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Moving to coop

post #1 of 4
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When should you move the chicks out to the coop? They are 4-5 weeks old, we have 12 chicks.] 6 are old, maybe 5-6 weeks and 6 are younger around 4-5 weeks. The picture is from about 2 weeks ago now.

post #2 of 4

:pop I'm curious about the exact same thing! I was talking to my dad yesterday. He and my step-mom have been raising chickens for years now. He suggested we wait to move them outside completely until their feathers were all the way in and the temperatures outside at night didn't dip below freezing. In my area of the country, that would be mid to late May. But ours will likely go on our sun-porch by the beginning of May as a transition...

 

I was going to do a search later of "brooder to coop" at another poster's suggestion...maybe that will help you out too?

post #3 of 4
Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #4 of 4
If you have electricity in your coop you could have put them out there weeks ago. My brooder is in the coop and I put chicks in there straight from the incubator or post office even if it is below freezing outside. It’s a little harder brooding outside because of the temperature differences day and night or just different days. All you need to do though is to keep one area warm enough in the coldest temperatures and one are cool enough in the warmest and they will self-regulate, taking away all that stress. Some mornings I’ve seen ice on the far end but they have an area that is toasty if they need it.

By being raised where they are exposed to different temperatures they acclimate really well. The first bit they pretty much stay in the warmest area but surprisingly quickly they start playing in the colder areas, just going back to the heat when they need to warm up. I’ve had chicks raised in this brooder go overnight in my unheated grow-out coop with overnight lows in the mid 20’s at 5-1/2 weeks old. That grow-out coop had great ventilation up high but great wind protection where they were. No breezes could hit them.

I went through that to say if you can put a heat source out there without burning your coop down and you don’t have adults to cause integration problems, they can go out there today. All you have to do is heat one area, not the whole thing. Good ventilation and wind protection are needed.

If you cannot or elect to not heat an area out there, most chicks fully feather out at 4 to 5 weeks. They can handle cold pretty well once they are feathered out. But it’s hard going from a tropical climate to freezing weather with no transition period. If you are raising them in the house it can be hard to acclimate them. If you can set something up in an outbuilding so they are exposed to cold you could do that for a bit. But most people don’t have that.

I suggest you start taking them outside when you can, day or night. Observe them to see how they handle it. You might be surprised. As your confidence builds let them stay longer. If you can give them some acclimation they should be OK outside in most temperatures by six weeks. If you have a really bitter cold snap, like teens or below, you might want to be a bit more cautious. I’m comfortable with mine below freezing younger than that, but mine are acclimated.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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