Are my six-week-old chicks ready to move outside? (pix)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CAgrrl, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. CAgrrl

    CAgrrl New Egg

    Nov 23, 2009
    Winters, CA
    I'm raising my first batch of chickens, three EE sisters now six and a half weeks old, in northern CA. They look fully feathered to me (and they're working hard to destroy the big cardboard box where they've been living), but I'd like a more experienced opinion before I kick them out of the laundry room into their coop and run outside.

    I took these photos today on their first visit to the new run. It was 65 degrees out, and they seemed quite comfortable, but it will get down as low as 40 at night at this time of year here. Will I need to heat the coop at night if I put them outside this week?

    This is Cinnamon:


    and Ginger, who's much smaller than the other two:

    Thanks for your help!
  2. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    They are ready to go outside. They look fully feathered. Maybe just provide a heat lamp at night if you are concerned.
  3. firedove

    firedove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2008
    Fitzwilliam NH
    They look good to me. If your coop is draft free and they can get up off the floor they will probably be fine on a 40 degree night, but for your peace of mind you might want a lamp at night for a week or two.

    ETA: when my bantams have gotten cold in the winter they just huddle together in a nest bucket for warmth and they do just fine. As long as they have each other they do OK.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009
  4. greenbeandreams

    greenbeandreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    Perfect timing. I was just researching when to put my three girls out who are the same age as yours. Also in Northern California. Love the names, btw.
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Are they still under a heat lamp in the house? If so, you may want to wean them off of that for a few days before putting them out or as was already suggested, keep offering a heat lamp at night for a few weeks yet once you move them to the coop.
    You want to avoid shocking their system by putting them out in a cold coop when they've been used to the warmth and coziness of a heat lamp. If they are already off their heat lamp, then no problem; they're ready.
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Beautiful colors on your little chick(en)s, especially Cinn.!!! Yeah, I agree w/all that's been said. At least offer a lamp at night for another two weeks or so (don't know how cold winters get at night in N. Cal???). If the theory holds true of reducing the temp. by 5 degrees or so each week, then 65 degrees at this point would be just about right! But if they're used to warmer conditions, it may be a shock to their systems, so do a little weaning... I'm quite overprotective of my little girls, but they were out in the coop (w/heat lamp) at three weeks. They STILL get a lamp at this age when the temps take a nose-dive...
  7. pedro24

    pedro24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2009
    arthur, ontario
    they should be fine
  8. Daisygirl

    Daisygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2009
    New Zealand
    They will be fine...were you feeling hungry when you named them?
  9. CAgrrl

    CAgrrl New Egg

    Nov 23, 2009
    Winters, CA
    Thanks for the help, everyone! I moved the girls outside on Tuesday, so they've been through three nights in the coop so far. They had been off the heat lamp for a couple of weeks before they went outside, so I didn't give them any supplementary heat. This morning I just let them out of the coop into their run for the first time, and they all seem active and happy.
  10. bayareapilot

    bayareapilot Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2010
    San Francisco
    Just a 'thank you' for your post! I live just a little south of your area (San Francisco) and mine are 6 weeks old. Wasn't sure what well-feathered meant (never had chickens before) then I saw your pic and realized, my chicks look just like that now! Had been thinking about moving them out of their cardboard box brooder, too - but wasn't sure until I saw your post! :0) Out to the coop and run they go today!


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