At what age ...

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by bamachicks12, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. bamachicks12

    bamachicks12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 11, 2012
    Hi everyone ! I am new to raising chickens and I will never make the mistake of brooding chicks in the winter again ( live and learn !! ) But all 15 SLW girls are doing great, healthy and warm !! I was wondering ..at what age will it be ok to move them outside ( to the coop ) . I have heard people say 6 weeks . Will it be too cold in the coop at 6 weeks? Our coop does not have a heater but it is draft free, and secure .
    Thanks
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    When I brood in the winter I do give them a little more time under the light. But what I do is taper it, so in the end they are getting a 100 watt bulb, then a 60 watt bulb, then nothing. I suppose I give them heat for a couple of months or slightly longer including this. But we have a very mild winter usually (coldest is usually in the 20's for a couple of weeks then back to 40-50 degrees during the day).

    Once we were in the middle of a cold snap and I had just moved chicks to a hutch outside (teeny-tiny silkie chicks). I had one of my kids just go get them to bring in the mud room for a week or so until the bad cold snap passed us. They would have died for sure. Use your intuition.

    I go by the behavior of the chicks. If they look like they are freezing then I turn the light back on (electricity in the shed coops). In your situation I would use judgement based on your nighttime low temperatures. You might consider giving them an extra couple of weeks with a tapered light schedule (but if they appear cold I'd up the wattage again).

    Wintertime brooding to me is not convenient like you said- hard to do sometimes depending on circumstance because it is extra monitoring- but think of those late spring-early summer eggs you will be getting! [​IMG]

    Addendum: the reason I am so careful with winter chicks is that yes they might have all their feathers but they haven't built up the meaty bulk that the spring chickens have to endure the cold.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2012
  3. bamachicks12

    bamachicks12 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 11, 2012
    Thanks for the help . We live in Alabama so we have weird winter weather - it might be in the 70s at the beginning of the week and expecting snow or ice at the end of the week . I wont ever do this in the winter again because I'm constantly worried we might lose power during the night and they will be without the heatlamp for an extended period at such a young age . Once they get their feathers I will be able to relax a little ! But you are right , we will have eggs by late spring : )
     

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