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When to move to the coop

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have 6 leghorns and bought a coop from tractor supply. I've kept them in our laundry room since we bought them. They have had a heat lamp on them as well. Can anyone tell me an estimated age and if they are feathered out enough for the coop. It still gets into the 40s at night and 60s-70s during the day. Thanks for the help.
post #2 of 6
I am not sure, but our chicks are going to be 5 weeks old on Wednesday. We have them in the garage, and turned off the light this past weekend. They have a lot of their feathers and I am thinking that this weekend or next we will move them to the coop. We had them out in the coop all day yesterday and they did great. Our temps are the same as yours.
post #3 of 6

Four to five weeks is the target age for no longer needing a heat source.


However, it's best to ease them into the transition by making it cooler for them before you move them outside to the coop. Start by turning off the lamp. Next night, open a window a little bit to let in some night air.


Next night, open the window more. Careful. No direct drafts on the chicks, though. They need to be shielded from those or it will zap their body heat.


Watch their behavior. When you see them acting comfortable in the cooler temps indoors, it's time to move them to the coop.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks a bunch. I appreciate all the help.
post #5 of 6
How old are most chicks at places at Rural King? I got mine on Good Friday and they are already starting to feather out, although 3 that my husband bought the next day afe much larger and almost feathered!
They are in the garage, which is slightly cooler than outside (been pretty chilly here) and breezy outside. I had to put a bit of a lid on 2/3 of their box, or they huddled, even with lamp.
I assume you lower the temp by raising the lamp and turning it off and on? Once you put them on their coop, you leave them there for how long, if you will free range them? Thanks
post #6 of 6

If you plan on free-ranging chickens, they need to be three months or older so they're large enough not to be easy pickings for predators.


When you move chicks into a coop, you need to keep them cooped up with food and water so they get accustomed to their new home. After two days, try opening the coop door to let them explore. You'd best have a run that's protected from hawks and weasels, raccoons, foxes, skunks, possums, etc or you're sure to lose some.


The chicks will gather their courage to explore the "world", and will no doubt go in and out of the coop a lot due to their being uncomfortable with the large outside run. But they will prefer being outdoors when they get used to it.


The tricky part is getting them to go inside at night. Many do it on their own, but some need to be taught. You may need to get inside the coop and coax them inside with a light and treats for the first time or two.

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