The chicks 1st night outside - poor things it's so cold

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ole-crone, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. ole-crone

    ole-crone Chillin' With My Peeps

    I realized today that I was going to have to bite the bullet and put the baby chicks out in the greenhouse. It is only going to get colder and they might as well start getting used to it now. Of course the night I put them out the temp is heading down towards 10 degrees F. But the last time I checked, it was 40+ in the greenhouse. That was with the door open, etc. I'm hoping that the heat lamp shoves it up a bit more now that there are 47 chickens in there.

    We finished the covered cage area for the almost 5 week old chicks. They had been divided up between two of those HUGE storage bins on the sunporch but were looking so cramped. They were constantly knocking over their water and it was always damp in there so I decided to not wait til this weekend to move them.

    Already living in the greenhouse are 23 chickens that are almost 14 weeks old. I have a nice large coop ready for them but I thought it might be nice to leave them in the greenhouse until Saturday to use their bodyheat to help warm it up a bit more.

    Our two chickies that were hatched by a broody hen are running all over outside, it's time to stop babying these hatchery hatched girls. I still feel horrid about it. I'm cold in the house! What do they think of it out there? Everytime I've looked, they aren't huddled up with their feathers all puffed out - they are running around, chirping and exploring their space and getting to know each other again. They have around 3 inches of shavings, a blanket over the door, and a feather pillow outside the door to cover the crack. I put a sheet over the chicken wire to hold in the heat and keep out drafts. I SHOULDN'T BE STRESSING OVER THIS !!!

    When Dh comes home, I'll have him go out and top off their feed and make sure things are ok. I'd put a heater out there, but I'm a bit concerned that it would blow the fuse in the middle of the night and there would be no heat.

    I HATE winter! Actually, I love winter, I just feel so bad for the animals.

    OH YES, now I know why it would have been better to wait until February to get the chicks ordered. It would be cold when they arrive but by the time it they are too big for my brooders, the temps are going up and not down! Hopefully, this won't be another learning experience.

    My first experience was over 20 years ago when I 'baked' a batch of baby chicks in a brooder. Dh built a one that would be easy for me to keep an eye on the chicks and the raccoons couldn't raid. Unfortunately, we didn't consider the afternoon sun.
     
  2. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sounds like the babies are doing fine. I was starting to worry when you talked about leaving the door open. Then you mentioned your earlier experience with raccoons, so I am sure you have it predator proof. (Can you tell I am predator paranoid ?)

    How big is your greenhouse ?
     
  3. ole-crone

    ole-crone Chillin' With My Peeps

    If I had to guess how big it is, I would wager @5'x8'.

    So far, so good. Everyone seems happy. I hung an old quilt over the door so the older girls could come and go - it took them a while to learn how to duck around it. The greenhouse doesn't seem to get any warmer than 40 but the chicks haven't shown any signs of it bothering them. I haven't put a thermometer in their pen so it might be warmer under that heat lamp. They have an option of staying under the heat lamp or running around throughout their penned area and they prefer to run. I have found a few basking under the heat lamp once in a while - but only one at a time.

    Tomorrow night is the first night we'll have available to move the older chicks to their new coop. Then the door on the greenhouse can be left closed all day and we can put a heater in there.

    A part of me worries about a heater - I'm always afraid that I'll get them used to heat and then the electricity go out in the middle of the night.

    Thanks for replying.
     

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