when can I put them out? (new chicks)greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I have 26 heavy breed chicks, from Stromberg's. They are so cute, but growing fast. I live in Va and am wondering when will I know it is time to get them out of the kitchen into the outside pen, then I will know when to bring them back to the kitchen...hehehe Seriously, what kind of temps. can they handle? They are starting to get real feathers and are about three-four weeks old.
-- julie britt (email@example.com), January 23, 2002
Since it is winter (even though we are having some warmer weather at the moment) you don't want to put them out until they are about 6 weeks old. You want them to have ALL thier feathers. You meantioned thier "outside pen". They do need a coop, especially in the winter. It does not have to anything fancy or insulated but it does have to be draft free. Once all feathered out they can take the cold, but those babies or any adult birds, can't take drafts.
You also want to adjust them to thier new climate. On a real nice warm day (one that is not chilly, rainy or windy) take them "out to play" in thier new home. Leave them there for an hour and bring them in. The next day, do it for 2 hours, next day for the whole afternoon. Next day, move them in permanently. Be sure and watch them and if it gets really unusually cold, turn on a heat lamp for them for the next week. After that they will be adjusted just fine as long as there are no drafts.
-- Karen (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 23, 2002.
julie, "The Poultry Connection" can introduce you to a lot of experts regarding chickens and they are always happy to help with anything. I would say that it depends on the weather where you are. Chickens shouldn't get wet. They can take some cold weather but not wet and cold. I'd start by putting them out just for a couple of hours on a sunny day, in a protected spot and introduce them gradually to being outside. I find it interesting that a lot of people have chicks and ducklings now. I don't let my ducks hatch eggs until later in the year when the weather is nicer for the youngsters. Provide your flock with shelter of course and a windbreak while they are outside as well as water. What fun starting a new flock. Good luck with them. LQ
-- Little Quacker (email@example.com), January 23, 2002.
I admire your heroic measures for your meat birds. Personally I can not imagine myself keeping 26 of those birds to 3 weeks old in my kitchen!!! I have always started mine in a rather large cardboard box out in the milk room with a light. Hubby made our brooder light and I have two 100 watt bulbs in it to start. After a few weeks I move the light to a stall with lots of sawdust and shavings. They always do fine. (did I tell you I have a goat in my kitchen right now??)
-- diane (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 23, 2002.
Watch me get hit on this one. 26 chicks does this mean PETA is right and only 26 lived out of the 50 you ordered or as I believe the hatchery gave you an extra one to make up for any who may have died in transport but as always they lived so you got an extra.
-- gail missouri ozarks (email@example.com), January 23, 2002.
I ordered 25 of course, I had 26 healthy and alive and kicking! They are so cute. And tell PETA they will be very tasty in a few months. Yummm
-- julie britt (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 24, 2002.