Preparing for baby chicks at school/ transporting chickens question...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by avalentine, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. avalentine

    avalentine Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 9, 2011
    San Francisco
    I have chickens at home but I have never raised them from chicks. I teach at a great school that has decided to get 6 chickens, which we will be training the kids to care for. I will be raising the babies in my classroom and supervising care for their first weeks, which I am excited about! Once they move into their coop the garden educator and students will start taking on more of their care (although I suspect I will still be hanging out with them a lot). I feel well prepared, but have a question about how much moving them around I can get away with....

    I don't want to sleep at school, so my plan was to take them home every night for the first few weeks (and of course for the weekends!). Obviously I will have to worry a little about them staying warm during transit- I live about 1/2 hour drive from school- but I figured a few towels over the cage & the heater would help. Am I crazy?

    Second concern: I have a great cage/carrier that should work well for the first few weeks, but as they grow larger they will need a bigger brooder. This will, of course, make it harder to transport. At what age can I leave them at school overnight? If people who live near school agree to check on them a couple of times a day on the weekends could they stay over a weekend at 3.5 weeks? 4.5 weeks? I suspect I would have a hard time leaving them, but I need to be realistic.

    We have a great maintenance worker/carpenter who converted a play barn into a super deluxe coop, which I was thinking I would move their brooder into at around 4-5 weeks. I could leave the door open so they can free choice exploring their new home, and I might hang a second heat lamp over the roosting bars so they can hang out and stay warm in multiple spots....

    I appreciate any thoughts you might have!
     
  2. airmechreed

    airmechreed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2011
    Colorado Springs
    Your biggest challenge will be keeping fresh water for them over the weekend. I would make a nipple waterer that way the water is fresh and as long as they have food and heat and water they do pretty good. I think as they get older a pet taxi would work and as long as you have a few they will keep warm by huddling together for the ride home. Just have a warm spot when you get there. Right now here I'n Colorado it has been so hot I got rid of the extra heat after the first week. Just watch the chicks if they are under the heat sorce they are cold if they are away from it they are hot. They should be walking around happily.
     
  3. avalentine

    avalentine Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 9, 2011
    San Francisco
    Thanks! It has actually been pretty cool here- I have been wearing my down vest in the morning. San Francisco summer fog! I think it got to a whopping 61 degrees at my house today... [​IMG]
     
  4. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    I had a large dog crate in my garage that I used as a brooder when my chicks were little. I didn't get the coop done till they were over 6 weeks old and pretty large. From the time they were maybe 3 or 4 weeks old I'd transport them out to their run (which was done) in a cat carrier, 3 or 4 at a time and then return them to the brooder at night.

    You might be able to do something similar for transportation when your chicks get a bit large for their initial cage, setting up a large dog crate, or even a large cardboard box in your car (hopefully a station wagon, SUV, hatch-back type) and transfer the chicks from your classroom to the car in something smaller. It would save you from having to move a large crate each time. It would mean you need to have a separate enclosure at your home as well.

    I will tell you that even at 10 weeks, I check on my girls several times a day. I'm enough of a worrier that if I were in your position, I'd probably find myself getting up at 5:00 AM on a weekend and driving to work just to make sure they were OK.
     

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