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How old should chicks be before they go out in the chicken coop with a heat lamp?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I have three different ages of chicks - 10 days old, 2 weeks old, and almost 3 weeks old.   It is a cool spring here in Nova Scotia - no frosts, but cool nightly temps of about 43F at the lowest.  Can I put my chicks (37 in total) into my chicken coop with a heat lamp?   I'm pretty sure I can, but I wanted to get a second opinion.  I will put some deep litter (wood chips) in the coop, and line the bottom foot or so of the walls with cardboard for insulation.   

 

Your opinion is appreciated!

post #2 of 7

You can brood in the coop. Personally I don't. Securing heat lamps can be troublesome and fires are a common occurrence. Your three week old chicks should be ready for the coop at this time of season. We put the cockerels out at three weeks last week and temps were still in low and mid 40's at night. They were far less feathered than the pullets and are doing fine. Kept the pullets in brooder as I'm selling them and don't want to run around the grow out coop picking them up for people. To make space in brooder put the 3 week old out then in week from now the current two week and then the last group.

 

If you do decide to finish brooding the younger ones in coop I'd just have the heat on at night to mid morning. And double secure the lamp as precaution. 

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #3 of 7

Many of us are now brooding our chicks outdoors in our coops and runs from the start, using a heating pad system. Please check out the thread on this subject here on this forum. Go back several pages and you will see some very innovative variations of the frame to accommodate larger broods.

 

I urge you to look into this method of heating chicks as opposed to the heat lamps as a heat source for future broods. But trying to move half-brooded chicks outside when the ambient temps are much cooler than they are indoors where they are presently being brooded is going to stress them. Chickens suffer significantly from wide temperature spreads.

 

My advice is to keep them all together and finish brooding them indoors, gradually decreasing the temperature where they are to closely resemble what they will encounter outdoors in the coop, then move them all out together when they no longer need any extra heat. This would be when the youngest have all their feathers.

 

Keeping them all together will avoid the problem of re-integration. That's as stressful as being subjected to temperature variations.

post #4 of 7
I think mine are 4-6 weeks, but I have mine on my screened in back porch in a kiddie pool with a heating lamp at night. 65 at night here, 95 during the day. My smallest one is just now getting feathers in and they would be devasted if they were apart. I plan to move mine out in a couple weeks.
post #5 of 7

I'd use two lamps to ensure they don't pile and smother each other.

post #6 of 7

I've never had problem integrating young birds. Normal problems of larger birds or cockerels crowding out the smaller birds from feeder occur if a reintroduction after week of two or if they stay together. It helps to have an extra feeder. Some go as far as separating out the cockerels once there is an issue. They have a bachelor pad for growing out the boys. We've only one grow out coop and to relieve crowding move the largest pullets to the layer coop and start culling cockerels at 12 to 14 weeks of age for summer BBQ.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your input.  

 

I insulated the coop, and fit my brooder lamp with a 250-watt bulb (I was using 175 before).   I put the chicks out last night, and watched them closely, and they all seem to happy and healthy!   They seem to be appreciating the extra room, and they actually seem to be calmer than they were indoors.   I think it will all work out!  :)

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