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Moving outside without heat

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by litljenarey, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. litljenarey

    litljenarey Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2012
    Venice, Florida
    I have 4 chicks that are 2 weeks, 4 chicks that are 3 weeks, and 1 that is almost 4 weeks old. They spent their first few weeks in a dog crate with a heat lamp in my living room. The dust and noise were too much and even though it's the largest dog crate, it seemed too small, and they've been spending the days outside in their coop and run. We have an Eglu with 3 extra run pieces, in a covered terrace. Every night I go out and carry them inside and they are NOT happy about it. They spend the nights huddled near the door to the crate and the heat lamp is in the back of the crate. Since they appear to not need it, I've turned it off the past 2 nights and they don't appear to be cold at all.
    The outside temp during the day is usually around 98. My house is usually kept at 76 degrees. I don't think there's much chance that the outside temp gets any colder than my living room at night.

    I know the general rule is not to move them out without heat until 6 weeks but my living room stinks and the whole house has a fine layer of dust on it.

    I'm having company over tonight and the crate is getting closed up and put away and the room dusted and cleaned. I don't want to bring them back in. Would it really be that big of a deal to start closing them up in the coop at night instead of bringing them back inside?

    What exactly is the reason for keeping them inside until 6 weeks?
     
  2. mljohnson05

    mljohnson05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    Missouri
    As long as you have tested that they can withstand the temp. change, then there really should not be an issue [​IMG]
    The reason for keeping them in is; that when they are young (just like babies) they are not able to maintain their body heat very well, and therefor need a heat lamp to keep them warm. once you have slowly reduced the heat lamp and they are doing fine (not stressing, not shaking and acting normal with no stacking up on each other to keep war,), then you should be good to go. My only concern is the night time temps (where I am there is a BIG change between day and night time temps). Just keep an eye out for them, or perhaps keep a heat lamp in their area at night and see how they do.
    The other reason is, that they are more likely to get sick, or illness from items outside that they may eat.
    Hope this helps you out a little bit.
    Best Wishes, and God Bless [​IMG]
     
  3. litljenarey

    litljenarey Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2012
    Venice, Florida
    Update: I moved these guys outside full time. The ladder on an Eglu is useless. It's slippery and the rungs are set pretty far apart. I'm having to help them in the coop every night.
    The first night it was tough to get them all in because they kept jumping out and standing by the door. I got them all in and shut the door. They fussed for a while when I closed the coop door so I opened it back up and sat with them a while until they calmed down and then shut the door. In the morning only 4 had the balls to jump down and I had to go help them rest out. One of the first out was the youngest chick I have. I was impressed, that one's got some guts. (It must be a roo, it also charges me when I go into the run)
    The second night I put them all up and shut the door and they settled in quickly. When I opened the door in the morning every one flew down quickly except my oldest. I think she was pretty comfy and still sleeping.
    Everyone seems to be doing well. I think in a few days I'll just have to close the door at night and open it in the morning.
     
  4. litljenarey

    litljenarey Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2012
    Venice, Florida
    Last night was the same, waiting by the run door at dusk, I had to put them in and quickly shut the door. This time they immediately settled down. Tonight was fun. I didn't have to chase or corral them. I started by putting they youngest in, then my oldest who is my most skittish pullet so when I was able to grab her I did. I turned around and the others were on the ladder. One went into the coop on it's own and two others had to be put in. The third flew up onto my head. [​IMG] It was so cute. I'm finally getting these girls to like and trust me. I sat there a minute or two with one on my head and my oldest (Danielle) on my arm. A few others came back out and also roosted on my arm. My husband must have thought I was nuts.
    Tomorrow I plan to leave them out until it's dark and see what they do. I think they may start putting themselves to bed. I go on a weekend camping trip next Friday. I want them to be okay going to bed without me closing the coop door for 48 hours. I think they can do it by then.
     
  5. litljenarey

    litljenarey Out Of The Brooder

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    May 8, 2012
    Venice, Florida
    GUESS WHO PUT THEMSELVES TO BED!!!
    I'm so proud of my little guys. I went out to put them in the coop and they were already there. I just closed the door. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. kdwag

    kdwag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2012
    Northwest Ohio
    Yay, i've enjoyed your posts, thanks for sharing. My girls are almost 3 weeks old and getting awfully feisty. They too are in a dog crate, 4 of them, 2 x 3 feet, i have a feeling by week 4, it's going to be challenging for them. our nights are now getting down into the 40's. i'm going to try and hold off as long as i can, but i have a feeling they will be moving to their coop sooner than 6 weeks, but possibly along with a heat source if i can figure out how to put it in their coop. i thought i would let them play in their run at week 4 if the days are still warm, but we'll see how this week goes. they turn 3 weeks on Tuesday. So much fun!!
     

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