to cold for 4 week chicks???????????

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by daoustaj, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. daoustaj

    daoustaj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in michigan and its been in the 30s & 40s and i have 5 silkie chicks, 1 barred rock, 3 welsummer chicks, and i was going to put my large dog crate in the coop wirh straw for a while for the welsummers, they are the most rambuncious. The chicks are about 5 weeks old. The silkies are smaller and seem to chill easier and the barred rock has always been stand offish and quiet keeping its tail down. So i figure the BR and Silkies could stay in a bit longer and dont want them over crowded.Is this a good idea?? I have 6 adult chicken right now, but they arent mean. I put the wellies in theyre loose one day and they didnt care until the 3 chicks tried to get under one as if she was ma and they ran (adults) in the coop! Thx!!
     
  2. juststruttin

    juststruttin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, it will be too cold. Here is the formula.

    100 first week, then reduce temp 5 degree per week. At 5 weeks they should be kept at 75 degrees. They will need lights until they are at least 8-10 weeks in those temps.

    Also, 5 weeks is too young to intergrate with adults.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I will take a different tact. Since I live in northern MI and raise chicks up here. The sooner you can get them acclimated, this time of year, the better off you are. This is still Autumn. Yes, it is cool at night, but it isn't zero weather yet. Those brutal days are still 5 weeks away.

    Use Autumn to your advantage. We always wanted our fall chicks "hardened" off before the severity of winter was upon us. Nature knows best. Chicks brooded in cooler temps feather heavier and more quickly. They must. Use a heat device, SAFELY, at night? Yes. But the chicks need day time exposure to cool weather in order to make the adjustment to that which is coming, and what is coming is winter. Then, slowly, week by week, raise the lamp. At week 7 or 8, they are on their own. Take it away.

    If a broody hen had hatched them in the coop, she'd be "weening" them at this time. At six weeks, she'd no longer be covering them at all.

    The good news is we're also due from some unseasonably warm weather by week's end. Have fun! Enjoy your chicks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
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  4. lbchickenstwo

    lbchickenstwo New Egg

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    Hi. I am a new to BYC and have 9 week old buff orpingtons that are being integrated into the flock of cochins. The chicks still need starter while the cochins are being fed layer pellets. Do I offer both foods and hope the chicks eat the starter?

    I would also like to keep one rooster of each breed. How does the work with two roosters in one hen house? Are they destined to fight? I have an adult Cochin rooster and a 9 week old orpington rooster.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Leslie
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Just feed starter or grower to everyone. Simple. Offer a calcium source in a side feeder. Younger birds don't normally mess with the calcium because their bodies don't require the supplement, as they are not laying eggs.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    It's not whether a chicken is mean or not, it's what instincts she follows this time. They are all individuals with their own personality so you can never be sure how they will react, but them pecking a chick is not mean. It's part of chicken society. But chickens are often afraid of anything new. Once they get used to those chicks they'll probably respond differently. The adults running away instead of attacking is a good sign, but you may see a different reaction next time.

    Five weeks is not too young to integrate chicks. Broodies wean them at that age or younger all the time. The more age difference there is between them, the more risk, and they are living animals so you cannot be sure what will actually happen, but if a broody can do it, so can you.

    Regarding integration, there are some things for you to consider. One is that chickens are social animals. They have developed ways to live together in a flock with very little discord among the members. Those societal ties can be complex and it is sometimes violent establishing them but they have developed ways to establish them that enables the flock to survive and grow.

    They are flock animals. They learn to recognize other members of their flock and might defend the flock territory from intruders. Because something might happen does not mean it absolutely will. Sometimes you can put strange chickens in with a flock and they are immediately accepted. Sometimes it gets violent. This is where housing them where they can see each other for a while can really pay off. They learn to accept each other's existence. It doesn’t always work, but it sure improves your odds of success, especially if space is a bit tight.

    The other thing is that mature chickens always outrank immature chickens. I know yours ran away that one time. Don’t expect that to happen when they get used to the chicks. In chicken society it is normal, even expected, that a more mature chicken will protect their personal space from a socially inferior immature chicken. It’s part of the pecking order. It’s called the pecking order because pecking is practically always involved in setting it up whether between mature chickens or between immature and mature chickens.

    What normally happens is that the superior chicken pecks the inferior chicken when their personal space is violated. The inferior one runs away. Order is restored in the flock and all is well. If the inferior does not run away, it is a challenge to the superior and it can get very violent. It is important that they have room to run away. Occasionally you get a hen that will not just accept them running away but will chase them some as part of the intimidation process, but usually if they have space to run away it works out.

