Moving my chicks outside

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by trista85, May 22, 2018.

  1. trista85

    trista85 Chirping

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    Oct 1, 2017
    South Royalton, VT
    I closed off an area of the run for my 5ish week old bantams to play outside during the day (our night temps are still hovering in the 40s so they still come back into the house at night) and they're in an area where my big girls can see them but not get to them. One of my hens, a wyandotte that was broody at the same time I brought them home, is OBSESSED. It's like she's watching reality tv, she just kind of wanders back and forth, watching.

    My question is- is she genuinely curious? She's totally the hen at the top of the pecking order so I'm also concerned that she might be aggressive with them once I start letting them all out together. She's not trying to get in with them or doing anything outwardly aggressive, but she is definitely keeping an eye on things.
     

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  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Chick(en) TV for chickens!
    Great pics!
    Hard to say what she's 'thinking'.
    She may want chicks if she's been broody.
    Did you 'break' her....or think about grafting the chicks to her?
    She may just want back into that part of the run?
    She may want to partake of the feeder/waterer?

    I would think about starting to integrate those chicks before they are much older.
    At 5 weeks they should be pretty much feathered and off heat, you can acclimate them to the colder temps by leaving the window(s) open in the brooder room if you can close it off from the rest of the house. My 4 week olds have been out in the coop and off heat for a couple days....we have had a couple nights in the mid-high 40's. Might think about a huddle box:
    Make them a 'huddle box', put it in the brooder after turning off the heat(you might have to 'persuade' them to use it) then move it out to the coop with them.
    Cardboard box with a bottom a little bigger than what they need to cuddle next to each other without piling and tall enough for them to stand in.
    Cut an opening on one side a couple inches from bottom and big enough for 2-3 of them to go thru at once.
    Fill the bottom with some pine shavings an inch or so deep.
    This will give them a cozy place to sleep/rest, block any drafts and help hold their body heat in.

    OK, sorry, you didn't ask about all that so I'll stop now.:oops:
     
    TheAmundsons and trista85 like this.
  3. trista85

    trista85 Chirping

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    Oct 1, 2017
    South Royalton, VT
    Haha, thanks! I did break her- didn't take much more than just a day of kicking her out of the nest box a million times. I thought about seeing if she would adopt the babies but my reading and some of the advice I received here said that since they were already about 5 days old she may not have taken to them, so I kept them in the house.

    My girls free range all day- would I have to keep everyone confined to the run for a few days before the babies start moving with the group? I'm worried about them getting separated or worse if the big girls aren't going to try and keep everyone together. The one in the photos generally keeps the flock together, she hollers until everyone goes with her. I would much prefer to move them all outside full time ASAP, but I have 2 more babies coming on Friday (I desperately wanted brahmas and was able to order just 2 since I don't have room for any more than that) and I'm babysitting an incubator for a friend who will be away for Memorial Day weekend. (Ok, too much info that is not relevant, haha).
     
    aart likes this.
  4. trista85

    trista85 Chirping

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    Oct 1, 2017
    South Royalton, VT
    Just an update! I left them all in the run yesterday, still separated, but then opened things up this morning and my Wyandotte is totally patrolling and keeping the other away from the chicks! All outside and happy!!! :)
     
    TheAmundsons and aart like this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Interesting!
     

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