Q about chick care when away on vacation

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by patandchickens, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I am trying to figure out when I can get chicks that would be compatible a time I could go out of town for 10 days for the kids to see their grandparents. It would be late spring or summer.

    How old do you think chicks should be before they can safely stand to be checked only 1x per day?

    Our horse/chicken-sitter is REALLY WONDERFUL, she is reliable far and beyond the normal call of duty and she is very detail-oriented and attentive to animals. She doesn't have chickens herself, but has been around them a whole lot and has experienced chicken-keeping friends in case a problem should arise and she can't contact us.

    After the first week or two, the chicks would be under a hanging plywood brooder (Plamondon-style) in an indoor dog run in a good insulated unheated outbuilding. Once they get big enough they will be in an indoor pen in same building, with daytime access to a very predatorproof outdoor run... but because I can't afford to have the horse/chicken-sitter out twice a day, they'd probably be shut indoors the whole time (but it'll be a BIG pen -- 6x20 for 20 chicks) for safety's sake.

    So, in this situation, how old do you think they should be before once-daily visits are safe enough? (edited to add: I am hoping the answer is something like 8 weeks, but if it's not I won't be surprised, just tell me what *would* be good)

    THanks for all opinions,

    Last edited: Feb 6, 2008
  2. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    I would say 5- 6 weeks old, because then they be feathered enough to not need heat. Say the heat lamp goes out, and they aren't being checked on until the next day, you could have some frozen chicks. Or the heat lamp catches on fire, I don't trust heat lamps enough to be away more then a few hours with one running. Just get a huge waterer and feeder, so they won't run out of food in a 24hr period. You have plenty of room for them to run around, so that's not an issue. [​IMG]
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I agree, as soon as they are off the heat lamp, once a day will be fine if the food and water are enough... Really... if you are 100% sure heatlamps are bolted down, away from water, on a breaker that flips if it blows up and won't cause a fire... Just put two heat lamps in the area so if one goes out, the other can keep the chicks warm... I've left chicks to once a day care of my little brother as young as a week old.

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