6 week old chicks outside with older hens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by LoveHuevos, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. LoveHuevos

    LoveHuevos Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2011
    Southern California
    Our house was starting to stink so we decided to put the chicks outside. They're about 6 weeks old and pretty much have all their feathers in. We put them outside with the older hens but they're in a separate cage within the coop. The temperature during the day is at least 65 degrees. We've set up a heat lamp to turn on at night.
    Will they be okay outside?
    I'm worried about them at night but the heat lamp will protect them, right?

    I read that they can be introduced to the older hens at 16 weeks. We're making the coop bigger so it can fit all of them but it won't be done for another month.
    Is it good that they'll be able to get to know each other but not be in the same coop?
     
  2. Liamm_1

    Liamm_1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    yes, it gets then all used to each other, but protects the younger ones. I too, have young ones (13 weeks) in the coop, separated by wire from the older birds (27 weeks). The younger pullets are already as big as the older pullets, so when I let the younger ones out to free range, I don't mind the older pullets messing with them (and they do lol), but I need to supervise with a rake in my hands, like the old farmer/pitchfork painting lol.
    The reason is, I have 2 horny cockerels that eye the younger pullets like candy, and a couple times have attempted to mate them. I keep telling them, just wait 3 more weeks and they can have them all, but it goes in one ear and out the other.
    I also have 12 babies in the brooder now, so after integrating the 13 week olds, I'll then move the new babies into where they are, and have to deal with it again in a couple months lol
    About the heat lamp: at 6 weeks old, they should be feathered in enough to not require heat any longer, even at night. As long as your coop is enclosed, they'll huddle together for body warmth and be fine. I moved mine into the coop at exactly 6 weeks, and that was on January 2nd.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The daytime high does not mean much. It is the nighttime lows you worry about.

    Your chicks are 6 weeks old. They should be completely feathered out. They should not need any heat at all. You do need to keep them out of drafts, but that is true of adult chickens too. Please be very careful you do not start a fire with that heat lamp.

    I put my brooder in the coop from day 1. I consider it a very good thing for them to grow up around the other chickens. I do provide heat until they are 4 to 5 weeks old, then take away the heat lamp. I let them roam in the coop and run until they are about 8 weeks old (by themselves. Not with the older chickens). I don't let them free range because I figure those small birds are pretty good targets for hawks. At 8 weeks I let them free range and by 12 weeks they are sleeping in the big coop with the big chickens.

    I let them free range (no fences) so they have a lot of room to get away from the older birds during the day and I have an oversized coop so they have plenty of room in there. Not everybody has the room and set-up I do, so my methods won't work for everybody.

    Good luck with yours.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
  4. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I have six week olds outside in an unheated coop (but it's out of draft areas and has lots of bedding) . It was -8 this morning. They were fine and feisty this morning. They weren't even huddled! And they are in with adults, but adult bantams around the same size.
     
  5. LoveHuevos

    LoveHuevos Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2011
    Southern California
    Our coop is not enclosed but we put a tarp around it so it won't get too windy. I think the low's at night get in the low 40's.
    So they don't need a heat lamp? You scared me about it causing a fire. What kind of bedding can I use? Can I use hay?
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I won't apologize. I meant to make sure you were aware of that fire possibility. I do use a heat lamop in my coop when the brooder is out there, but the lamp is held by a chain with a separate wire as back-up. It is not going to fall.

    Hay should work well as bedding. It should keep them warm.
     
  7. LoveHuevos

    LoveHuevos Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2011
    Southern California
    We did secure the lamp with a clamp. We'll use it tonight and tomorrow we'll go get some hay for them and take the lamp out.
    Thanks for all the info.
     
  8. chkinut

    chkinut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    I have two 6-week olds and two 4-week olds that have been outside for over a week. i put the heat lamp on at night if it gets too cold...but there has been some nights that i didn't use it at all. and i'm only doing it now for the sake of the 4-week olds, they're not quite feathered out all the way, and since there's only 4 of them, i figure they can't cuddle with a bunch of chicks.....but they're doing great! and my 2 older girls can see them every day....hopefully when the time comes to integrate, they will all do fine.
     

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