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Size When Chicks Ready to Leave Brooder?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


I'm planning to get my first chicks this coming June. They will probably be Black Sex Links and/or Golden Comets. I'm planning to keep them under a heat lamp in my garage at first, then transfer them to an outdoor tractor.


Questions: What age will they be when they are ready to be weaned from the heat lamp and what size will they be then? What is the ideal height for watering nipples for grown chickens? For half-grown chicks?(Want to know so I can plan their accommodations accordingly.)


Thanks in advance,



post #2 of 7

typically 4 weeks they are fully feathered and then it depends on the outside temps (in June if your in the northern hemisphere it should be summer and not an issue most places).  by 4 weeks they should already be acclimated to 70° there about if you've lowered the temp 5° every week from hatch.

post #3 of 7

If you follow the above advice and then simply observe your chicks. If they are out and about doing chicken things then they are warm enough, but if they huddle together and seem a bit cheesed off then they are cold - I'd say thats the most obvious way to tell if they are comfortable.



post #4 of 7
Congratulations on your first chicks!! wow I thought I had to wait a long time! mine ship in April. May I ask why june? I have to wait until April because my shipment is so small only 7 birds. Mine will ALL be Barred Rock females (I hope) at least that's what I paid for LOL. where will yours be coming from? Mine from Meyer hatchery. You will ♡♡♡ love being a chicken momma. I do! I've only had chickens for about 5 years now.It's great fun. They all have different personality! can't wait to see picts from you of your new babies!! smile.png
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi all, thanks for your replies,


The main reason for my waiting until June is an out-of-town trip a few weeks earlier and some other stuff that will be keeping me extra busy until mid-June. I want to be personally around continuously at least until they get larger and stronger. Also, I'm in Vermont (Northeastern USA), so I figure if I get them in June, I can start putting them in outdoor quarters earlier than if I get them earlier in the year.



I plan to order the chicks from my local feed store; they get chicks once a month in the spring.


So, how big are 4-week-old chickens, and how high should their watering nipples be?



post #6 of 7

If your brooder has plenty of space away from the heated zone, the chicks will wean themselves off the heat as they gradually feather out. If you can manage an environment (other than the heat zone), that is more on the cool side, the process will move along faster and more efficiently, enabling the chicks to feather out faster and become cold hardened.


This is one reason I'm a strong advocate of brooding chicks outdoors in the coop or run where the temps are those under which they will be living.


As jetcat points out, around four weeks, chicks are usually feathered out well enough to no longer need heat. Four-week old chicks are over quadruple the size of newly hatched chicks, those being about the size of large eggs. If you position watering nipples at around six inches, they should be able to manage.

post #7 of 7

water nipples should be at eye level or slightly above, cups should be at top of back height, this is based off the smallest chicken in the group as it's easier for the others to get lower then for a small one to over reach.

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