raising my first chicks soon need some help

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by oldfartfarmer, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. oldfartfarmer

    oldfartfarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    ill be getting 4 large chickens, Buff brahmas and great jersey
    well they'll grow up to be big,

    im in Maine, and it will be in march/april

    as chicks i plan to keep them in a rubber maid tub with the heating pad, inside downstairs, or in the garage

    1- when do i move them outside to the coop?

    the coop,
    I have 18inches tall x 6feet wide x 2 feet deep of space under my nesting boxes,
    I'm planning to make a hinged mesh frame for the front of it, so the 6,- 1 year old comets can't attack the chicks

    2-how long do i leave them in this before letting them out with the 6,- 1 year old comets?


    thanks
    john
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I've never used heating pads but the principle is the same- heat one side of brooder so chicks can move to cooler area.

    I start hatching late March too and at that time of spring you may have to brood until break in weather. I brood early spring for 4 weeks, turning off heat for periods then no heat last few days. We brood in the unheated garage now. So at 4 weeks I look at the forecast and some times keep them inside for a few more days depending if there is a out of season cold snap with norm 50 F highs just around the corner. Later in May chicks go out at 3 weeks.

    The older birds seeing the new birds with that area your providing is a good idea. It will lessen pecking issue. With Comets I'd assume they are much like Production Red or Red Sex Link in that they get along great with their flock and humans but are horrible to outsiders. The absolute worst I've ever had on new birds. I mean go out of their way just to get a peck in only to keep pecking and take longest to accept new birds. Your may have a different experience. In general chicks should be of size to handle the integration pecking without injury. If a few birds are overly hard on them then you'd need to separate again and wait a few more weeks. Pecking to point of injury and the like mean you immediately need to put back in small pen. General torment without chasing down for extended lengths is what I consider the norm. What age is that at? It's flock dynamics dependent so no age can be given only say that the size the chicks need to be to integrate depends on how hard the integration will be and how much cover to retreat to they are provided.


    Good Luck.
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I'll say what I've done before for young bird integration. With the Sex Links I had to wait until birds were near adult size- over 12 weeks. With a more docile flock I could put birds with flock much younger than that. If a Cock bird is in flock then cockerels should be of good size (16 weeks plus) unless it was raised from broody hen.

    But again, flock dynamics, space provided and particular demeanor of one bird can all effect integration. It can go smooth and it can be hard. If it's going hard then look for injury, if the birds are able to feed and are not injured then leave with flock. It means your going to have a hard integration and if you take them out your only needing to start all over again. The birds need access to food and water, providing more feeders may stop flock members from keeping them off feeders. All you can do is monitor, not referee. If starting of injury or no let up at all of pecking, I mean continual with only minute breaks then separate and let the young birds grow some more.

    Hopefully it goes very smooth, if not one thing you can do is take the most offending bird or two and put them in that grow out space for a week. That will give others chance to integrate and when the dominant ones are let out will be reestablishing rank with entire flock, which wont take long at all, and should not single out newer birds anymore.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  4. Hholly

    Hholly Chillin' With My Peeps

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