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Please help a newbie with a few questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CityFolk, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. CityFolk

    CityFolk In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2009
    I am almost finished with my coop. I am planning on buying two baby rhode island reds this weekend. They are from the tractor supply company and they are like nugget sized. Well they are baby chicks anyway. Should I make them stay in the coop with a heat lamp and food and water until they get a certain size or can they run around the pen during the day if they want to? Thanks.

  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Depends on the weather where you are. I'd keep them in a box with a lamp for the first couple of weeks at least, until they get a bit of size & strength. Then if it's warm, you can begin to let them spend time in their pen during the days. While they're out be watchful for predators, lots of animals love a tender chickie dinner.

    Have fun with your new feathered family!
  3. Linda in San Diego

    Linda in San Diego Songster

    May 11, 2008
    San Diego
    Oh, you have to keep them in a box in your house - kitchen or your bedroom is perfect. Someplace you can admire them 24/7 - and experience chicken/feather dust 24/7 - LOL

    My delightful dozen lived in an appliance box with heat lamp in the kitchen until they were 5 weeks old and then on a 102 degree weekend we moved them out to the run and finished up the coop - over their little heads!

    Just messing with you, they will be fine if they are in a restricted area in a coop - no drafts and plenty warm - but if they are outside you will just be running out there all the time to check on them, why not get a large tote and keep them inside?

    Keep us posted, take pics !

    Oh, and welcome to this chicken crazy world!
  4. firedove

    firedove Songster

    Nov 10, 2008
    Fitzwilliam NH
    I recommend the in a box in the house way too. Especially if you want to bond with the chicks and have friendly chickens when they get older. I don't know where you are at but if the temp is below 60 during the day where you are I'd wait until the chicks are getting in some serious feathers before letting them outside to play. When hens raise their chicks naturally they will let the chicks play for just a couple of minutes before collecting them back under her to warm up before they can go play again. For the first week chicks should have a place that is 95 degrees F most of the time. If your daytime temps are around there anyways I'm sure they could play for a while but you will have to be right with them at all times or something will be thinking chicken nuggets are on the menu. You can decrease the temp for the chicks by 5 degrees every week until they are fully feathered (about 8 weeks) and don't need it at all anymore or your night time ambient temp outside gets up to as high as the chicks need if you were someplace really warm.

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