Ways to provide pasture to young chicks in cool weather

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ella&clara, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. ella&clara

    ella&clara Chillin' With My Peeps

    188
    2
    103
    Sep 18, 2010
    Hi all
    Owing to several factors including including my impatience and lack of follow-through by a friend to help me obtain chicks, and more importantly a way to process the chicks, I got a shipment of 20 Jumbo X Cornish Cross chicks on October 21 from Murray McMurray. Obviously, the weather is cooler now, (not terrible though, I'm in SC), but still not good for baby chicks to be outside. Because I had all these chicks living in my garage (EEK!) and needed them to be out on pasture where I wanted them, I became desperate in seeking a solution. I bent 8' cattle panels into a half-moon, using two of them, and draped them with 4 mil translucent plastic. I weighted down the edges with boards, and put wire mesh at the ends. Inside the panels it's quite warm during the day (on sunny days) and the chicks are happy. I move them from the garage to the cattle panels when it becomes warm inside, and they stay on "pasture" in my garden eating weeds and bugs until the sun begins to set. They are inside a fenced garden, and I check on them every hour or two. I homeschool my children and so I'm home and can ventilate the structure if necessary, bring them inside if I need to, and watch out for predators. It's not something you can do if you have to leave to go to work all day, but I wanted to share it for people who might be able to do this.
     
  2. Honora

    Honora Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,174
    280
    216
    Mar 30, 2014
    SF Bay Area
    Sounds interesting, do you have a picture?
     
  3. CliffB

    CliffB Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,336
    260
    168
    Oct 5, 2014
    Georgia
    I let mine "free range" from around 4:00 in the afternoon until they start huddling in a corner around 6:00. Poor babies haven't figured out all they have to do is walk back into the coop where the heat lamp is at.
     
  4. ella&clara

    ella&clara Chillin' With My Peeps

    188
    2
    103
    Sep 18, 2010
    I do have some pics and willl have to try to get them up. Unfortunately for my chicks, the brooder space (in the garage) and the chicken housing/ pasture are not close enough together to allow them to go back and forth.
     
  5. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    7,843
    1,900
    421
    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    Same here. This season's chicks still haven't figured it out. Even tho the old hen goes inside very evening. All they have to do is follow her into the lighted coop! So I am putting in a temp. swinging gate across the 30 sq. ft. addition farthest from the coop. At the end of the yard. It will swing back and clip to the side of the yard when I don't need it.
    At twilight, I will herd the flock to that end and swing the gate shut. Then pick them up and hand them to Hubby Bob who will put them into the door of the coop. Maybe this will work. It's getting cold at night here. Tho they have a sheltered place under the coop, they need to figure out how to get inside the coop before the snow falls. I am really not keen on crawling under the coop in the cold to retrieve them and put them in the coop at night!
    Best.
    Karen
     
  6. CliffB

    CliffB Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,336
    260
    168
    Oct 5, 2014
    Georgia
    I've got a tunnel that i have to heard them up into each evening so believe me mine is pretty tough too. My wife actually did pretty awesome the other night and all 11 chicks ran up the ramp and straight into the coop.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by