Preparing chicks for outdoor living

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Lydia, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. Lydia

    Lydia Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Our chicken coop is on its way to completion and I wanted to get some advice from all of you on what I should be doing to prep my chicks for living outside. It's still cold here in Seattle (read: I've still got the heat on in the morning), so I don't think they'll be outside for the night for a little while yet.

    I'm not exactly sure of the age of my chicks because the feed store had older and younger golden laced wyandottes together so I have two golden laced wyandottes that are close in size however I can tell that one is older than the other by maybe a week or so??? I'm not sure of the ages of the other chicks because they were also together in a "cage" that was a hodge podge of different chicks of different ages. What is the optimal age to place them out overnight? Will they still need a heat lamp?

    Any information that you feel is of vital importance for me to know regarding this transition is appreciated.

    Lydia
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2008
  2. coffeemama

    coffeemama Barista Queen

    Mar 5, 2008
    Oregono
    Some people don't do a heat lamp, but I know your climate very well. I am in Oregon and I always give my transferred chicks a lamp for a while. I'm a few degrees warmer than you there, but I plan to move my chicks out today (finally sunny), and they are almost 5 weeks old. I think once they are fully feathered, you can think about moving them. Just make sure you have a draft free area for them, and do the heat thing based on age. I think my chicks still need to have an area that it 70 degrees at their age, so I'll do the lamp.
     
  3. pattee

    pattee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    ACK our weather is awful! [​IMG] And I read in the paper today that we will have a cooler than normal with less rain.... great grey skies and cooler.... I'm ready to pick my chicks and move!

    Ok back to the topic. I put my babies out at 5 weeks. I have a 250 red heat light with them and seem fine. I have 8 and so they snuggle up with each other at night. I also put pine chips in the coop so they can snuggle in.

    I read the in the headlines of the Seattle Times the other day...

    "Bundle up it's June" [​IMG]
     
  4. Lydia

    Lydia Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I saw that headline too! I've had enough of the rain and I think our vegetable garden is in serious need of some sunshine ASAP.

    Since I only have 4 chicks right now, I think the lamp is a good idea.

    (I have more chicks coming but my family, including the husband, has no idea....haha!)

    Thanks for the advice-

    Lydia
     
  5. pattee

    pattee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Funny I almost bought a goose... but thought my husband would say "What do you want for dinner tonight? Goose?" LOL

    I know my garden is suffering right now also its a "bummer" [​IMG]
     
  6. FluffandRaul

    FluffandRaul New Egg

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    Jun 9, 2008
    Snohomish, WA
    Hi Lydia,
    Being new to chickens, I was happy to read your post and know that others have the same concerns as I do.

    My two chicks are about 6.5 weeks old (I have one that is about 1 week older than the other too) and are getting so big we really needed to move them out. The coop was ready, but I am in the north Seattle area and worried about it being too cold still. We had been putting the chickens out during the day for about a week. Last night we finally left them out all night. We decided to hook up a single 150W red heat bulb and we put a thermometer out there to track the temp. I was hoping it wouldn't drop below 65, but it dropped to about 62 degrees, but I think it was okay. They seem fine. They waited a while this morning to come out, but they were out and pecking around by 8:30. Now they are out there pecking around in the rain. I thought they would go inside when raining, but I guess not.

    One weird thing, the last couple nights we brought them in at night, we waited until dark to see if they would go into the coop and settle down, but they never did. When we broth them in, my husband would go out to thier fenced yard to get them (after dark) and they nearly pecked and snuggled my husband to death. They hopped up onto his shoulder and head and started nuzzling in his hair. He didn't know at first whether they were scared of him or just so happy to see him.

    Anyways, good luck. I am sure it will all work out.
     
  7. Lydia

    Lydia Out Of The Brooder

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    May 21, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    FluffandRaul- It's nice to get the chance to meet another chicken lover in the Seattle area.

    We let the chicks out into the yard yesterday for a few moments and our littlest chick even found a small worm... it was too cute! It's nice to hear that your husband is the object of the chicks' affection, its good to know when we're appreciated for something as simple as our presence and body heat.

    It's going to be a little bit yet until the coop is ready because of all the rain we've been getting. My husband doesn't want to do anything to close up the coop because he's concerned it won't dry out inside and there will be mold. Plus, our metal roofing is on order and has yet to arrive.

    Let me know how your chicks adjust!

    Lydia
     

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