Starting to fly?? - Updated with 2nd question

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by flspnr, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

    139
    1
    93
    Sep 23, 2011
    Gibsonton, FL
    ETA: Anyone have any ideas on age?? I'd love to know so I can keep track. Does 3 weeks sound right? They have almost all of their baby feathers, just fuzz on their bellies, heads, and necks. See pic below.

    As I was typing another post, my BR flew the coop! I'm guessing they're about 3 weeks old?? I really have no idea, just going from some pictures I've seen on the internet... But she hopped to the top of the brooder (a large rubbermaid box without a lid for the moment), and then from there "flew" the foot or so to my lap. I know I need to get a cover for the brooder, DH will go crazy if they're all flying around here and there while I'm at work, lol.

    But my question is, when do they start behavior like this? Are the 3 weeks old, or am I guessing wrong?

    [​IMG]

    That's her. A cutie, huh??
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  2. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

    9,766
    123
    288
    Oct 3, 2011
    Virginia
    My Coop
    my chicks have been hoping/flying almost out of there box and there 2 weeks old today. There just streching out there wings and getting used to them and enjoying there wings. I would get a higher box or put some wire on the top so it wont jump out and hurt itself. On my box I just folded the sides up and they are fine know.
     
  3. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,392
    112
    243
    Feb 25, 2011
    Boise
    Yep, at 2 weeks they seem to realize what wings are for. Slap a net or top over your brooder or it'll start resembling a popcorn tub being heated.

    Fortunately most breeds get too heavy for flying once they reach the 12 to 15 week mark, and they'll stop being so 'flighty' (sorry couldn't resist)
     
  4. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    16,242
    108
    336
    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Quote:I beg to differ. My Araucanas are as heavy as most hatchery laying hens, but they're SUPER fliers. It isn't really about weight, I've seen 7+ lb birds fly pretty well, it's about the tendency of the breed as well as its environment. [​IMG]
     
  5. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,392
    112
    243
    Feb 25, 2011
    Boise
    Sorry Illia, you're of course right as always [​IMG] Lord knows my EE is constantly taking wing-clippings as a personal challenge.

    I was trying to keep it simple and directed towards the breed the OP has. Sounds like I oversimplified. [​IMG]
     
  6. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

    496
    38
    121
    Sep 2, 2011
    New Hampshire
    Mine started flying at less than a week, we built a much bigger brooder with 2ft sides and hinged top now every time I open the brooder they are just itching to fly out and they are fully capable they can reach the top!

    I am hoping they will settle soon...but somehow I doubt it.
     
  7. ceeceeholt

    ceeceeholt Chillin' With My Peeps

    437
    13
    103
    Aug 17, 2011
    Alabama
    2 weeks, freaked me out when I went to check on them and there sat my little girl on the lip of the brooder, just as proud as she could be!!! Quickly put a top and then made and moved them to a bigger, topped brooder:)
     
  8. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

    937
    36
    158
    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    Echoing what everyone has said, and they can get through small spaces still!! These two things together -- big surprises.

    My brooder is in the coop (no other chickens). It sits on top of the poopshelves where their roosts are going to be at about 3 ft off the floor. It has a hardware top on it. I had cut a hole in that to suspend a half gallon water jug with a nipple to replace their yucky waterer. Obviously the hole was slightly larger than the jug. At 2 1/2 weeks I saw that they were itching to get out, and I decided to prepare the rest of the coop for their habitation by cleaning up and putting woodshavings down. I was bent over, spreading the last bag of shavings when I felt something land on my head.

    In retrospect, I think one of the Australorps had gotten on top of the jug, then wiggled through the hardware cloth and on top of the brooder, and then flown to roost on my head. I startled (because I thought they'd all be safe and sound in the brooder) and jerked my head away. The chick flew off of me, I thought out of the coop because the doors were open.

    It took me almost three hours of searching through the thickets around the coop and farther away. I couldn't find her, and couldn't hear her, I had all but decided that she was dead. Finally I decided to let the remaining chicks out of the brooder to roam the coop floor and give them some yogurt. Guess whose fuzzy butt was first in line to get some -- yep, the australorp. She had most probably not flown out of the coop and had hidden somewhere out of sight and I had made assumptions without checking the alternative.

    So all's well that ends well. I still have 14 safe and sound chicks, nobody is worse for wear, except me for worrying needlessly. I'm sure the chicks were chuckling behind my back.
     
  9. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

    139
    1
    93
    Sep 23, 2011
    Gibsonton, FL
    Thanks everyone for the replies!!

    Before I went to work, I put the plastic lid on the container, but propped it open so they got plenty of light and fresh air, but would bump into it if trying to fly out. It worked. DH checked on them about every 30 minutes just to make sure they were ok and had plenty of water and were warm enough, so I know they were fine. I just got off work, so it's too late to do anything now, but I'm going to get something wire-ish (real word. promise.) tomorrow to put over it.

    My other three were in the coop by 3 weeks - they were my first chickens and had a brand new coop all to themselves, so in they went asap. We keep it warm in the house (don't like paying electric bills, so it's not hot, but it's not 62 either) and the coop was in the house at the time, so I didn't have to worry about that so much. Since they had so much room and everything covered, it never occured to me that these three have to stay in the brooder a lot longer (coop is outside and already has 3 chickens in it to introduce these to), and that I'd have to do anything different!!

    After I wrote the OP, I had DH hold all 3 while I cleaned the brooder. I wish I had video taped him. He can't hold on to three squirmy chicks!![​IMG] While I was bent over not paying attention to him, I heard a flutter and something hit my head. I froze, and DH about fell over laughing. The BR had flown from his lap to land on my head. That means she likes me, right?? More than DH?? [​IMG]

    FiddleBanshee, I read your post somewhere else on here earlier, and I though of you when the bird hit my head! Otherwise, I would have freaked out and probably sent her flying if I didn't know chickens land on heads. [​IMG] I didn't know you had found your baby though, I'm so glad you did!!! [​IMG] Poor baby, probably got a good laugh at it though. What a game of hide and seek!

    And, I was talking with DH and we're going to try to tach them not to fly onto heads. I don't think I want to feel an 8lb bird landing on my head ever, lol!!
     
  10. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

    937
    36
    158
    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    Your chick looks like mine at 3 weeks old. It might be slightly older but I found that different breeds feather in at different speeds and it's hard to tell exact by feathering only. But I think 3 weeks for your chick is probably a good estimate.

    Yea, I'm glad my situation resolved itself without any disaster. I learned a lesson though - never assume and never think that they are safely locked up if there is any hole anywhere that they could possibly get through, because they will.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by