Wisconsin- moving chicks from brooder to coop in the winter

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by leanna1120, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. leanna1120

    leanna1120 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2014
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    I live in Wisconsin and it's currently in the mid 20's F at night. I have 4- 7 week old chicks (2 BR's and 2 BO's) in the garage with heat lamps. With temps this cold...I am afraid to put them in the coop! I've read many threads regarding this but wanted opinions based on my current weather. The coop is insulated and draft free, but I don't want to use any heat lamps in there. Thoughts?
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd try to reducing the temperature they have in the garage over a week of so till they don't have any added heat, before they get the shock of moving out to the coop. Once out in the coop they will probably nest huddled up on the floor at night and should be able to handle it. I have raised chicks in my tractor with the outside temperatures hitting the 20's without heat when they were the age of yours.
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    pull up the heat lamp a little more each day, then turn it off and let them acclimate to the garage.

    Watching my broody hen, she has two week old chicks, and it was well below 0 here this morning, what she does is let them run all about, and after a couple of minutes, she warms them back up. So let them outside, for a little bit, and then let them come back in and warm up. Kind of have an outdoor recess, so to speak.

    Then maybe take them to the coop. Are they going to be dealing with integration issues into a mature flock? Cause that could make this a whole lot harder. If they are going into the coop alone, not such a big deal.

    Mrs K
     
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  4. leanna1120

    leanna1120 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2014
    Wisconsin
    I have 7-- 14 week old pullets currently in the coop. I am thinking the additional pullets may help a bit with staying warm, but I will have to keep integration issues in mind. I was thinking it may be better to wait until the chicks are bigger...for the integration part of things as well as the temperatures. I like the idea of letting the chicks out for a few minutes at a time. Maybe I should do that in a sectioned off area of the run so they can start integrating with the older pullets??? I am a chicken keeping newbie so any suggestions and advice is greatly appreciated:) I can't believe how cold it is here already!! Low 20's tonight!!
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Start dialing down the heat lamp use...watch their behavior:

    They need to be pretty warm(~85F on the brooder floor right under the lamp) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker integration to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder.

    The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:
    If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.
    If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.
    If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!


    You most likely will have integration issues:

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens to flock.


    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.


    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. leanna1120

    leanna1120 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2014
    Wisconsin
    Thank you for the detailed information[​IMG]
     
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    - 13 here this morning!
     

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