Newbie from Long Island- 5 chicks, 2 horses, and 9 dogs. Can we all be in harmony?


6 Years
Sep 13, 2013
Hi all. I am excited to join here. We got our new chicks, Rhode Island Red and Light Brahma first with 2 Barnevelders and Barred Rock on the way next week. We have a fabulous set up for them to keep them safe and warm.

My question right now is, as they are 3 weeks old, should I have a heat source for them at night still with the temps getting into the mid 50's soon? I have a balcony where they can be outside but it's raised high off the ground. So they feel they are outside but technically it's not on the ground. If I put mud down on that balcony, do you think this is a good source for them feeling like they are free ranging? They have LOTS of room in the coop and the balcony is about 6x3 in size that is chicken wire in so they cannot fly out. We have 7 Cavaliers(bird dogs, German Shepherd and a chihuahua) I don't think free range is an option here with the dogs? What is others experience with dogs finally getting used to them at one point. The shepherd seemed interested and not threatening. The Cavaliers, another story. They LOVE to get birds, especially while little so I am not thinking anytime soon they can come out of their coop when they are old enough.

Also we are trying to socialize them. The PANIC at the moment when I pick them up to hold them. I am visiting them quite a bit and hold them only until they can stand it. I thought they would be more hand friendly at this point with us handling them almost every day since they have arrived. Do they get more friendly in your laps when they are older or is this just the way it is that they do not want to be held?
Thanks for any advice. Happy chicken owning! I am so happy with our new additions!
Welcome to BYC
Glad you joined us! That is a beautiful coop. On the heat source: as a rule of thumb chicks should be kept warm until they are fully feathered, unless the weather is mild they normally need some kind of heat source until they are 6-7 weeks old. Chicks aged 3 weeks should be kept at a temperature of around 75-80*F. You can play around with that range and let the chicks tell you if they are
comfortable. A good way of judging that is by watching their behaviour. Chicks that are too hold will try and get as far away from the heat as possible, may act listless and pant. Chicks that are too cold will do the opposite and huddle together for warmth.
Thanks. I have done just that. Gave them more freedom with the option to go under the lamp. Seems to be working out okay.. Thanks :)

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