When can I kick these babies out

3nglishteacher

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 16, 2008
41
0
32
of my bathtub, that is! These are my first chicks and I really had no idea they'd grow soooo fast! DH is building coop as fast as he can and it should be ready this week but nights here in VA are still chilly. They are 5 weeks old, have enjoyed romping in mobile cage during daytime, seem healthy & happy. If I move them to coop will they snuggle up & keep each other warm? Or should I delay transition till weather warms up more?

In the bathroom, they really generate alot of heat -- pretty surprised how fast they feathered out. But the reason I want them in the coop is b/c I cannot fit a waterer or feeder in the bathtub that'll last them all day while we're at work w/o crowding them really horribly. It's really standing room only. So I'm worried about dehydration during daytime. I really don't want to haul chicks from coop to house every evening ..... but I guess if I have to. At what age/stage can they handle 40 degree nights by themselves? Oh -- there are 26 of them, all girls. At least I think they are!
 

Josie

Songster
12 Years
Jan 3, 2008
867
0
149
California
I think that 6 weeks is the number I always hear. I wouldn't leave them without water though for long periods. Hang in there!
 

Galaxie_Man

Songster
12 Years
Aug 13, 2007
162
0
132
The Quiet Corner of CT, USA
Quote:Be careful about them running out of water. We think that's what did in a couple of our young birds last fall. The problem didn't become apparent until we switched their feed to layer pellets. We never ran out of water, they just kicked up so much pine shavings, that they filled up the waterer. We had to clean it out every time we went and checked on them. See the thread below about Visceral Gout.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=23002
 

carousel

Songster
12 Years
Jan 31, 2008
359
3
156
NW Oregon
the think we did to help manage our chicks was 2 brooders we split them up!
I'm using a playpen I got at toys R us

http://www.amazon.com/8666-Superyard-XT-Gate/dp/B00004RA66

it is rougly 6 feet long and 35" wide?
My plan is to set up a 2nd section this week for more space.
at about 35" wide? it is easy enough to put a cover on it.
I used recycled cardboard boxes to make a liner so to speak? mine is sittin on top of a vinyl floor. but I could have set it on a tarp.

CS
 

MissPrissy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 7, 2007
24,434
104
371
Forks, Virginia
I am in central Va. I would not put chicks out in this weather unless they are in a closed, draft free, heated area. Chicks are not completely feathered out until 8 - 12 weeks depending on the breed. Until they do get the grown up feathering they can't regulate their own body temps and keep themselves warm. It is COLD here today. 5 week old chicks would easily get chilled. Chilled chicks get sick very easily and many of them die. I have a batch of 3 weeks old orpingtons that won't go out to the barn until at least week 10 and then they will have heat lamps.

If you can keep them in a few more weeks you'll have healthier chicks this spring. If you have to move them out remember they need good sources of heat at all times. (Last year it was so cool at night I had to keep a lamp on the chicks until the first part of June.) A contained, draft free place where they can move in and out from under the heat lamps as needed is really required.

Good luck with your chicks.
 

3nglishteacher

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 16, 2008
41
0
32
Omgoodness -- I just read those links, etc. I had no idea they were so fragile still. I mean, I knew adequate water was vital but I would never have thought about long term side effects. Now I'm in a panic....

Actually I do have them in separate storage bins, 13 in each, 1 in tub, 1 on floor but they do kick shavings in the waterer like crazy even tho it's slightly elevated on 2x4 scraps. And they perch on the top or edge and poo in it anyway.

Well the coop is almost finished and I guess I can run a drop cord for the heat lamp. DH got carried away building so it's a big 8x12 coop. If I keep them shut up in there with a hanging heat source they should be okay till warm weather, don't you think? I just hate to see them so jammed up in the bathroom -0- love to see them jumping around flapping!
 

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