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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mkeawsh, Mar 3, 2013.
I read that chicks should be brooding for 6 weeks and then others say 8 weeks? What is it?
It really depends on the weather. If it is real cold outside, we may have to keep them in the brooders past 8 weeks. If you have a heat light that they can get under in your coop, cold weather isn't as much of a factor. Of course, it needs to be draft free as well. In average temperatures, you take them out of the brooder when they are completely feathered out.
As long as they are fully feathered they will be fine. It takes some longer to get there than others. You will know when its time because they will look like unruly chickens and not the fuzzy cute chicks they used to be.
I guess I am more worried about the cockerels being too old to be accepted by the roosters.
My roosters don't care how old they are, and sometimes can pick out the new roosters before I can. That said, once they are feathered out there is no need for the heat. Honestly, since ambient temp is so important, I will turn off the light when I find they are all avoiding it all the time.
Mine go out to their coop at 5 weeks.
Are you talking about putting 6 to 8 week old chicks in with a flock of mature birds?
Yes. I put them for a week in an attached tractor that is separated by chicken wire, so they get used to seeing the little ones. Then open a small opening in the door for the little ones to venture out when they are brave and run back in when they get scared. I just worry about the cockerels being too old for the rooster to accept if I put them out too late.