running out of room for my chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wowmanacat, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. wowmanacat

    wowmanacat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    Oak Grove AR
    I have a big problem that I am facing. I have 16 2 week old chicks in my brooder pen now and I have up to 50 eggs set to hatch on the 24th of the month My grow out pen is just a old swing set frame with chicken wire around it. I would just put them int he coop, but I have 10 hens in there and I have had little's get out of there before.

    I have a dog house in there and there is now a door in the right hand side. Also there is a tarp over the left side.
    The night are still kinda cold out here and I am not sure when to put the babies out into the pen to make room for the eggs that are due on the 24th of this month. I plan on having a heat lamp out there and trying ot put something on the sides to keep the wind down on the ground. What else can I do?
  2. gapeach717

    gapeach717 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2012
    North, ga
    I love love live your idea for the swing set frame!!!!
  3. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2011
    Midway, GA
    What is your plan for all these chicks? One obvious option is to stop hatching if you are out of space, otherwise sell some now.
  4. wowmanacat

    wowmanacat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    Oak Grove AR
    The chicks that I have now, will be moved outside at 4 to 5 weeks of age. I am just worried about the colder temps out there. At 12 to 16 week the roos got to freezer camp and the pullets go to the main coop, maybe sooner. I really did not think that the 48 eggs that I bought would all be fertile. My brooder is a 36 X 36 playpen and I am looking at finding other places to put some of the chicks that are going to hatch. I would like to have around 30 hens to lay and around 25 to 30 in freezer camp.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
  5. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I would not move them into the grow out pen until they are 7 - 8 weeks old. I don't think a heat lamp will produce enough heat in an open outdoor pen like this. And there is no protection from wind or rain. I am not familiar with weather in your part of the country though.

    My bigger concern is that you used chicken wire. The only thing this is good for is keep chickens confined. Predators can rip through it in a few seconds. You need something much more secure. 1/4" Hardware cloth would be much better but it is not cheap.
  6. wowmanacat

    wowmanacat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    Oak Grove AR
    This is very close to my house and I check very often at night. I had chicks in it last year and all was fine. I don't have room in my house for the 16 2 weeks in 2 more weeks for I will have up to 30+ 1 day old's that are going to have to be in the brooder. I am going to put some plastic around the bottom to help with the air flow. There is a dog house in there now that I am going to wash(rooster is in the pen now). There is a Tarp on one end now and I am going to work on closing in one end a bit better to be like a coop.
    As for the weather, well this year it has been on the warm side. Today I am in shorts and most of the time that don't happen till about mid May or later.
  7. the_great_snag

    the_great_snag Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    Staples, Minnesota
    I once used a doghouse someone gave me as an emergency coop. I unscrewed one side of the roof and hinged it. It allowed me to hang a heat lamp inside. All that remained to be done was to minimize the size of the door so as to reduce the amount of wind that could get in. You could easily build or buy something similar and put it inside your enclosure to get by for a while. OR... you could tack it on to the side of your enclosure and save the space you have now.

    I agree with other posters though. Your chicken math seems to be dealing with exponential increases, and not simple addition! :)
  8. wowmanacat

    wowmanacat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    Oak Grove AR
    well I was not planning on having this many eggs being fertile. Last year when I got eggs from the auction 1/3 or more was never fertile and my hatch rates were low. I started with 48 one time and only like 13 or so hatched. Most of the 16 I have now are roosters I think, so they will be butchered at 12 to 16 weeks. I am just going to have to get to work on getting that pen fixed. I do have a play cube that I have been going to use as a coop like structure, just need to get it done.
  9. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    Don't know your budget on this -

    But since it's a wooden swingset, what about 2'x8' plywood pieces (or whatever you need to go around the bottom edges) with a fairly big tarp to cover the top - allow just enough airflow to keep things moving around. Or instead of a tarp - how about a piece of clear plastic (like the kind used for greenhouses or vapor barrier)? I've just covered my own swingset with a very large piece of 4mil plastic (used for vapor barrier inside home - purchased at Menards) and zip ties to hold it in place. Now, I'm going to be putting tender little plants inside it to harden off before heading into the garden - but it does keep the heat amazingly well.

    I've also seen folks use hay bales around the bottoms of A-frames to keep drafts out. But for the size of your frame, that'd be a fair amount of hay if you don't use it for anything else!
  10. Lute

    Lute Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    My four week old chicks have been outside since I got them (They're 7 weeks now) and temperatures have been in the mid to lower 20s at night already. However, they are in a coop out of the wind and weather, no additional heat lamp. They're doing just fine.

    My current chicks are almost 3 weeks old. They'll be going outside with the rest of the chickens in another week or two. After they've grown out their feathers.

    This week the average temperatures are in the low to mid 30s at night! [​IMG]

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