when is it time II

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lcatty, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. lcatty

    lcatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
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    Loupan from New Zealand asked about keeping her five week old chicks outside at night (it is summer over there). It is winter here but I live in the desert- probably gets down to about 36-40 at night. Sometimes right at 32 degrees F. Daytime it is usually in the 50s, sometimes 60s. Anyway, my 6-week-old 14 Swedish Flower Hens are divided up in two wooden boxes in my house. I clean them and put fresh shavings in almost everyday but frankly it doesn't help all that much with the smell. Also, they seem to want to get out and run around- they do exactly that when I open the top to feed or play with them. In short, I'd really like to get them out of the house, but only if they can handle it.

    Should I put the boxes in the coop or the run with heat lamps inside the boxes? Or just a couple heat lamps in the coop, close to the ground? Or should I keep them inside until a certain age?

    I have two Marans and two Easter Eggers out therein the coop. Are the older hens likely to hurt the young birds?

    Any insight would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. loupan

    loupan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Icatty i have had my wee ones out in the coop free ranging with my big girls today and fingers crossed everything has been great the big hens have chased them and told them off a few times but nothing major i said to my DH if they hurt them i seriously think the wee ones wouldnt come out of there safe place ,im just going to keep doing this for a week or so supervised not ready to leave them alone with the big ones just yet but so far all seems fine i just bring them back in last thing at night around 8ish so they get used to the temp drop and i am not putting lamp on at night at all i reckon within coupel of weeks they will be well and truly outside [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    If you can put them in a corner of the coop with a light over head that might be ok. 32 is not to bad. Most likely your older birds will roost at night and if there is plenty of space for them to get away from each other they may be fine. Is that 14, 6wk old SFH's or is that 6 , 14 wk old SFH's? They most likely will huddle together under the light. Use caution though. Make sure the light is very secure and no straw or anything is near it. If they seem fine after a week or two take the light away.

    I wish you well,

    Rancher
     
  4. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG]
     
  5. lcatty

    lcatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:http://i1119.photobucket.com/albums/k632/stevebaslow/X2IAgree.gif

    HI Loupan, Rancher Hicks, and Steve Baz. I did put all 14 of my six-week-old chicks outside in the coop last night. It was before I saw your replies, though. I based my decision on some of the other threads.

    Anyway, we put the box on its side and filled it with shavings, put a heat lamp on and all 14 seemed fine, huddled up in the box. They were all there this a.m., too.

    However, when my husband came home tonight he discovered a little SFH body out in the run, being pecked by my two 7-month-old Black Copper Marans hens. Of course my husband buried the body before I came home so I didn't get to see it -no way for me to assess injuries and hazard a guess at what happened. [​IMG] There are very few predators out here, other than an occasional cat or dog getting loose from the neighbors. We don't even have coyotes. Could the BCM hens have killed the baby? I kind of suspect them. Well, it could also have been a neighbor's cat- I think one could squeeze through a crack in the door to the run and get in the coop that way-the door isn't exactly flush with the door frame. I don't want to test out any theories, at this point.

    I brought the remaining 13 SFHs inside our house for now, until I can figure out something more safe. S'pose I need to build another coop. I am just thankful we only lost one. This is unfortunately part of the learning process when you have chickens. [​IMG]

    Take care, all!
     
  6. loupan

    loupan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    oh no thats so sad poor thing i to left my 5 week old chicks out last night for the first time and luckly everything went perfect couldnt ask for a better result , i woke this morning and went to check on them and collect eggs and the were all huddled up in the big girls bedroom i was gobsmacked the older girls must have shown them the way in the night, was super cute they have even gotten used to the 3 big bunnies living in there ,i have been slowly introducing them though first week had them in a small rabbit run inside the outdoor run so the big hens could see them but not touch and then i wedged a log under the run so they could come out but run straight back in for a safe place ,the older hens occasionally chased them but never pecked them the chicks just learnt to stay out the way [​IMG] and i did that all day for a week bringing them in at night at this stage i also took the lamp off then and then yesterday i took the rabbit run out and they have learnt to go through the door into the inside coop all is peacefull at the moment hopefully we are on the right track [​IMG] im sure they will squabble lol im so lucky my big girls are so friendly theres alot to be said for hand rearing chooks i reckon they make awesome pets [​IMG]
     
  7. lcatty

    lcatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Glad your chicks are doing well outside-sounds like you did the right thing to introduce them to the outside, and other chickens, gradually. My husband sectioned off a portion of our coop separate from the four adults and made sure all was tight and secure (ie absolutely no way a cat could get in). Also added extra pine shavings and the heat lamp, of course. The 13 babies have been out there two nights now and are thriving. I really wonder whether the Black Copper Marans hens killed that chick. Husband says there were no wounds that he could see, but the feathers were picked clean off one side. You would think if a cat did the deed the body would be lacerated. Of course, it is entirely possible there was something wrong with that chick, but I sure didn't see it. Next time I put young ones outside I will definitely keep them apart from adult chickens until they are much older and of commensurate size- just to be safe.

    At any rate, it smells a heck of a lot better in my house now!
     
  8. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you let the kids out in the coop all day while the big girls free range or go out in a run? Wire off part of the coop for the little girls to be in and not have to worry about the big girls getting to them. I would make a wood frame and wire it and turned it up in the coop and have a 3 feet wide by 10 feet long of area for them maybe if you have the room. Separate feeder and water on each side of the divider. [​IMG]
     
  9. lcatty

    lcatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2011
    Las Cruces, NM
    Quote:Well, we did that- sectioned off a portion of the coop for the little ones, with separate feeders/waterers on both sides. We made sure no holes existed in the "chick side." I don't want to give them the run of the whole coop yet because there are still places in that portion of the coop that a cat might squeeze through if it tried hard enough.

    DH is planning to divide our run as well and make a chicken door so the little ones can go outside. When the babies are four or five months old I will cease worrying and let them all free range together.
     
  10. mothernaturesdaughter

    mothernaturesdaughter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would not trust adding any bird especially smaller ones to a coop without them getting to know one another first (ive read some sad stories). I put mine under a milk crate or laundry basket to keep birds safe from the others while introducing them, you could use dog crate or anything that they will not get their little heads stuck in the slots. I have a hen that turns very nasty and pecks others when she has babies and i put her and peeps under a crate at night, with heat lamp. As long as your babies are vulnerable best be safe than sorry.
     

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