ok so i need some help . . .


In the Brooder
8 Years
Nov 1, 2011
Killen AL
ok so my new years day hatch was a success with a broody hen. Being winter i have 5 chicks in house inside a brooder. I live in north Alabama so the winters aren't usually that harsh. I only have one run and coop, (for now) so when is a good time to put the chicks out with the flock? and how do i keep the chicks on starter/grower feed and not have them eat layer? I will be building a new coop and run with income tax since i have another hen brooding 10 eggs! i wanted more chickens just didn't think it would happen so fast.
They stay inside and under heat until they are fully feathered out. 6-8 months until they aren't as susceptible to certain diseases.
Too small and the adults will kill them, run them out of the coop at night and they freeze or run them out the yard and something eats them.
Is the hen doing your brooding? That will make a difference on how fast you can put them with the flock. Be careful though, Some hens in the flock will attack the babies, so be sure to keep them separate until they are quite feathered out and move fast.
You need a separate area in your coop for young ones. Here is what I do for example that will answer the other questions.

Mine stay on medicated starter until 4 weeks and then switched to non medicated starter. Depending on the weather they stay inside an additional week or maybe 2 in extreme weather. Then out they go to their divided area where they can see the flock but not touch. They stay there 2-6 weeks just depending on what I see as far as behavior goes form the big girls and Boy. My regular flock is on a mix of flock raiser and non medicated starter with oyster shell free choice. When everyone gets integrated I dont have a feed issue. Roosters, chicks, and non laying pullets arnt forced to eat a feed with several times more calcium than they need and the layers will take the oyster shell when they need to on their own. Always has worked well for me.
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Here in the winter they go outside in a grow out coop at 4-6 weeks with a heat lamp for 2 weeks. As long as they are in a draft free space and some bedding they will be fine. In the summer at 3-4 weeks the go outside with a 120 watt bulb on at night for a little heat. I usually will grow them to about 16-18 weeks before they go in the breeding coops but it varies from breed to breed. If they are fairly close in size they go in with the full size group.

Maybe try to let your hen brood the chicks out. she does all of the work for you and you don't have to worry!


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