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moving chicks to coop

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

We have 10 chicks - most of them are 8 weeks old, and a 3 of them are about 8.5-9 weeks. They are fully feathered. We have been taking them out to their run for several hours a day, but nights are cold and the coop wasn't quite ready, so we take them in at night (to our basement).

 

However, they have outgrown the brooder and the coop is ready so we moved them out tonight. They were pretty flustered to be in the coop instead of hustled into our cat carrier and taken back to the house.

 

The squawked awful at first, but then they settled into quite peaceful chirps and then it was quiet.

 

The night time temps are in the low 50s tonight, but this week we might be 46 -48 at night and then back to the mid 50s.

 

My question is: how long should we keep them in the coop? Days? A week?

AND: How will I know if it's too cold for them?

Thank you!

post #2 of 4

I moved my chicks to my coop @ 4 weeks old.  Day time temps range from high 60s to high 70s.  Night time temps have been low 40s to 50s.  I put them out and they did fine.  We had a 2 day cold front where temps dropped to mid 30s and I ran heat for 2 nights just to put my wife and kid's mind at ease, I'm not sure they needed it but since there are a couple of bantams in the mix I didn't want to lose any young chicks for something as stupid as not plugging in an extension cord for a couple of nights.  Temp forcast over the next couple of weeks are mid 40s to low 50s at night and they won't be getting heat again.  

 

This is in an open air coop (link to coop in signature) mind you and the chicks spend as many nights under their huddle box as they do inside it (both have good protection vs wind so it probably doesn't matter where they bed down - the huddle box has most of the roost space - although the run has enough roost for the current chicks that are out there  (2 more move in next weekend when they'll be 4 weeks old, and a dozen more bantams will join them next month).


Edited by 0wen - 5/16/16 at 7:25pm
On vaccinating v/s Marek's Disease - ( here & here )
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On vaccinating v/s Marek's Disease - ( here & here )
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank you! That is putting my mind at ease. I want healthy chickens. :)

post #4 of 4

Temperature is no problem. Your chicks have plenty of insulation now against losing precious body heat. The food they eat is what will keep them warm, no matter how cold it is. Bo need for any extra heat.

 

You don't need to keep them cooped up for days. It really doesn't accomplish much with chicks. Even if they spend a week inside, once they are let out into the run, they probably won't go into the coop when night comes. Why? Because it looks totally different to them from the outside, and chicks will not venture anywhere they don't find familiar.

 

So let them out into their run when morning comes, and be prepared to teach them to go inside as night comes. It helps to have a night light in the coop so they can see where they're going, and it will be more inviting to them since it will be lighter inside than outside. Resist the urge to grab them and stuff them into the coop. It will only stress everyone out and it sets back the entire learning process.

 

If they don't go in on their own, and there's a chance they will, the easiest thing is to get inside and coax them inside with their favorite treat. You will only need to do this for a few nights. They will catch on fast.

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