Unexpected Benefit of Raising Chicks in the Fall

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AUChickenGal, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. AUChickenGal

    AUChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2016
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    It's been so warm here the last few days that my week-old chicks have needed their heat lamps turned off completely in the afternoons! That's "fall" in the deep south for you, I guess. And here I was worried that the weather was going to be too cold to get them out into the coop on a "normal" schedule. [​IMG]
     
  2. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    Yeah, I just a shipment in this morning. It was perfect temps for their journey, not too hot or too cold. They've got a heating pad to snuggle up to on one side of the cage (which they are right now), but mostly they've been zooming around all day.
     
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  3. jeapa

    jeapa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 4, 2012
    My chicks are almost 2 weeks old and are only going under the MHP at night now. Yesterday I opened the coop door to see who would venture out into the run as it was such a beautiful afternoon. Eventually they all came out for a few minutes and it was fun watching them slowly touch the ground and then zoom back into the coop....
     
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  4. lisasflock76

    lisasflock76 Just Hatched

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    Aug 20, 2016
    Sand Springs OK
    My Coop
    and mine have grass and bugs galore to eat.
     
  5. AUChickenGal

    AUChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unfortunately, we have no real grass to speak of down here right now. The drought has been so severe this summer that my pasture crunches when I walk across it. [​IMG]
     
  6. lisasflock76

    lisasflock76 Just Hatched

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    My Coop
    Oh that's unfortunate. Tulsa ok we had a very green summer..full of mosquitos but green
     
  7. AUChickenGal

    AUChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2016
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    Yes. We're in bad shape down here. I took this video in my pasture this evening:


    I *should* be in green grass up to my knees at this time of year at my current stocking rate. Not so this year. I've been feeding hay since June 1st, and I'm just crossing my fingers that I have enough stored to last until spring.
     
  8. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    That must be really frustrating. [​IMG] It's unseasonably warm here in KY (it's almost mid-Oct and it's still getting into the 80s) without much rain...should be cooler with more precipitation. The grass - you know, the "bluegrass"- is starting to turn brown, even with heavy morning dew. It just gets hotter every summer...things are really out of whack.

    We keeping getting forecasts for rain, and then it mysteriously changes to just cloudy or the like. Hope you get the rainfall you need there!
     
  9. BaileyMChicks

    BaileyMChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2015
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    I'm worried because I have 2 chicks that are 10 days old, and it's already getting below freezing at night...Hopefully by January they can go into the coop with a heat lamp in there. Today it's only like 45 degrees out and cloudy...How cold does it get for everyone in winter? Where I live(northern Wisconsin) it almost always gets down to -20 with windchill, normally colder. But that's in late December through February. The coldest I can ever remember it getting in winter was -45 to -50 degrees with windchill. I still had to go to school that day...It sucked. It was also snowing a lot that day. And somehow my chickens didn't get much frostbite. I didn't open the door for them to go outside, but still. I'm so glad that my coop has electricity(for a heat lamp) and is semi blocked from the wind. If it was more out in the open and I couldn't set up a heat lamp I (and the chickens) would be screwed.
     
  10. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    @BaileyMChicks, I lived in the upper midwest, too, so appreciate how cold it gets in your neck of the woods (who knew the moisture in your nose could immediately freeze?). Where I am now, it gets very chilly in the winter, with snow and/or ice. We've had stretches in the teens dipping into the single digits with wind chill. Last year, our rooster suffered some comb damage due to frostbite, so we now employ a "heat shelf" in the coop when it gets really cold. It's basically an anchored shelf made of wood and plastic mil that keeps the heat the chickens generate closer to them, so it doesn't rise up into the lofted roof of the coop. I have to add, also, that I think the fact that we lost about half our free ranging layers to predators (foxes and hawks) contributed to the heat problem in the coop - fewer bodies in there to generate warmth. Shouldn't be a problem this year since we have raised quite a few more chickens. [​IMG] I don't use supplemental heat for our adult chickens, but will add more shavings on the floor to provide better insulation there, in addition to the heat shelf (if needed). In combination with proper coop ventilation, these measures should prepare the chickens for the cold days to come.

    I have a group of chicks, too, but they're nearly 6 weeks old now and well-feathered. One of my hatching considerations was timing it so they would be ready for integration prior to the worst of winter weather. Brooding in the garage at night isn't great with all the dust they create (they're in a tractor on pasture during the day), so I'm eagerly awaiting the day I can get them into the coop!
     

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