New member in TX!

lovingmelon

Hatching
6 Years
Sep 21, 2013
3
0
9
Dripping Springs
Hi all,
happy to be a part of BYC!
The husband and I just moved onto quite a bit of land in Texas from Chicago. A coop was already set up on the property, and we have always wanted to have chickens..so here we go!

I have read online that you need to keep the chicks pretty contained in the brooder for the first couple of weeks..but when can I let them out into the fenced area? We have made sure that it is very difficult for predators to get in..and it'd be hard to set up perches inside the small brooder area that's there. If taking some photos of the coop will help get advice, I am happy to post some! Eventually we are going to let them roam the property..we're hoping they will help control the scorpion population out here. Very unpleasant creatures, they are :(

Also, if there are any specific breeds you would suggest for beginners, that would be helpful to us. We'd like good egg-layers, but we'd also like to be able to handle them.
Thanks a lot!
-E:)
 

Wyandottes7

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 24, 2013
20,586
1,320
401
Welcome to BYC!
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Teri Metcalf

Songster
6 Years
Aug 22, 2013
588
71
138
College Station, Texas
Welcome to BYC from College Station, TX. We, too, get a few scorpions. Two years ago I accidentally stepped on one in the middle of the night when I got up to use the bathroom. For about 30 minutes, it was seemed like the most painful thing I had ever experienced. Now I know to take an anti-histamine and apply a baking soda paste.

I've had a little experience in recent years with several chicken breeds as free-rangers. My favorites overall are the Easter eggers for intelligence, disposition and egg laying. By and large they're friendly with one another, with our grandkids and with us. They're curious about what we're doing when we're outside, and they peek in our windows to see what we're doing inside the house. And they seem smarter than some of the others at avoiding predators. When they see they a hawk flying overhead, they dive for cover. And they seem to be able to distinguish between hawks and turkey vultures. And I love their robin colored easter eggs.
 

Fierlin1182

powered-flight
8 Years
Aug 26, 2011
17,155
324
348
Hi and :welcome

As long as your fenced area is predator proof, you should be able to let the chicks out during the day any time. We kept all our chicks outside in the coop and bought them back in to the brooder in the evening.
(Edited to add - our chicks were, I think, one or two weeks old when we did this - we don't buy them as day-olds.)

We've kept red stars (red sexlinks/ golden comets/ various other names) for years - fantastic egg layers and also very friendly. But ours only lay for 2 or 3 years each.

Good luck!
 
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sumi

Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
39,154
26,297
1,302
Welcome to BYC
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Chicks need to be kept warm until they are fully feathered, which is at around 6-7 weeks of age. So when they can move out depends on your weather, if it's mild they can spend the days outside from a young age at least and sleep outside as soon as they are fully feathered. As a rough guide, keep new chicks at 90-95*F for the first week and reduce the brooder temperature by about 5*F each week after that. If the brooder and outside temps are similar, let them go outside instead. To help you pick a breed I'd suggest have a look through the Breeds section. You can narrow now breeds by ticking the boxes on the left, according to your requirements. Enjoy!
 

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