Should my chick sleep outside now?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Scrambled8, Nov 28, 2014.

  1. Scrambled8

    Scrambled8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 7, 2013
    I have a single buff orpington chick, about 5 or 6 weeks old. It has all of it's feathers except for a tuft on it's head. I would be keeping it in an old rabbit hutch with a towel over it to prevent drafts. Where I live it's 80 degrees during the day and about 50 during the night. What do you guys think? Is it okay to have her sleep outdoors?
     
  2. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 13, 2008
    Normally chicks that age are still huddling with their mother at night, or in a pile with other chicks, even in the tropics, using the other birds' body heat to stay warm. This chick really should have a companion anyway, if at all possible as they aren't solitary animals and don't like being alone. Also, is this hutch wire-floored or solid? That makes a big difference in 50 degree weather, and I'd also be wondering about the effect of standard sized rabbit wire flooring on feet that small.
     
  3. Scrambled8

    Scrambled8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, the bottom is wire, but it is covered in mounds of hay. Actually, the chick is about the size of a bantam chicken....... So maybe it's older than 6 weeks?
     
  4. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in NC and normally get chicks in the Spring which I do put outside once they are fully feathered and the temps are moderate. Of course, they have buddies to roost with. I agree that your chicken needs at least one - two would be better, companions.
     
  5. Scrambled8

    Scrambled8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I agree, she should have a companion. I have nine other grown chickens and room only for one more....... She seems very content by herself. When I picked her up from the feeds tore she had a horrible wound on her wing as a result of being picked on by the other chicks. When I introduced her to my friends chick she cowered in the corner until it left. I think she will be just fine without a companion. Thanks for the feedback, I will wait a few more weeks to put her out
     
  6. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please be aware that companionship doesn't have to mean sharing the same space and getting beat up again--just being in a situation where she can see and hear other chickens and they can see and hear her on a continuous basis would be sufficient. It's understandable that she is uncomfortable being too close to other chicks if she was almost pecked to death by her former flock. But that doesn't change the fact that chickens are hardwired to live and interact with other chickens and are healthiest when they are able to.

    For example, sometime soon I would try to get her in a separate pen or other area as close to the other chickens as possible, with no vision barrier between them--ideally IN your main coop, but separated by wire--where she can see, hear, and interact without the danger of being physically bullied. She can begin to get over her trauma and learn to live with other chickens again. Something like that should work both ways to ease her eventual integration into your flock.

    On the other hand, if she is in solitary for a long time and never learns to interact with other chickens at all (only people), I could see that just causing more issues down the line. Kind of like a child locked in the closet their whole life.

    Anyway, that's my suggestion, based on 20 years of experience with chickens and observing how they think and interact, for whatever it's worth. Of course, a happy ending is never guaranteed, but I think something along those lines could be your best bet, based on how you've described the situation.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014

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