At what age/temprature can chicks live outside (and a couple other questions)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jimmywalt, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. jimmywalt

    jimmywalt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok last year we started out with 5 chicks. I knew all of the answers to these questions...... but since it's been a year I have forgot! We now have 3 new baby chicks living in a brooder in our house and I don't know the answers to these questions - We have a Barred Rock, White Leghorn and Sliver Laced Wyandotte (new chicks)

    1. At what age or outdoor temperature can they start living outside?

    2. I believe my 50# bag of starter food says to feed until 16 weeks. What if I have extra feed, do I mix it with the layer pellets, or just keep them on the starter till it's gone?

    3. At what age do you have the nest box available? I remember reading that until they are egg laying age that you don't want them to see the nest box or they might think it's a place to sleep.

    4. At what age do they start laying?

    Thanks again for your help. Sorry I don't remember the answers to these simple questions.
     
    msharp0710 likes this.
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Chicks can move out to their coop when they are fully feathered, usually around 5 weeks old or so.

    When they are around 16 weeks old just finish off whatever starter you have before starting them on layer. Or just keep them on starter/grower or flock raiser feed until you actually start getting eggs.

    I don't put nest boxes up until I know that pullets are nearing point of lay and are showing a lot of red in their combs/wattles.

    When they start laying depends on different factors, some breeds start later then others, time of year can affect when they start laying. But generally anywhere from 16 to 20 weeks is average I guess. Some will start a bit earlier others will start much later.

    You mentioned that you have older birds, are you planning on integrating these youngsters into your older flock? If so, plan on having a grow out pen or other enclosure for them where they can be next to the older birds but the older birds cannot get to them. If you do this for several weeks it makes integration much easier on the new birds. Chickens do NOT like newcomers and they can be brutal, even killing new birds. Don't mix them until the youngsters are almost the same size as the older ones, about 10 - 12 weeks old.
     
  3. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Newbie here, too, but I can answer #3! Once you put them to the coop you need to block the nesting boxes so they can't "get comfy" in them. Then when they are at the egg laying stage pull the blockage and then they'll be more apt to investigate, etc. I learned that just yesterday here on the forum! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
  4. jimmywalt

    jimmywalt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. Yes I have a "grow out" pen/run and their own separate little coop that will be right by the older group. I won't mix them until about 12 weeks old.
     
  5. RnRRidgerunner

    RnRRidgerunner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hey guys,
    I have a question on when to remove or decrease brooder light / temperature for my nearly three week old chicks. I have had them for three weeks, do not know when they were hatched. lol They are nearly fully feathered and stand about 6 inches at the shoulders and 8 at the heads. They seem to bed down away from the 95 degree area and tails to the heat. I have moved the light way up to the top of the 30 gal bin about 20 9nches from the light to the bottom of the bin. The ambient temperature in the house is 67 to 70 degrees. We have been blessed with warm weather Sunday and Monday so it more due to outside conditions, but down to 67 at night.
    I don't want them to catch cold. LOL Any help from you veterans in this area would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
    RnR Ridgerunner AKA John L[​IMG]
     
  6. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    They're telling you they are too warm. If they have feathers on necks/heads/backs, they are ready to shut off the heat altogether. As for inside/outside, the answer is day 1 with a heat lamp. Chicks never "need" to live in a human dwelling. But I think you meant when is it warm enough to be outside without heat. The answer is still when feathered. Mama hen would be sitting on the roost by them at this point and they will cuddle each other for security as much as preserving warmth. If it makes you feel better, keep them where they are without the light for a few days. But really, they are ready.
     
  7. Tumbleweed Farm

    Tumbleweed Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    We're a "no chickens in the house" family. They live in an outdoor brooder/grow out coop from day 1 (that translates to 3 days old because I don't hatch and the guy who does hatches mid-week, sells Saturday). It really is easier to transition them to unheated outdoor temps when they are already in unheated outdoor temps by choice. You just notice they are sleeping on the baby roost and take out the light. No wondering, no worries.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  9. RnRRidgerunner

    RnRRidgerunner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for all the info you guys. I just wanted to be sure I was doing ok. Yeah, I brooded them here in the house as I do not yet have any other buildings. I am working on my coop and hoping the rain holds off until I can get all the parts done and painted for the assembly. We are supposed to have t-storms and maybe even tornadoes in this part of the state (Oklahoma) in the next couple of days. Next week looks like sunny days ahead. So we are stuck with the almost pullets ha ha in my computer room no less. Yes I think we can turn off the heat lamp now. We are "feathered" up good enough. Thanks again it is so nice to have resources like the BYC!! [​IMG]
     
  10. RnRRidgerunner

    RnRRidgerunner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the advice. Yep only building on property so far. LOL Coop is in progress.
     

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