    This is why you see the immature chicks forming their own separate flock within the flock. They quickly learn it is best to not invade the personal space of the mature chickens.

    A quick story that may help explain this. I’ve seen it several times. I’ve seen chicks maybe 2 weeks old being raised by a broody with the flock leave Mama’s protection and stand next to other hens at the feeder, eating with them. Sometimes those hens totally ignore the chick, but usually before long one gives that chick a peck to remind it that it is bad manners in chicken society for a chick to eat with its superiors. The chick runs back to Mama as fast as its little legs can carry it, little wings flapping and peeping to beat all. Mama generally ignores all this. That chick needs to be taught manners. But if a hen starts to chase the chick Mama gets all mad and teaches that hen not to really threaten her baby.


    As I said, they are living animals. You really can’t tell what they will do. But what can you do to help improve your odds?

    First give them as much space as you can, whether you are integrating chicks or mature chickens. Give them room to run away. Give them room to avoid the mature chickens in the first place. This room may be just space, a large run or free range. You can have some perches where the weaker can stay to avoid the stronger. It may be something to hide under or behind. When they are smaller, it may be a safe haven where the young can go but the adults cannot. I don’t know what your set-up looks like, but the more space you can give them, the better.

    House them side by side for a week or more. Let them get used to seeing each other.

    Provide separate eating and drinking places so they can eat without challenging the older birds. Part of maintaining their socially superior position involves intimidation. Often mature birds will guard the feeder and keep inferior birds away.

    I can’t give you any guarantees with any of this. They are living animals and anything can happen. But rest assured it’s not just broodies that integrate chicks at 4 to 5 weeks of age. Lots of people successfully do it too. Sometimes these things go so smoothly you wonder what all the worry was and sometimes it does not go well. Usually there is pecking, chasing, and running away, but they work it out.

    I agree with everything Fred said about taking advantage of the chance to acclimate them. I have a large brooder in the coop and only heat one area. The rest cools off to pretty much match whatever ambient temperature is. They find their own comfort zone. Even very young chicks spend a lot of time in the cooler part of that brooder, going back to the heated area when they need to warm up.

    Last fall, the overnight temperatures were hitting the mid 40’s Fahrenheit when I put the chicks in a grow-out coop at 5 weeks old. It had a good draft guard to keep breezes off them, but it was unheated. One night when they were 5-1/2 weeks old the overnight temperature hit the mid 20’s. Those chicks were fine. They had become acclimated in the brooder.
     
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  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Young roosters have been growing to maturity within a flock with an older rooster in charge for thousands of years. Space is very important here too but they have worked out ways for the flock to continue and grow.

    They are destined for one to be dominant and one to not be dominant. How they determine that depends on the individual roosters. Size does not matter that much. It's the spirit of the rooster that counts.

    As long as your Orp is immature, the Cochin will dominate him. They will recognize the difference. The Cochin will intimidate him and he will run away. If the Cochin remains significantly stronger in spirit, they may always be this way and you never see any real fighting. You might not even see the chasing and running away.

    But if the Orp decides he has matured enough to challenge the Cochin, they will almost certainly fight. This might be a bloody fight to the death. It might involve a series of skirmishes with a lot of chasing and running away. It may be more intimidation than actual fighting. You may not see any of this.

    Usually they work out an accommodation. It may involve splitting the hens into two separate harems. I've had two roosters that hung out together more than with the hens. All eggs got fertilized and they definitely knew which was dominant, but they had worked out an agreeable arrangement.

    It's sometimes fun to watch how two roosters can work together to protect the flock. For example, I've had situations where the dominant one was always the first out the pop door in the morning when I opened it. The other was the last out. The dominant one was checking it out outside while the other was protecting the last ones out.
     
  8. daoustaj

    daoustaj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ty! This will help. I will slowly integrate them
     
  9. daoustaj

    daoustaj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 22, 2012
    Now is probably better being in 3 weeks itll be even colder
     
  10. cnj-tx50

    cnj-tx50 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in North Texas and the night time temps have been down in the 60's with daytime between 75 to 85. My chicks are 3 weeks old and are outgrowing there brooder. And they are beginning to fly some. I want to put them in the grow out coop where I do have 2 older retirement hens. I can raise the pellet feeder so the chicks can only get to their own starter feeder but what about heat? I do have floor level boxes that have shavings in them and the space is 8x10. The would also have access to the outdoors during the day when the poop door is open. Would the extra heat be too much for these hens?

    Thanks for the input!
     

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