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#71809 - 01/16/04 08:13 PM Chick and box size
BMW Offline
Feather

Registered: 01/16/04
Posts: 24
Loc: Oregon
I am completely new to raising chicks and have read everything I can get my eyes on about it online. Silly that my forebears were all farmers and chicken raisers and now I have to read about it on a a computer and repeat all the mistakes they had overcome over the past 1,000 years. In any case, I have 10 hens all one week old today. I have them in a cardboard box about 2 feet by 3 feet. Plenty big I thought, but my chicks have begun to get huge in only one week and they have jumped out of the box! It is about 15" tall. I don't know what to do. How much bigger will they get before the 5-8 week threshold comes and I can move them into my nice new outdoor coop? Should I bother with a taller box, or is their growth geometric? Do they need to go into the garage already and be placed in a tall wire circle? I love the little gals and am very eager to not kill them or make them suffer unnecessarily. Any advice on the progression of their growth would be appreciated. confused

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#71810 - 01/17/04 05:48 AM Re: Chick and box size
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hello,BMW, and welcome from another newbie! Where do you live? A lot depends on the weather you are experiencing at the moment, if you live in a mild climate or cold area,etc. I'm sure some of the other realy experienced people here will be able to give you lots of help, but they'll need to know a little more about your area. I know what you mean about them growing fast! Our first chick hatched a few weeks ago, and after 10 days, due to unforseen circumstances, I had to put him and his mum in the coop with the other hen and rooster. IMMEDIATELY he was jumping the 8" step up into the coop and jumping up and down out of the nesting boxes which are a good 18" off the ground (with the help of ladder here). I was amazed. Good luck.

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#71811 - 01/17/04 08:07 AM Re: Chick and box size
BMW Offline
Feather

Registered: 01/16/04
Posts: 24
Loc: Oregon
Thanks for the suggestion Broody Hen. I am new to this forum. I'm in a very wierd place: Southern California-hot and sunny-but at 6,000 feet-so can be snowy and cold. It is perfect, really. My outside nightly temperatures can be down in the 30's until April and from what I have read I can't put my birds out until they have their feathers at 5-8 weeks. That's my conundrum: too big for current box, but how big does the next "space" need to be that is still warmed?

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#71812 - 01/17/04 03:41 PM Re: Chick and box size
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
They are going to get big fast eek . By 4 weeks you will want them out for sure. I would move them to the garage as you mentioned. They will of course need heat. A heat lamp would work well for this. Hang it on something so it can be raised as needed. Start with it about 18" above thier floor. I recomend thier floor be a thick layer of pine shavings. Put thier food and water away from the direct heat. If they pile under the lamp and chirp loudly it is too cold, if they stay at the edge of thier pen it is too hot. Simple observation will tell you if they are alright with the temperature. Go around the bottom of the wire pen with someting to block any drafts. Each week you can raise the lamp a couple inches thereby lowering the temp in the pen about 5 degF each week till they are fully feathered. That is generaly at 6 weeks. I am assuming your garage is pretty tight and no preditors can get in or strong winds blow through. Welcome, good luck and if you have more questions (I'm sure you will) this is the place. When you have time read through past posts for loads of info!

Bill

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#71813 - 01/17/04 03:58 PM Re: Chick and box size
BMW Offline
Feather

Registered: 01/16/04
Posts: 24
Loc: Oregon
Thanks Bill. Since I had the day off today, I went ahead and moved my one week old chicks into the garage and into a much larger temporary enclosure. I'm raising about 10 rhode/barred/buff orp/australorp hens. I have read every post on this site, it seems, and your wisdom about the heat progression is shared by most/all others. My chicks seem cozy so far.
Garage will get down to freezing at night, but no predator concerns. I appreciate the advice because raising chicks for the first time is like so many other things: no substitute for experience. At this rate, it seems they should be able to go into their outdoor coop by the 5 week threshold, even if I have to temporarily run a cord and lamp out there.
Also, I've encountered wildly different opinions from local feed stores on the ratioinale for using different types of feed. I've read enough to be comfortable, but it is amusing to hear one guy argue vehemently for medicated chick feed and the next guy for non-medicated. A whole new world of opinions I seem to have entered! Thanks again.

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#71814 - 01/17/04 04:11 PM Re: Chick and box size
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hi BMW,

I'm new here too and did the chick raising thing last June. Bill is right - they get big real fast! eek I'm in Southern California, but at high elevation too! (4300 ft.) I'm not far from Wrightwood. Good luck with your chicks! I just love my chickens and now that I have them I can't imagine not having them! smile

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