Country Living Series

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Moving day for chicks

We needed to get the chicks out of the house. They had seriously outgrown their box, plus they STINK.

I've been reluctant to move them outside into the chicken coop because the weather has been chilly or windy or otherwise unsuitable for vulnerable baby chicks. After last week's windstorm and cold temperatures, we brought the chicks' box downstairs and put it next to the woodstove to keep them warm. Somehow that's where they stayed. But they STINK.

So, as fascinating as they were to neighbor children, it was time to get them out of the house. They've feathered out a bit plus the weather is finally getting spring-like. So it was time to move them outside. Because, frankly, they STINK.

But first I had to line the pen inside the coop with chicken wire, or else the chicks could slide right through the bars.

The box was pretty heavy, what with all the caked hay and feces and moisture from the last two weeks. So I put it in the garden cart to tote the chicks over to the coop.

The chicks were not amused by the earthquakes hitting their limited little world.

But once I put them in their spacious pen lined with fresh hay and put a heat lamp over them, oh my were they pleased!

They're running around flapping their wings, able to stretch and run for the first time now that they have the room.


  1. Stink is the word, Sister! Our weather has been so crappy I had to build a second hen house in the coop, so I could get the meat birds out of the house. This is our first try with meat birds, and they outgrew the brooder in about 3 weeks, and I didn't know that turkeys whistle LOUDLY. The weather is still crappy, and the layers in the brooder upstairs STINK.

    Another week of crappy days headed our way, too. (I live in Idaho City) First 75 degree day, and the meat birds are gone to the new turkey coop, the layers go in the larger house in the coop, and then I have to try to get the remaining STINK out of the house. Our whole upstairs STINKS!

  2. BTW, do the baby chicks need to be the same size as the adults before you can let them loose in the coop? I let the baby turkeys out every once and a while, but my 4 adults keep trying to attack them. I'm afraid they are going to do the same to my new layers.

    Is there some trick to getting the existing birds to accept the chicks? I'm kind of new to this...usually, coyotes or something have ended up eating the flock, so this sort of thing has never come up.

  3. The meat chicks are so much bigger than the layers that I wouldn't have a problem letting them loose, but the layers are still pretty small. They don't have to be the same size as the adults, but I don't want the chicks so small they can slip into cracks and get stuck/lost/pecked. Since the chicks are caged in the same coop as the adult birds, usually everyone gets along by the time the chicks are old enough to release.

    - Patrice