Need some motivation/advise

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by suburbanchickn, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. suburbanchickn

    suburbanchickn Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 2 hens I got back in the beginning of August (9th) to be exact. I was told they were 2 to 3 weeks when I bought them at that time. White one is a chocolate splash orpington and gray one is Isabel orpington I was told. Since then I had them in a plastic container that has been working very well, up until this past week. They are obviously growing quickly and now I am cleaning the container everyday. Which I don't mind really but I'd rather take a few days off like I use to then clean haha.

    Anyway my question is what is your option are my girls ready to go outside? In my house it's always warm 68 to 77 and now the weather is starting to cool down to 40s here in northern illinois close to Wisconsin border and it's been raining a lot. I am ready for them to go outside but my wife seems to feel bad for them and last mins tells me to bring them back in. What are you thoughts?

    Here are a few pictures of my girls and the coop they will be in. I am also working on a wider roost for them but would like some opinions on the one pictured.


    Thanks in advance!!!
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    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  2. coastingangel

    coastingangel Out Of The Brooder

    Cute wee chickens. I would say they are ready to go outside, they look like they have plenty of feathers. Mine generally go out at 6 weeks, if the nights are cold I run a lamp into the house. I have other breeds as well and live in a wet climate, I find the orpingtons tend to stay out later at night even when it is cooler. Good luck!
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

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    I agree that they will be fine outdoors at that age.
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

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    They are fully feathered, and will be fine. The longer they are in the house, the less they'll be able to naturally acclimate to cooler temps. You are not doing them any favors by keeping them in. As long as they have a well ventilated, draft free place to keep them out of the elements, chickens can withstand very cold temperatures.

    I'm not seeing any vents in your coop. Are there some on the back, maybe? Ventilation is important in helping prevent frostbite. Some chicken keepers have had their chickens get frostbite when it's well above freezing out because of too much humidity in the coop. They put moisture in the air when they breathe and when they poop, and good ventilation will take that out of the coop. Cold and dry is much better for them. So are constant temperatures. They don't need a heat lamp. That can actually cause more discomfort than just being in the colder weather all the time. Think about it this way - a chicken acclimates to the cold weather by growing its own down coat. One it can't take off. So, if you are dressed in all your winter gear and go outside, you are comfortable. Now come inside and leave all your gear on. Not too comfy, is it? Sorry - I know I got on a tangent here, but am guessing you are new to chickens so I thought I'd touch base on that now since winter's on its way. (Although I'd be happy if it waited a while. Like until January. And left in February. I live in MN - that's not going to happen.)
     
    2 people like this.
  5. Orpington are big cold weather hardy birds...Leave them out in the coop from now on...Also your roost is too thin for an Orpington...
    I have 2x4s...My Roost has two levels...As Orpintons grow to be large birds they sometimes prefer a lower roost...
    I have attached a photo to give you an idea...

    Cheers![​IMG]
     
  6. burdboy

    burdboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There fine I put baby chick outside at about 3 weeks
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    The heavy winter coat worn inside a heated house is a perfect analogy, one that is hard to misinterpret as everyone had probably experienced it. Yes, they are ready to go outside.

    Ditto the ventilation observations...I'd also beef up the size of that roost, go to at least 2x2, better yet a 2x4 wide side up.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    bobbi-j made a perfect response. I'll just add we have plenty of members in your area who have birds your age outside, and some are bantams or silkies. Your girls look healthy and hardy and I'm sure they'll appreciate more space.
     
  9. suburbanchickn

    suburbanchickn Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2016
    Northern Illinois
    Awesome replies!! Thanks so much definitely helps to get me going on this and showing the wife they will be happier outside.

    As far as ventilation the coop has a small gap back in the nest back underneath and a window on the side of the coop. Will this be enough? I am new to the chicken world but so far loving it and even more impressed with the community everyone is always so helpful and informative.

    This is the window up top. I will get better pictures when I get home.
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  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd cover that metal floor with some vinyl, or even cardboard, then some pine shaving bedding.
    The slide out aspect will probably not function with adequate bedding.
     

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