I am in Northeastern Fl near Gainesville. We are going to get 3 chicks and 2 ducklings from TSC on Wednesday. This is the first time I have ever raised chicks and I want to know a few things. So the property we live on has a chicken coop built on it and it is pretty nice but I don't know if you can put them in it or not. Keeping in mind, we are getting pullets. So are pullets okay to put in the coop or do we have to keep them in a box? Also do we need a heat lamp if its 80 degrees every day?
Chickens in Florida
Pullets just mean they are sexed, doesn't effect whether or not they can stay in a coop. Yea they will need a heat source on them from the beginning and you want to start it at 95 degrees, and decrease the degrees by 5 each week. Personally I never measured the temp after the first week, I would raise the heating lamp up slightly each week and keep an eye on the chicks. If they are huddled directly under the lamp they are too cold, if they are in a corner farthest away from the lamp they are too hot. They should be just on the outside of the glow, but each chick is different and will like to sleep a certain distance from the heat source.
There isn't anything wrong with starting your chicks in the coop as long as it is draft free, and I would be cautious about putting a heat lamp in there as they have been known to start fires in coops. Getting a heating pad or a heating cave is the best option for outside brooding.
- Monkey Lookout
You have some good advice already, but you may wish to read this link may be relevant to you.
all the best
As already mentioned, yes, you can put them right in the coop, but they will need heat. It may be 80 in the day already, but it isn't 80 at night. If the coop is drafty, you'll want to fix that.
Be prepared that TSC will not let you leave with just 3 chicks. They have a minimum of 6 chicks and 2 for ducklings.
I start out around 90 in a spot in the brooder. If they are scrunched up under it, I move the heat closer, but if they are running around and seem fine, I leave it. I worry about temp the first day or two and then just let their behaviors dictate where the heat needs to be.
I used a heat mat and a light this year for my chicks and they are on the patio. They will move to the coop by the end of the month after it has been set up to have adult and chicks kept separate.
TSC uses the troughs because that is what they have and it is easy for them to reach in and grab what a customer wants and tall enough to keep the littles from flying out.