At what age can I move chicks into an outdoor coop?


8 Years
Jul 26, 2011
I am going to be getting my first order of 17 chicks in early March. I plan to brood them indoors for a while, but I'm sure the mess will get old fast! I'm wondering when I can safely move them out to the coop since the average low temperature in March is about 32 degrees. (Average lows in April = low 40s, lows in May = mid 50s)

I have read that they need to be fully feathered before they can be outside without supplemental heat. If I provide a heat lamp in the coop and keep them indoors, when do you all think it would be safe to move them out to the coop?
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you WILL get tired of having them inside! besides the peeping and the smell, they scratch which makes more dust then i thought was possible!

if i were you, make your outside coop into a brooder. you still have time!
make it draft free, but with air circulation, and able to maintain the proper temperature for chicks with heat lamps. i bet you can do it!!

good luck!
Moved our 6 little ones Tuesday. They will be 6 wks old saturday. Stuck em in the bantam coop for the winter, little closer in size. Been in the teens and windy..never bothered them.
Before that they were in a brooder in the unheated garage with just a 75w bulb over them. Chickens are tough birds.

I agree with ke5hde. When I picked up my chicks at a local farm, they were in an outside coop with 1 mesh wall with their mother. I kept mine in an unheated brooder in my house (63 degrees) for about 4 days (to age 5 weeks), then moved them to the smallest of my outdoor coops. Currently we're having highs in the 40s-low 50s, lows in the 30s-low 40s. The chicks are doing great outside in the coop. They have no supplemental light or heat in the coop, and every time I check on them they are jumping and flying around like little clowns.

I wouldn't recommend going from 90 degrees to 30 degrees overnight, but if you give them a little bit of time to adjust, they should be just fine, especially at the temps that you mentioned.
Thanks everyone! Great information.
My chicks are four weeks old and look tobe getting plenty of feathers. They look a bit crowded in the brooder and it's pretty warm here - do you think I can put them with my four hens outside? Monday is due to be 38 Celsius so I don't think they need the heat lamp that day.
We had a broody hen in November that ended up hatching 6 chicks Nov. 29th. Right now I've got them in one of the biggest Rubbermaid totes with a heat lamp in the house. However, they are 4 weeks old now and mostly feathered. I'm gonna haved to move them out sometime in the next month, but, it may very well be below freezing by then. Ohio...blink your eyes...the weather changes! The other chickens are free range and use the rafters in the barn to perch at night. My concern of course is the grown chickens picking on the baby chickens, so I want to build something for them in the barn until I can finish the coop outside of the barn in spring.

Thoughts or suggestions????
If you have a small animal cage, that might work. Just put them in the cage inside the coop. I know some people have done that.

My little ones are living in a smaller coop that I built in visual range of the big girls, which is another option.

Good luck!
Mine went outside at 5 weeks into 30s-50s F (0 to 10C) and they were fine. However, I don't know if the big girls would pick on them. Perhaps you could put them in a smaller coop where the big girls can see them and get used to them before introducing them to the same coop? Or, as I mentioned above, some people have talked about putting chicks in a ferret cage in the big coop until they are a little bigger.

Good luck!

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