Vacation Question!

Karen1277

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
336
398
156
Frazier Park California
Hi Friends!
I have a question about leaving my baby chicks for a 3 night vacation. First of all, leaving is SO hard for me because of my chickens but need a break with family! I have 5 baby pullets that will be exactly 6 weeks old the day we leave for vacation which is in 2 weeks. My question is, do I keep them in their large dog crate brooder or transition them now (4.5 weeks) into their run/coop? My neighbors are taking care of them and other animals while I’m gone. The temps will be anywhere between 80-90 during day but 50-65 at night. My other concerns is they will be sharing a run with my three big chickens and I worry about issues there… however it is a divided run and they have their own coop. Thoughts!? Keep in brooder till I get back (they would be 6.5 weeks) or push them out now at 4.5?! 🙏🏻🐣 Thank you for the help! Run and coop are very safe, covered and shaded..
 

Hannahnic14

Songster
Apr 29, 2021
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Tennessee
I personally wouldn't put them out yet if it's going to be that cold at night, HOWEVER I had a 4 week old chick run away and survive a 40 degree night! :hmm Maybe you could start putting them out now and see if they are huddling alot at night, then you will know if it's too cold or not. Let them tell you. Hope this helps!
 

Karen1277

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
336
398
156
Frazier Park California
I personally wouldn't put them out yet if it's going to be that cold at night, HOWEVER I had a 4 week old chick run away and survive a 40 degree night! :hmm Maybe you could start putting them out now and see if they are huddling alot at night, then you will know if it's too cold or not. Let them tell you. Hope this helps!
Thanks for the reply! I’m trying to keep easy for my neighbors watching them too ha! I know I would worry less about them if they were in brooder but don’t want them to be bored, they are totally spoiled and used to little “field trips” outdoors which the neighbor will supervise for me once a day. My other idea is to have them in their run/coop during day and have neighbors put in their brooder for night time.. that means the poor neighbors have to wrangle 5 pullets into brooder at night! Lol I have two weeks to figure it out! Ha the run isn’t a bad idea but I too would be worried that big girls would peck them through wire… I think I’m going to start that transition this week so hopefully they get a bit used to each other 😂
 

Hannahnic14

Songster
Apr 29, 2021
854
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Tennessee
Thanks for the reply! I’m trying to keep easy for my neighbors watching them too ha! I know I would worry less about them if they were in brooder but don’t want them to be bored, they are totally spoiled and used to little “field trips” outdoors which the neighbor will supervise for me once a day. My other idea is to have them in their run/coop during day and have neighbors put in their brooder for night time.. that means the poor neighbors have to wrangle 5 pullets into brooder at night! Lol I have two weeks to figure it out! Ha the run isn’t a bad idea but I too would be worried that big girls would peck them through wire… I think I’m going to start that transition this week so hopefully they get a bit used to each other 😂
I understand, I'm definitely a worry wart with mine too!😂
 

Karen1277

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
336
398
156
Frazier Park California
Are they weaned off heat already? Your temperatures are very warm and there shouldn't be any issues moving the chicks out immediately, provided you've already been weaning them off heat.
They aren’t weaned 100% but have no heat during day, it’s been very hot here lately but while I’m gone it’s supposed to be 80s during day and mid fifties while I’m gone. The run/coop they would be in has no drafts and shade during day. There are five of them as well. I put their heating plate in their brooder at bed time and that’s it. Maybe I’ll start weaning and getting them used to run/coop. :)
 

K0k0shka

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Jul 24, 2019
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A dog crate - any dog crate - is way too small for 6 week old chicks. Especially for extended periods of time like 3 days without being let out. They can start pecking each other out of boredom, and once they see blood, it can escalate quickly and end in tragedy. I would recommend you start weaning them off heat and getting them used to the run and coop now, so they have those 2 weeks to adjust. That would be much better for everybody (including the neighbors - coming in to find bleeding/dead chicks and feeling guilty over it is too much to put them through, they're already being kind enough to offer help).
 

AOrchard

Songster
May 27, 2020
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499
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Wisconsin
They are old enough to handle those temperatures. You can give them a small cardboard box to sleep in inside the coop, it will hold in the body heat at night and they'll be fine.

The dog crate will also get really messy with 6-week chicks, your neighbors and your chicks will probably be happier if they are in the run.

If the run is divided, no problem at all. If it'll be in the same run as the older chickens, they are going to have to figure out the pecking order eventually, so with the chickens you have sooner or later isn't going to matter that much.
 

Karen1277

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
336
398
156
Frazier Park California
They are old enough to handle those temperatures. You can give them a small cardboard box to sleep in inside the coop, it will hold in the body heat at night and they'll be fine.

The dog crate will also get really messy with 6-week chicks, your neighbors and your chicks will probably be happier if they are in the run.

If the run is divided, no problem at all. If it'll be in the same run as the older chickens, they are going to have to figure out the pecking order eventually, so with the chickens you have sooner or later isn't going to matter that much.
Thank you! Yep! Run is divided by chicken wire and they have their own coop in their divided section… sounds like I need to start transitioning ASAP! 😂☺️
 

Karen1277

Songster
Apr 15, 2020
336
398
156
Frazier Park California
A dog crate - any dog crate - is way too small for 6 week old chicks. Especially for extended periods of time like 3 days without being let out. They can start pecking each other out of boredom, and once they see blood, it can escalate quickly and end in tragedy. I would recommend you start weaning them off heat and getting them used to the run and coop now, so they have those 2 weeks to adjust. That would be much better for everybody (including the neighbors - coming in to find bleeding/dead chicks and feeling guilty over it is too much to put them through, they're already being kind enough to offer help).
Very helpful! Thank you! I’m going to start that transition today!
 

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