Moving chicks for outside play time

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by silarajc, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. silarajc

    silarajc Out Of The Brooder

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    I have my 26 3.5 week old chicks in my garage. I have been taking them out every afternoon after work for "play" time in a larger enclosed area where I have a chance to sit with them and they have a chance to really spread their wings, run around, and forage. However, I am unsure about whether my method for moving them is helping them trust me. I have to gather them up and put them in a box to transport them. I try to limit the "chasing" and try to not scare them, but it is pretty much impossible to not chase and scare them. Their playpen is in the area of the coop that is almost finished, a distance from the garage. I use a wagon to carry the box that distance, but it is a bumpy ride over a field.

    Is there a better method for catching and transporting them every day?
     
  2. ChxLadyCass

    ChxLadyCass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do the exact same thing for my little chicks. I think they will be overwhelmed no matter how you approach it. You could always use a towel like you would with hens to try and make them feel less scared as you pick them. I have tried to handle mine as much as possible, but I left for one weekend, and they are terrified of me again. I know some people are able to get their hens to be like pets by handling them as chicks, but I have been told they will most likely be frantic little things until they start laying and then their personalities will change. Just my experience! I wouldn't worry about it too much! Recess is the best!
     
  3. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    No need to chase and grab! It's a simple matter to train baby chicks to come to you! And it requires only a few minutes to train them!

    Here's how. While you have them in their brooder or any confined space, offer them treats (meal worms are the best) while using a verbal cue. Use the same word each time you offer treats. Use the same container each time and you'll have a visual cue to get them to come even without a verbal cue. But using a verbal cue is useful if you don't have time to run and get the container of treats. This training lasts a lifetime.

    Brooding your chicks outdoors has one of the advantages, among many, of not having to transport chicks outside from an indoor brooder. But when I used to brood indoors, I used a pet carrier to transport. When the chicks got chilled or tired, they put themselves into the carrier and back inside we'd go. No muss. No fuss.

    You can use the treats to get the chicks into a crate with a door, or cut a side door into your box so it drops down forming a ramp. When you wish the chicks to go into their box, drop the door down, and drop the treats into the box. The chicks will be in the box before you can blink.

    You just need to be a tiny bit smarter than a chicken.
     
    sunflour likes this.
  4. ChxLadyCass

    ChxLadyCass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you supplementing heat while they are outdoors still? My chicks are 3.5 - 4.5 weeks old, getting all their feathers, and my boyfriend would be happy if they took up less room in the garage! I'm just a terrified parent of predators outside. In a few weeks our older hens will be in a new coop and they will start moving into the old coop. I'm getting nervous about how to transition them.
     
  5. silarajc

    silarajc Out Of The Brooder

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    Western Missouri
    @azygous - I love the idea of making a ramp for them to put themselves in the box! I'll have to brainstorm the logistics of it - I don't want it opening and them falling out! Maybe I'll add some cardboard sides to the wagon, and make a ramp for them to just go directly in the wagon.

    @ChxLadyCass - I am not supplementing heat while they are out. I only have them out for an hour or so - wish I could do more but with having to supervise them in the makeshift pen I can't spend more. Also, it has been in the 70's or lower 80's most days so it isn't that chilly. They no longer have heat in my garage and they are growing feathers rapidly. I've read on other posts that less heat makes them feather faster.
     
  6. silarajc

    silarajc Out Of The Brooder

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    Also, there is another recent post on transitioning from brooder to coop.
     
  7. ChxLadyCass

    ChxLadyCass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I think I just posted in that thread too! I will remove their heat from the garage then if your chicks are doing fine at the same age in the same place! They'll be in the garage for just a couple more weeks I think and I have a lamp as a back up for when I transition them to the coop. I think they'll be fine by then! Keep us posted! Maybe we can work on training our chicks to come together! Good luck!
     
  8. silarajc

    silarajc Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, you too!

    Wondering what would be a good treat for the little ones?? Would dried mealworms be okay, if I'm already feeding them grit?
     
  9. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    To secure a door cut into a cardboard box, I use popsicle stick with a screw in the middle, then screwed into the side of the door flap. Swivel the sticks to "closed" positions to hold the flap closed.

    No, you do not want to bring the heat source outside with the chicks. By the time chicks are two weeks old, they are going long stretches on nice days without the need to warm up. The main reason to take chicks outdoors is to harden them to cooler temps.

    By age three weeks, chicks no longer need a heat source during the day when the temp is in the 70s.
     
  10. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yogurt on your finger. You might have to start with a small jar lid or something to use as a small feeder. I think I needed to put yogurt in a lid for two days now they see me coming and they gather at the door to the dog crate. I reach in slowly with yogurt on my finger and they are immediatly crawling all over my hand to get to the yogurt.

    Dont' even need grit with the yogurt but mine have it anyway.

    My broody was feeding her chicks fireworms(looks like a wild meal worm) by 4 days old.
     

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