Rain/Cold and 8 week old chicks in a new coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jenesis536, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. jenesis536

    jenesis536 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't want to hijack a similar thread, so I'll ask it here. We just moved our 8 weekers out to the coop on Saturday. Temps at night have been in the low 50's, and it has been cold, raining and slightly windy during the day. On Monday I left the coop door open when I went to work, and when I came home it is already getting a little dark around here and they were all huddled up in the corner under the coop - crying and slightly damp. They were able to get OUT of the coop but haven't figured how to get back INTO the coop.

    So, for the past couple of days I've just been opening the windows and leaving the door shut, but I hate that they can't go outside at all. I'm just worried about them getting sopping wet and cold and not being able to go back in until I put them back in there in the early evening.

    What do you recommend? Leave them cooped up or open it up and let them figure it out? If they get cold and wet AND it's windy, are they going to be ok?

    Here's a pic of my coop - do you think the rungs on the ramp are too far apart? Is the ramp not wide enough? The one inside is the same, and last night all the girls were able to get up to the roost except the little Delaware - she was huddled up alone at the bottom looking cold. I brought her in and let her snuggle up with us on the couch for an hour but had to put her back.

    [​IMG]

    Inside rungs:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  2. churchx3

    churchx3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my opinion the ramp itself is too steep. It would be like climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to get in the coop.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Two things: that ramp IS too steep. And I keep new chicks locked in the coop for at least one, if not two weeks.

    That seals the inside of the coop into their minds that it is safest in there, that's where they sleep, and it is home.

    Then they will want to return to it at night, by themselves.

    But fix that ramp. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  4. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I might try to use a longer ramp so that the angle wouldn't be so steep. The cross pieces look about like mine -- I think I put mine at about 6" apart. Generally my girls (they are 22 weeks) jump up about half way and then walk the rest of the way in. Mine doesn't sit that high, though.

    Where are you from? Your alley and yard looks a lot like an area where my daughter lived 10 years ago (Olympia, WA).
     
  5. jenesis536

    jenesis536 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much for your feedback! Now I don't feel so bad about keeping them cooped up for a little while. I'll have hubby extend the ramps, too. He did a good job with them but he'll have to make them longer.

    ETA: We live in Campbell, CA (San Jose, CA), about an hour South of San Francisco.

    Jen
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  6. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At 8 weeks, the little Delaware may not be ready to sleep on a roost yet. Mine didn't really get into sleeping on the roost until they were 16 weeks old or so (but they did have alternatives). I think with mine it was a confidence/balance thing.
     
  7. jenesis536

    jenesis536 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm having my hubby swap out the roosts with 2x4's, too. I think they would like that a lot better. When we put those up their feet seemed a lot smaller, but now that they are bigger it does seem harder for them to maintain balance.
     
  8. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They grow so fast it is hard to keep up with them. The 2x4 seemed SOOO wide when they were small, but at 22 weeks, that 4" width is just perfect for keeping chickie feet warm at night.
     

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