Move to larger brooder on porch?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SusanPC, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. SusanPC

    SusanPC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 4 chicks have been in a plastic tote for about a week and a half and should be around that age except for the Ameracauna who looks several days older. I think they are going to need more room within a week. They keep trying to fly out of the tote and run up my arm when I'm changing food/water. The tiny little Wyandotte has just about made it out. I let them outside today on the back brick porch in the sun for about 5 min. They seemed to enjoy meandering around together over a wider area and took lots of short flights stretching their pin-feathered wings. I'm thinking of moving them into a small coop & run on the porch for during the day. I'll provide them with a heat lamp in a more enclosed area and they'll have more access to explore away from the light if they choose. I'll bring them inside at night (garage) until I move them to their more secure permanent coop which doesn't have electricity yet. What do you think? Are they too young or is this a reasonable adjustment? Thanks in advance.
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    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  2. SusanPC

    SusanPC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2014
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    Any advice?
     
  3. chickielips

    chickielips Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi... kinda in the same boat! my two chicks are now 5 weeks old, and outgrowing the playpen. I don't know where you are from, but I am in WA state and still chilly here, tho the days have been around 56, the nights are about 42... too cold for my girls. I have a Solar Gem greenhouse that I have set up for the grow out stage, but haven't been able to get the heat up past around 65 degrees. I can't run a heater and a heat lamp at the same time, so I set up a puppy pen in my living room for supervised playtime and dust baths. They love it, but I am ready to move them out! The pen is trashed within hours of cleaning! Anyone else care to chime in??
    Thanks! Sue
     
  4. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like they do need more space. I keep mine in the house for around 3 weeks before moving them to a brooder in the barn. When they start acting like they need more space at around 10 days old I will spread an old sheet on the floor and let them out of the cage that they are brooded in. They flap their wings and go running around. If the sun shining thru the windows happens to shine on the floor where they are they pretend to take dirt baths and stretch out in the sun. I have to stay close and watch them but a half hour or so of exercise seems to satisfy them and they are more content to stay inside their cage.
    I think it wouldn't hurt your chicks to be in the setup you describe for a while every day. I don't think I would leave them there all day and you would need to check on them pretty often to make sure they're okay. As long as they have access to heat and shelter from wind. Make sure too that neighboring cats and dogs can't get to them. [​IMG]
     
  5. chickielips

    chickielips Out Of The Brooder

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    If nothing else for now, place a saucer of dirt for dust baths for them... they love it , and it's hysterical to watch!
     
  6. CAjerseychick

    CAjerseychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they have a heat lamp out on the porch and some draft free space they should be OK-- we use a small dog crate with the wire dog door as a frame to clip the heat lamp to and then build a run around that for more space. They arent feathered enough to tolerate low temps (below 70) without heat for long periods......
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Wherever you can provide a heat source without drafts, they'll be fine and much healthier in the long run with good ventilation and the ability to choose their comfort level.
    They'll usually hunker near the heat at night and then meander most of the day only occasionally going to the heat to warm up.
    A broody does the same thing, she only provides a warm spot. She can't heat all the ambient air.

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  8. SusanPC

    SusanPC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all the input. It sounds like supervised playtime or a brooder on the porch will help get my girls happily through this young stage. I like the idea of trying to mimic how they would be reared naturally. I will update if we change our setup this weekend. I am in southwest Texas, San Angelo, so we have been having crazy temperature swings, from the 80s to the 30s. Yesterday was low 70s when we went in the sun for 5 min. They seemed to enjoy and they snuggled under the light when I returned them to brooder to warm back up. If I do the porch move, I will make sure they are in a wind, cold, and predator proof area and transition them a little longer each day and bring them in at night while the temps are still dipping low. Regarding sand, they love it, but not enough room in brooder for everything (sand in food & water, etc.) so more space will be good. Thanks again to all!
     

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