Chix Survive First Week Outside

Last Sunday we sent our newest chicks outside at four weeks.   It was one week longer than I had wished for, but a week of nights in the teens made my husband argue for one more week.

They are now out in the shed with two heat lamps.   One is hung a little lower than the other to give them two temperature options.  We are still having some nights here in the 20’s and they need that little extra warmth, as they are still not fully feathered.

A little info for those of you out there with new chicks with questions.  We put them in a puppy exercise pen out in the shed  that has the coop in it.    It is hooked to their original home a dog crate.   The dog crate is covered on three sides to give them a draft free place if they feel the need.

Every morning when we let the hens out we open the shed door and the morning sun shines in their ex-pen.   They get a shot of cold air and some great sunshine.     It helps get them ready for the real world of free ranging.

On of the advantages of using the ex-pen is you very early on introduce your old flock to your new flock.   This will not prevent the problems of pecking order when they are all introduced and living together.   It does though make them start to become a single  flock and so that need to run the young ones  off  as a foreign flock is avoided. Personal experience has shown the sooner they all get to see each other the better the integration goes. I always have a multi-year flock.

Don’t forget I have details of all my flocks past and current under the Backyard Chickens tab at the top.

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