living outside

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by archil, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. archil

    archil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 6, 2012
    I feel like I'm making far too many threads but i have a lot of questions

    So, anyway,
    I have some three week old chicks living under a lamp right now but they are quickly becoming too big for their box.
    I was wondering when is the earliest time they can safely live outside [with shelter of course] and what types of bedding/insulation I could use to keep them warmer during the night.

    It is summer so it's nice and warm outside most days but it hasn't warmed up much during the night yet.
    I don't really have enough room for a larger box inside, and I don't have any available power outside to have a lamp in their outside home, but I can find a way to do this if it's absolutely necessary.

    I'd thought of maybe having them outside during the day and bringing them in at night. at the moment, because of the constant light on them from the lamp they don't really sleep at night time, just randomly through the day and evening, but i suppose they can still sleep outside during the day and get used to sleeping in the dark at night.

    So basically,
    When can baby chicks go outside in a run safely?
    What types of bedding can i use to keep them the warmest?
    Are there any ways i can modify a run to keep it warmer?
     
  2. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Can you give me the average temps outside during the day, and during the night?

    I turn off light during the day in the summer around 3-4 weeks old. Depending on the highs/lows. I have a heatlamp that has two settings, so I turn it to low as well during the night.

    You need to acclimate them slowly. Can you just turn off the heat completely where they are now, and see how they do?

    I have six week old chicks that need light still outside, as our highs are between 0 and 10 during the day, and have gone as low as -11 at night.

    I'm talking Celsius here, as I'm guessing you're used to the metric system.
     
  3. archil

    archil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's a few weeks away from summer right now and I'm pretty sure the temperature here during the day is usually somewhere between 12 and 20, it can vary a lot, but the average summer maximum is 20-25C (68°-77°F) and the average low is 16.
    The average high during winter is 14C and the low is 8.

    I'm not sure how cold it gets during the nights, but i don't think it's much less. Our yard is quite shaded for most of the day though so its probably a few degrees lower than the averages.

    We just used a standard 75 watt bedside lamp type thing, and hand warmers under the bedding [we started out just fostering the week old chicks from my mum's house, as the mother decided she didn't want them and my mum had no room or time to accommodate them],
    we've already removed the hand warmer packs and most of the time they are perched up above the lamp anyway so i dont think it will take too long to acclimatize them to no light at all. they pretty much only sit under the lamp when they're sleeping.

    I take them outside a couple of times a week for about 15-30 mins so they can play around and they seem happy running around, [no huddling or shivering], but I dont know how they would do for longer amounts of time.

    I'll try turning off the lamp some time in the weekend and see what they do.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    With those highs, I'd put them outside for 4 hours and check on them every hour to check for huddling/shivering. Sounds nice and warm to me. They recommend a decline of 5 degrees F a week, but that seems way too slow a decline. I'd do 10 degrees F a week and take away heat altogether at 5 weeks old. If you have quite a few, they can keep one another warm.

    So conclusion is.. Put them outside this weekend if night temp is above 10.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  5. archil

    archil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    awesome. thanks heaps for your help, i really wanted to get them out of that tiny box without having to buy/make another one they'd only use for a couple of days.
    I'm usually out most of the day but I can come home and check them every now and then and, I'll make sure to give them lots of warm bedding and i'll probably put a hot water bottle or something in there too.
    I only have two and i knew that it would be safer to have them outside if there were more, but unfortunately we dont have the time or money for many chickens, thats why decided to ask here, i think the breeder that my mum gets them off usually has them outside now, but she has about 30 in a run so they can keep nice and warm if they need to.
    hah, but now we have to go find an affordable transportable run for them.
    thanks heaps for your help.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    If I were you, I'd get one more soon so if something happened to one, you wouldn't have a lonely depressed little thing.

    And no problem :)
     
  7. archil

    archil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really want to get more but we already have so many pets to look after [five parrots, two cats]
    but if something did happen to one i would find another friendly chook straight away, i hate seeing animals by themselves.
     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    There is no difference in work involved between 2 and 3. Not even between 10 and 20. But between 20 and 100 definitely more poop involved lol.
     
  9. archil

    archil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hmm I guess Ill have to think about it then
    also since my dad handles the money I'd have to get his permission
    Do you know of any especially friendly breeds?
     
  10. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Silkies for bantams. Barred rocks are very friendly - every single one I've owned. But even more - the red sex links are by far the friendliest chicks I've raised! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012

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