taken care of properly.

    I hope you find a solution to your predicament.
  3. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    I left to the cabin for 3 days. I had someone come to my house and care for the chicks twice a day. I'm in the middle of integrating and have 5 in a wire dog kennel inside the coop. Our coop is a room in the garage, which is very secure from predators. We kept the 5 in the kennel, but I needed someone to change the water twice a day due to pine chips and poo getting in there. At two weeks your chicks really need a heat lamp until they are fairly feathered out. If they get cold they will die. Maybe a neighbor can look after them while your gone. Good luck.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  4. chickmama320

    chickmama320 Songster

    Mar 3, 2009
    Back Swamp NC
    Quote:Can't help but feel attacked by this post..... I'm hoping that was not your intention though. Honestly, I thought that the temp was fine. I have not seen them huddling together so I assumed it was not too cold. As a matter of fact, today when it was about 90* it seemed like it was too hot for them outside because they appeared to be panting. I am paranoid about having a light on them when I am not home because I am scared that somehow it will catch my house on fire.

    I will be cleaning out the dog crate tomorrow for them.... I just feel bad keeping them cooped up for a few days since they have been going outside during the day. And no, I don't have anyone that can come over and check in on them. I actually left them for 2 days last week (3-4 days old at 77*) and they did just fine while I was gone.
  5. Lyon3mchics

    Lyon3mchics In the Brooder

    Jul 17, 2010
    Northern Michigan
    I understand your situation. I dont know either of you - but - I don't think you should feel "attacked" you asked a question.
    An answer was given. My first year with baby chicks- I had to leave the for two nights. I set up a dog kennel used a light and had plenty of food/water. They were fine when I got back. Wish u well.
  6. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

    Sep 27, 2010
    can you get someone to check on them while you are gone? You obviously need a ramp, with small rungs on it so they can manage themselves...they will forgive you if you leave them "locked up"...just ensure they cannot tip over the water container. If the chicks are not feathered out, like Nicole01 stated, they need the heat lamp...let us know how it goes...
  7. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    I would take them with me. If that is not something you are willing to do, keeping them in the house would be better than leaving them outside. They would most likely die in a thunderstorm.

  8. chkinut

    chkinut Songster

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    i'm probably gonna get attacked for this, but i think people spazz out too much over baby chicks. and i'm not talking about the previous posters here so much, as to the whole of most chicken keepers. i just kinda skimmed this whole thread. but i will say that what i personally have done, is i put the heat lamps on them for the 1st 10 days. then i take the heat lamp off at night for a couple nights to accustom them to the dark etc. (and they are still in the house) after a couple nights of that i just keep the heat lamp off all the time 24/7 till they are about 2 weeks old, then (depending on the time of year) i put them outside in their own little chick coop where they have access to the coop and run. i figure by the time they're 2 weeks old, they can regulate their own body temps AND huddle together at night for warmth, which is not much different than a mother hen. and in MY experience i have had absolutely no problem with this. i think with you being in NC (like i am) they would be just fine. but i would certainly get them a ramp so they could have access to the coop. as a matter of fact, before you leave, i would get them use to using the coop at night....even if you have to physically put them in there and close the door at night. that way they can learn to go to the coop at night. good luck! [​IMG]
    i will add, that i am getting 6 new chicks around the 28th of june from MPC [​IMG] We are planning on going camping (in our camper, with electricity) during the 4th of july weekend. i WILL be taking my lil' girls with me, cuz i believe they are too young to leave alone.....but my chicks will only be a few days old. your girls are much older and i think they would be fine.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2011
  9. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    It helps to put the waterer up on blocks. Then they are less likely to kick chips in. My chicks would never survive without the heat lamp, but I had them in cooler temps. Especially the smaller/bantam sized ones. Just make sure they can't get wet from the rain or cooked from the heat.

    Leaving them in the house with the dog kennel might work. I'd worry most about the water and it getting knocked down. My chicks knocked down the waterer in the plastic kennel. One got wet and I almost lost her due to pneumonia. She spread the pneumonia to the entire flock. It was a mess. The wire dog kennel works much better. Anyways, good luck and have a great time at your parents.
  10. mom2many

    mom2many In the Brooder

    Jun 15, 2011
    Couldnt you leave the in the coop for the 2 days? I kept mine in the coop for the first couple days. Maybe run an extension cord out and hook up a light out there. Then you wouldnt have to worry about a heat source or your house burning down... Being locked in a kennel and a coop, I dont see much difference.

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