We have 10 chicks right at 6 weeks in an old metal brooder. they don't have all their feathers but are getting big enough to be a little crowded. How much longer till we can move them down to the barn? We have a pen set up just for them When they move we would put the lamp down there for them were just not sure when. thanks C
? on when to move chicks
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
- Staff PhD
If it isn't drafty in the barn and you are putting a light out, as long as you can keep temps at like 65 or so under the light, they will be fine. My chicks all go outside with a light in a wood box at one week old even when it gets down into the 30's at night.
They will be fine in the barn with a heat lamp or low light during cool lights. Be sure the lamp is secured, double secured, triple secured... You get the idea. Chicks that age like to jump and fly up on things and could easily knock down a light. I put a chickenwire cover over the light shield to keep them from hitting the bulb. I use zip ties to secure the chain and light cord to a solid object.
They are pretty close to outgrowing it already. You've got less than half a sq foot per chick, which is minimum of what they need by the end of their second week.
You need a pretty big brooder for 59 chicks. They double in size each week, and their space needs expand accordingly.
At one week, they need about a 1/4 sq ft each. At two weeks they need 1/2 a sq ft. Then at 3 weeks 1 sq ft. and so on. By 6 weeks, their growth rate begins to slow.
My point is, the height of the sides doesn't really matter since they have pretty much outgrown the available space. You need to move them to a bigger brooder within the next few days. For 59 adult birds, you need a huge coop and run; not a chicken tractor. Do you realize how much space chickens need in order to avoid overcrowding stress?