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Um...5 minutes outside and panting hard.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by p2chick, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. p2chick

    p2chick In the Brooder

    Aug 16, 2008
    I'm a new egg with 1 australorp and 1 red cochin. They are 2 weeks old and i just put them outside for only 5 minutes. They ran for shade and started panting hard core. They are inside now and still panting...

    no need to think they hate the outdoors do I?
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    When it is hot they need plenty of water. Never put them outside without water. Also being 2 weeks old and a first trip outside they are in panic mode. They have to have time to adjust to a new environment. 5 minutes would not put them in heat stress. For them 'the sky is falling' to be in a new place with new sights and sounds and smells.
  3. p2chick

    p2chick In the Brooder

    Aug 16, 2008
    thanks miss prissy!
  4. kmom246

    kmom246 In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2008
    (Please keep in mind, this is my first batch of baby chickens, so do take that into consideration when reading my thoughts on the topic. Also, looking forward to everyone else's posts on this subject. Thanks!)

    My babies were about the same age when they first went outside, and they all huddled together in panic mode. I had 27 of them, so I couldn't give them indevidual attention, but I found it helped to bring their waterer and feeder out and for me to sit in the shade next to the waterer and feeder and "talk" to them. (I'd been talking to them a lot from the moment they came home, so they are very used to my voice.) I left them out with me for about 20 minutes the first time. They were panicked for the first 10, but then calmed down and started eating. I continued to take them out every day (carrying them in a big rubber maid tub) and each day they calmed down faster and faster. After a week or so, they were used to their "ride" outside and their little fenced in area (didn't give them the full run at that age - just a 10ft x 10ft chicky proof area with shade and water.

    In retrospect, I would have purchased extra water and food dispensers that were exactly like their indoor ones so I would have to keep carrying those back and forth, too (it's about 100 feet from my laundry room to the chicken yard). I couldn't carry the chicken tub and the food and waterer at the same time, so first I would bring their accuterments in or out, and then I would bring the chickies in or out.

    By 4 weeks, they were spending at least 6-8 hours in their little mini-chicky run. They are 8 weeks old now and have full use of the chicken run and they stay out from sun up to sun down. The coop isn't completely done yet, so 27 chickens are staying in 3 large dog crates (9 each) in the coop (outside walls are up, plywood for flooring done, and a locking door, but no roof yet. This seems to be working out ok at the moment. One problem - they don't know how to go in to the crates themselves - I am still using that rubber maid tub to move them from the corner near the coop where they gather to the crate. Only, the tub that used to hold all 27 easily now barely holds 9. And the tub now weighs over 20 lbs with 9 in it.

    Sorry to digress. Anyway, the chickies will get used to the outdoors as long as YOU don't panic about their panicking. I think if you whisk them away back to their "safety place" at the first sign of their alarm, they will go into "alarm mode" faster and take longer to adjust to new situations. Anyway, that was my theory behind keeping them out the way I did it.

    Good luck & much fun with your peeps!

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