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3 week old chicks going outside

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

What do you think about the idea of  moving the 3 week old chicks brooder to the coup with the chicken door fixed closed and a 100watt incandescent white light hanging.  Not a heat lamp.   The night time temps get down to 4 deg with an after noon temp of 10 deg. I am going to use a layer of kiln dried sawdust to help insulate the floor (not cedar).    Is it to early to put them outside? i have read alot of mixed reviews and just wanted to ask a pro.

post #2 of 7
How many chicks do you have? I would be careful with the light because that can be a major fire hazard. I would maybe wait a bit longer to see if the temps warm up.
post #3 of 7

I'm assuming those temps are Celsius, not Fahrenheit. I would let them have access to outside of the coop, at least during the day. Be very careful with any kind of light inside a coop. Even regular bulbs are a fire hazard if used in an enclosed space with growing, rambunctious chicks. The dust can build up very quickly, so check that bulb daily.

post #4 of 7

I also recommend little day trips for your chicks to romp outdoors. This will begin to acclimatize the chicks to lower temps gradually. If you do these day field trips, by the end of the week, the chicks should be feathered out and ready to move into the coop, perhaps even without the heat from a light.


There are alternatives to hanging a light for heat when moving four-week olds into their coop. Aart has a "huddle box" design that is easy to construct, uses no electric heat, and will provide all the warmth the chicks will need to get them through the first few nights in the coop with no heat.


I'll try to find the link, or aart may just be by in a minute to provide it before I get back.

post #5 of 7

The huddle box sounds like a good idea. I'm in a similar situation. My chicks are 5 weeks, fully feathered except for one that still has a little fuzz on her head. I'm ready to move them out but I don't want to put any sort of light in the coop. There are 14 of them and night time temps get into the 30s. I'm a new momma but I'm afraid I'm being a little over protective. Is the huddle box just a smaller box inside the coop?

post #6 of 7

I was hoping aart would stop by and supply the huddle box info, and the "search" function isn't quite cutting it today.


The huddle box, as near as I can explain it, is simply a small cardboard box large enough for all the chicks to fit into and you cut an opening on one side so several chicks can fit through at once. The principle behind it is it traps the chicks' body heat as they huddle together, thus its name, and there's no need for extra heat since they're nearly feathered out anyway.


However, if you're encountering extremely cold nights, a hot water bottle placed at the back of the box would add extra heat and comfort. Make sure the water is under 100F or 37C, though, so the chicks aren't burned.


The huddle box isn't a substitute for a heat source for chicks still in down, but it will help to transition older chicks from brooder to coop without needing a heat light.

post #7 of 7
I have been doing day trips for mine letting them out into the aviary in the evening when i get home from work and putting them up right after dark, i am hoping they start to learn to go back in the same way they came out but right now they just huddle under the maintenance access door and dont climb up the ramp....
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