OOPS! I put my chicks before my coop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lattefrog, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. lattefrog

    lattefrog Hatching

    Jul 3, 2011
    Help! My husband and I finally decided to jump in and get chickens. We bought 4 sweet little chicks June 18th, then added 11 more the following week. Boy do they grow fast! I have them in a large metal (oval) brooder about 2x4 and they seem to be doing fine, but I noticed yesterday that the RIR chick has begun hopping up on top of the waterer (to lord over the others, I'm guessing) but of course, she is now pooping down the side into the water! I put a branch across the brooder, but it is lower than the top of the waterer. I plan to raise the water supply, but I can't go too high or the little silky won't be able to reach it. I could put a small waterer in for her I suppose, but that RIR will probably get on top of it. I don't know!! The coop will probably be done next week, but I'm not sure they are ready to leave they house. Any advice to this new mother would be greatly appreciated!

  2. karimw

    karimw Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    Eastern IA
    It is tough to keep the water clean when they get old enough to want to jump and scratch around. I just try to give them fresh water as often as possible and give them other things to climb on. I also gradually switch them to nipple waters - that is a 2 push in nipples plugged into the bottom of gallon juice jug. It works really well.
    Edited to add - I also use large rabbit water bottles. You do have to leave the other waterer in to make sure everyone is useing it before you rely on it completely. It only takes a few days before they get used to it. If you have different sizes of chicks you may need more than one so you can set them up at different heights.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  3. Jerseycoop

    Jerseycoop Songster

    May 13, 2011
    New Jersey
    5 weeks is when I moved my girls out to the run for the day. Our coop is just about done just need to put on the door..lol. It's plenty warm. Do they have all their feathers? If yes you could move them out! Good luck!
  4. nobodyherebutuschickens

    nobodyherebutuschickens Songster

    Dec 20, 2010
    Erie, Colorado
    [​IMG] Gotta love that chicken math. [​IMG] More and more and more... Chickens are addicting! As for the waterer, maybe you could fit a cardboard box or something on top so they can't poo in the water. When mine were in the brooder they drove me crazy trying to sit on the waterer, and escape! Fortunately, we had a bit of chicken wire over the top of the brooder. Good luck on your coop!

  5. Britt417

    Britt417 In the Brooder

    Jul 1, 2011
    I actually did the same thing as you, getting chicks before I was 100% ready with the coop. What I do is section off an area with chicken wire or you can even use one of those outdoor cages they use for puppies and let the chicks run around in that all day. I then put them back in the brooder at night. I bought netting to go over my run and realized it wasn't enough and my four week olds are small enough to get picked up by a hawk. Another idea is to put little perches in the brooder for the chicks to climb on. If they are jumping out, just put some chicken wire on the top. I noticed when I let my chicks run around in the little pen I made, they are making less of a mess in their brooder.
    I hope this helps, since I am new to this. Any other questions, just let me know.
  6. goldfinches

    goldfinches Songster

    May 6, 2011
    I did the same thing, got my chicks before my coop was done. I solved the jumping problem by setting the water on an upside down planter base and putting a screen over the top of the brooder. Kept the chicks from flying out, mostly, too. My chicks went outside at 5 weeks, (my second batch went out at 4 weeks), so yours are probably ready to go. If you're uncomfortable, you could keep the heat lamp out there for them at night.
  7. lattefrog

    lattefrog Hatching

    Jul 3, 2011
    Quote:HA HA! [​IMG] Chicken Math! That's for sure. I do love me some CHICKS!

  8. LilMissPetie

    LilMissPetie Chirping

    May 23, 2011
    I put mine out with the heat lamp at 3 weeks and they have been fine. They have been with out the light now for a few days.
  9. lattefrog

    lattefrog Hatching

    Jul 3, 2011
    Thanks for all the great ideas! I will see what I can jam between the waterer and the wire top!

  10. JanetR

    JanetR In the Brooder

    May 12, 2011
    Long Island NY
    Quote:Me too- Chicks are 5 weeks old and I'm still working on the coop. I have a chicken wire "playpen" with a netting cover outside that they stay in all day. It keeps the brooder alot cleaner and they get more exercise. You should hear them complain when I collect them in the evening- " five more minutes... pleeeease!" [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by