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Moving to coop when chicks are different ages

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

We have three 3-week olds and one 1-week-old chick. They've been going for progressively longer field trips to the backyard when we can be out there with them, and they LOVE it. I think the bigger ones are already totally over being in the brooder.

 

I've been thinking about moving them outside sooner than the normally prescribed 6 weeks even though I do not plan to run electricity to the coop - our day temps have been hovering around 80 and go no lower than 60 at night. From what I've read on this forum it seems that this is feasible.

 

Question is - what about the smaller chick? She definitely still is using the heat lamp at this point (when sleeping she chooses to be on the outskirts of it's light) but could she potentially go out in a couple weeks with the big girls? They do generally sleep all snuggled up, with the smallest one closest to the light and the others out in a line from there.

post #2 of 4
Your big ones can be moved out, the problem is you don't want to separate out the younger one or you will have troubles. I would put them outside during the day and at night back to the brooder for another week or so, by then your youngest should be able to handle the coop temperatures especially since they will pile at night. If you are providing extra heat I might stop that depending on your brooder temperature.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Exactly...I don't want the little one to be left alone. Good idea on doing days outside/nights in. I still won't let them free range unsupervised, but at least they can be outside in the run.
post #4 of 4

There's a way to keep them all together while still providing heat to the youngest. Move them all together into the coop and supply the youngest with a heat pad cave. That way the older ones won't be affected adversely by being subjected to a heat lamp making an already warm environment much hotter. With those warm temps, the one-week old may continue to get by just fine by simply huddling next to a couple older chicks, though.

 

Providing the heating pad cave will be backup in case the chick needs more. You can read all about how it works and how to set it up on "Mama Heating Pad in the Brooder" thread on this forum. I would toss in a few old sock, maybe rolled up, to simulate the closeness of other chicks to make it more inviting for the chick to use the cave when it feels chilled.

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