Liberate your babies! Take 'em out and let 'em fly!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by azygous, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm on a crusade to get chicks imprisoned in brooders for weeks on end outdoors for some real play and FLYING!

    So many people with baby chicks are so deathly afraid they might be upsetting the health and well being of their chicks if they don't keep them baking under a heat lamp for two entire months, never once letting them out for some exercise.

    If you live in a mild climate where the days get into the 70s F or above 22 C, chicks as young as one or two weeks can go outdoors for a brief romp, depending on how long before they begin to get chilled. It's a marvel and a royal kick in the pants to see these little tykes take full advantage of their freedom. It doesn't take many trips outside before they engage in fits and bouts of low-level flight, accompanied by ear-splitting screeches of wonder and glee. The chicks will also be screeching while they are shooting across the ground in flight!

    What I do is tote them outside in a pet carrier. I leave the carrier in a sunny spot with no wind, and let them discover freedom. It may take awhile for one, then another to venture out into the world. After a while, all you need to do is open the door of the crate, and they're out like a flash.

    Leave the carrier handy, and they will return to it as they begin to get chilled. That's your signal they need to go back inside and popped back into their brooder under the heat lamp.

    Do this every day you have a mild, sunny day and you'll have happy, healthy, contented chicks.
     
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  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I couldn't agree more. A hen doesn't heat the ambient air but only provides a spot for the chicks to warm up and then they go running around in the cold again. Much healthier.

    I normally brood chicks in an outbuilding but it's full of adults at the present so I currently have a few chicks in the basement. Rather than a small brooder box. I use large moving boxes ($1.50 ea.) from Lowe's. I cut doorways between them to make rooms. One room has food and water, one has straw and a heat emitter.
    It is single digits/teens with the ground covered with snow so can't let them romp just now.
    If I can't get them out in the next week, I'll just add rooms to their digs.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You just gotta love cardboard boxes! They're so versatile and cheap! You just can't do those things with expensive plastic tote bins!

    Before I retired up here in the Rockies, I lived and worked in the southern desert. I really miss those late winter 75F degree days!

    I have on order six chicks in a May hatch. You can bet there will be some nice days by then for my new babies to run and play outdoors!
     
  4. jmike78

    jmike78 Out Of The Brooder

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    i'll be putting mine outside when i get off work so i can clean the brooder
    i think it will be in the 50's and they are about a week old
    i think they can tolerate 10-20 minutes while i get everything cleaned up and sanitized
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    As long as it's sunny and calm they should be fine. Leave their carrier where they can crawl into it if they need to huddle for warmth. I've seen them zip in and huddle, then zip back out again for more exploring after they get warm. If it's chilly, place a plastic container of warm water in the carrier for them to snuggle against to warm up quickly.
     
  6. jmike78

    jmike78 Out Of The Brooder

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    won't be sunny or calm -- they should be fine long enough for me to empty their shavings

    will put them inside if it is raining
     
  7. smcdermott

    smcdermott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Woohoo FREE the babies.
    ((I live in FL so I can scream it)) hehe
    Have had mine out during the day since 4 days old. I just open the garage and cage door and they come and go as wanted. When they get chilled, they go back and huddle under the heat lamp.

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  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    How I envy you in sunny Florida! I have a huge snow storm beating its way in as we speak.

    Those chicks of yours have it made!
     
  9. BonRae67

    BonRae67 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not all of us in Florida can say how beautiful it is. 37 for a high yesterday 19 lastnight and today only about 48 windy the whole time. I will say that tomorrow it will be warm enough for them to go out and play. Yes I have been taking them out on nice days and being locked up for the past 2 days, they are going stir crazy. Come on nice weather.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    They will be certain to express their joy at being out again with a very impressive display of low level flight, accompanied by screeches of delight and excitement!

    Some of you with those fancy smart phones should video their chicks flying so all these other skeptics will see we're not pulling their legs!
     

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