What to do in the rain?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by playmeasong, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. playmeasong

    playmeasong Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2008
    South Jersey
    Not sure where to post this, but I'll try here...

    I have just put out our 4 5-weekers and they are enjoying the grazing in an enclosed pen 3x4 ft and their coop. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, and do I just keep them in w/ the door closed, or keep the door open so they can venture out? I'm guessing you don't want them to get wet this early in life...do chick/hens know to stay indoors in the rain? any harm to letting them choose for themselves? They still seem confused and can't remember that their feed and waterer is inside the coop, so I usually go in and place it on the grass for them to feed and drink. Also, does anyone cover the pen w/ a tarp and let them out in the rain, or does puddling become a problem?

    New to this and requesting some opinions...thanks in advance!

    Jen
     
  2. RayP

    RayP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 21, 2008
    Gainesville Florida
    If you are home to watch them you can try and see if they know enough to get in out of the rain, some of my chickens do but some do not, some breeds and some chickens in those breeds seem smarter than others, As one poster put it "I gave up thinking that my chickens know what is good for tham after I saw them eating styrofoam".
     
  3. lovemychicks9

    lovemychicks9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 29, 2008
    South Carolina
    Believe me they do learn to go out of the rain. I have 7 week olds and when it is lightly raining they will stay out (I have a covered run for them) but if it is thundering and lightening they will go in their coop without me shooing them in. When they were 5 weeks, old one day it rained really hard and I did go out and shoo them in and shut the door, and made them stay in and the next time it rained really hard they figured it out by themselves. Trudy [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I have the top of the run and coop area covered with a tarp, but I haven't perfected it yet so I have a lot of puddles that eventually spill down into the run. The girls don't seem to mind it though. They go in and out all day, picking at worms and the wet ground around the edges of the run. I'm more concerned than they are [​IMG]
     
  5. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2007
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    Once fully feathered, rain will mostly flow off their feathers, but since yours are still pretty small, I would probably err on the side of caution and keep them in -- if it were me. As someone else said to me once "chicks can be really stupid". I used to put a double tarp over mine that I was sure would be rainproof and if the edges got puddled they had tons of space further in to stay dry. They also had a heat lamp under the tarp so if they got wet they could dry off and warm up immediately. The temps may drop if it rains, too, so the heat lamp may be good in your situation, depending on your climate. Good luck!
     
  6. lemurchaser

    lemurchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2008
    Corvallis, OR
    No ideas on the rain. I'd probably cover part of the run and leave part exposed.

    Also I wouldn't bring them food in the run, I'd put them in the coop to eat, if I thought they needed to eat or drink. Otherwise, they'll keep waiting for the people to appear and feed them. After a few days of putting them in the coop for food and water, they'll do it themselves.
     
  7. jdr250

    jdr250 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 24, 2008
    I had the same question a few weeks ago only difference is we had a cold snap on top of the rain so I did keep them in the coop all day. This week my chicks are now 5 and 6 weeks old and we had some rain, but warm weather and they really were smart enough to come in out of the rain. They seemed to enjoy the light drizzle but when it really started coming down, they ran into the coop. I did leave the heat lamp on during the day, when it was calling for rain so that if they did get wet, they could go and dry off and get warm really quickly.
    Do what makes you comfortable. I keep trying to remember that they're probably not as fragile as I like to believe (my first chicks), but my hubby keeps pointing out the old farmers around who have little fuzzy peeps running around in all kinds of weather and they've been doing it for years without problems.
     
  8. playmeasong

    playmeasong Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2008
    South Jersey
    Well, it's raining, and they're out in it. I had my husband prop open the door w/the ladder last night since there aren't any ventilation holes drilled yet, and I've been leaving the door open at night (they do go in by themselves at dark and seem to stay there). BUT somehow they managed to slide through the cracked door. I put the door back up and told them to get in, and some went in, others just seem to enjoy the bugs. I think i'm losing my mind, talking to them now!

    The plus is that they're getting a little bath, and one of my RIW's had poo on her head, so now it's gone without me having to clean her! The temps will be in the 80's today with rain. [​IMG]

    Thanks for all your wonderful opinions,

    Jen
     
  9. MiniDriver

    MiniDriver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2007
    Massachusetts
    My babies are out in the rain for the first time and I am obsessed. I can't help thinking about them and wondering if they're ok.

    The coop is dry and the run has a roof. They are fine, and probably enjoying the new experience.

    It's just me being an anxious mother hen.
     
  10. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Knowing one or two of those farmers, I'm sure they lose a lot of chicks. It's one thing if you order 10 because you want to have 10 chickens. It's another thing if you have tons of chickens running around your farm and don't care if you lose half of the babies to cats and predators and such.
     

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