need opinion on chick plans

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Hennyhandler, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    I have two coops one with large size birds and the other with silkies. I have been thinking of getting more chicks. I think that I could raise them in the house for a little bit but then there wouldn't be enough space for them after awhile. I was tossing ideas around and was thinking I might be able to seperate one of my runs, put in a temporary coop and they would be able to be near the chickens they would be with permanently to get used to each other. I would be getting them more near easter so it should be a whole lot warmer. When would it be okay to put them outside without a heat lamp for that type of weather?

    I also was thinking that I might want to get some silkies added to my pen. If I had silkie chicks would they have to be seperated from the two I have now. I know silkies are a little more calmer and tolerant so that is why I was wondering. I know that if they are smaller it might be harder but if I had more silkies coming in than are already there would be enough to even the playing field so to speak?

    I am just tossing ideas around right now.

  2. Alethea

    Alethea Songster

    May 23, 2011
    You would want them to be fully feathered before putting them out into the cold.
  3. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    I thought so but I was wondering with it being summer time if this will be a huge neccessity.
  4. Even in the summer they should be about 6 weeks old before going out. At four weeks I start putting them out during the day and bring them in at night if the days are nice. I don't mix large fowl chicks with the rest of the flock till they are about 3 months old and very familiar with each other by being in the next pen. Large roomy pens help with transistions. Silkies with silkies can probably go sooner but keep a close eye on them. Silkies brain damage easily.

  5. Chickens never belong in the house [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Songster

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Quote:Agreed. Though I brooded one batch in the bathroom because it was exceptionally wet out and it was February, and it was my husband's first time with baby chicks and he wanted to play with them all the time. I've brooded chicks from day one outdoors with a heat lamp at night, they were just fine and didn't even want to use the heat lamp much unless it was 50 degrees or less. I don't go by set ages on when to take the heat away from them; I just watch the chicks and see how they do. I've had week-olds going out in the garden to forage during the day when it was 40 out, they had a bucket on its side to get into for shelter if they got chilled, and they rarely used it even. No need to baby them so much as a lot of people do!
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  7. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    I haven't had any in the house before but the place that I usually kept can no longer be used. So I got to thinking. I couldn't keep them inside when they were feathering out and getting large. Chicks maybe but flying around and all probably wouldn't go over well. I was curious if there was another way to do it. I know it all depends on circumstances and what you have available or are willing to do but I was just curious as to some of your ideas or things you have done before.

  8. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    All three times I hatched chicks in an incubator they stayed inside a tub brooder in my living room until 4 weeks old. The level of dust was crazy. It was fun to see the chicks daily, but not great for breathing.

    At 4 weeks they went outside to the brooder side of the coop. It's the area I wired off to use as storage. I put a heat lamp and shavings out there with food & water. They get run time when the big chicks are out free ranging. Eventually they all get time together and it has worked out each time so far.

    The key was extended time near each other and then letting them work out the pecking order without interfering unless there is blood drawn.
  9. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Sorry for so long but could not help it

    This is JMO.

    I have started chicks in the house and outside. The outside is 100% better by a long shot. No dust mask. The amount of dust and dander in the basement was staggering after the chicks became bigger. When they were 6 weeks and they were very active I did not count on the rain and had fears of putting them out in late March and in April bc it was my first group of hatchlings and did not find this site for a year after that and did not know any better. My wife, family and even friends said the odor was so strong it stank and how could you live with this smell. My wife said not1 hour more and I was told they were going outside or we where having 5 chickens for dinner and she was not kidding me. Our clothes smelled and were dusty as for the house the dust was every where and we even had to clean the ducts out. At that age the poops were so huge now and a chore to bring out of the basement every couple of days. I do not have to even say what I needed to do outside...... nothing they were outside!!

    Now its incubator 21 days. Hatchlings in for 1 week to make sure they are healthy and no issues. Then out in the outside brooder for making sure my wife was happy. No happy family, no happy chicks. That's all I have to say about inside brooding.

    Regarding adapting your girls to outside. Lets first discuss the Silkies. Silkies are known to be very gentle, however every animal has a pecking order and it is the survival of the fittest. When that order is broken you have issues that are rooted so deep in genes there is nothing you could do into another lifetime to change it. The new girls as small as they are have to fit into that gene pool order or they are not animals. The old Silkies will feel threatened by the new and that will never change. You will need to treat the big girls with respect they deserve and introduce them slowly. One of the most threatening times for the small girls to get hurt is (you guessed it) feeding time. There is again a pecking order the survival of the fittest and the top of the order eats first. So you can acclimate them in the most threatening environment by having a fence in between them and put feeding bowls opposite each other with out putting the babies in harms way but by letting the big girls know they are here to stay and will be around for the duration by doing this. The more they see them around the more comfortable they will become with them and become a lesser threat to them and the hierarchies that have been carefully established as the gene pool dictates. Before putting the little girls in with the big girls have the little girls play with one of the big girls that are at the bottom of the pecking order 1 at a time until you know which one is the threat to the little kids and that will be the top 2 girls. They will chase them around to just nail them 1 or 2 times to say; “I am it and stand clear when I come around.” More than likely when that has been done its over. Then let them free range together and be the referee and you will see how they interact. When giving treats don’t you dare give the babies the food first you will piss off the top girls. I know you would, like everyone here on the site wants to say here babies and feed them first but you are interrupting the order and they will have to be put in there place all over again. It is a very specific order and can not be challenged or interrupted.

    Now you can help the kids by putting a lot of obstacles in the way. The big girls can’t move as quick as the little ones can especially if your frightened. Put rocks, perches, boxes and even piles of leaves in and around the run for them. I have an old plastic milk carton and cut out the sides that the little girls can fit into but the large girls can not. I put the little girls food in there and they can go in there freely and eat without threat of being killed by one of the big girls while they are not paying attention. Its brilliant bc the kids can let there guard down and feel totally safe (they are) in there to do what they want.

    Now to the other big girls that are not Silkies. Do you think it's any different with them???? If you do I do not know what to say I would be speechless. [​IMG]

  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop

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