At what point should I put my pullet's outside full time?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mrs. Green Thumbs, May 25, 2010.

  1. I have 5 chicken's, 1 has had a long list of health concerns but seems to be happy doing her chicky thing so we have resisted culling her. While our girls have a large brooder box they are QUICKLY out growing it... and they complain LOUDLY about the cramped quarters.... Our girls are 2 months and some change old and the temps are dropping into the low 40's at night here. How soon can we move them permanently to their new coop and run? What should the temps be? We want them to be comfy and not freezing cold....
  2. amygirl

    amygirl In the Brooder

    Mar 5, 2010
    I live in a pretty temperate zone its zone 8(central tx). I put mine out when 3 things happen. First when they are feathered out with real feathers. Second, when the temps outside in the sunny spot of the pullet pen are at least 75 degrees. and third is when they start to fly out of the bathtub I have them in. This all usually converges around week four or five where I live. Then at night I keep a heat lamp in the pen so they dont get a chill. I always cover the place where they sleep with a blanket so they wont get a draft. In general, treat them the way you treat your kids when you are not sure about something, you experiment carefully and watch consistantly untill you are confident.
  3. Oh believe me, they are trying to fly... my girls are 8 weeks and seem to be covered in feather's... I don't know when it is exactly that they are done and "fully feathered" but my concern is in my area we are having really wonky weather this year. I live in a zone 9 - 10 so here in California we have very nice weather, but to be honest this last week we have had chilly temps, HIGH winds and were expecting rain tomorrow (totally TOTALLY weird for our area this time of year) so I'm not only a first timer with chickens but I'm also thrown off by my weather pattern's. I was hoping someone had like a temp range I could go by for the age. My girls will have an enclosed coop to sleep in with plenty of bedding and I can run a nice heat lamp out to them too for night time. I wont put them out until this rain storm has passed us but I'm hoping it can be soon.
  4. St-Hubert

    St-Hubert Chicken Convert

    Apr 6, 2010
    Anniston, AL
    Keep in mind this info is coming from a first-time chicken owner....

    We put our three girls out at about seven weeks, and the temperatures at that time were high 70's during the day, mid-60's at night. We're sitting at mid-90's right now during the day and mid-70's at night. We are sure they have plenty of water during the day. The coop they are in has plenty of shady spots to run to if they get too warm and places they can sunbathe if they prefer. So far, the heat has been alright....only had a few instances of open-mouthed breathing and only for a short spell. I intend on putting a fan near the roof of the run to at least get some airflow in there.
    We've had a few rainstorms since they've been out there, and they seem to have handled those pretty well. So long as the coop stays dry, I think they'll be happy.
  5. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    BOO to California weather! Bleh I have been waiting for summer since the end of APRIL! It's supposed to rain and wind and cold here in Sacramento all week as well. I have two 8 week old pullets who are outside until the temp drops below 60.

    If you go by the math, around 8 weeks they should be able to handle a constant tempature of 55/60 degrees. They start at 90/95 and drop 5 degrees each week. A tip I was given was to wean them off the heat light, but that's only because when my two girls go out they have to go without the light. Too much of a fire danger here in Sac. Anywho, I am in the same boat as you, good luck! [​IMG] I hope all turns out well. I keep my girls outside in the coop/run from about 10am till around 10pm.
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I'm in the exact same weather pattern, up here in West Sacramento. I know Santa Maria quite well.

    8 weeks is the time I put my chicks outside full time. These overnight temps in the low 40s have given me pause, too, but mine won't be 8 wks old until Memorial Day. From their behavior - this batch is precocious! - I would have put them out this past weekend except for the rain storm coming through tonight and the lower temps again. My extension cord won't reach to where I'm going to house them segregated from the grown up chickens for a while.

    MOST chicks are fully feathered by 8 weeks. The only reason I hesitated in putting this batch (a whopping 4 chicks) out is the fear of temperature shock - they can take the lower temps once they acclimate, and I hadn't been turning the heat lamp off at night lately. They complained when I tried, when those recent night temps dropped (even in the bathroom). Sooooo...... no heat lamp this week inside the house.

    If you can stand it another week, put them out at the end of this week, when this wonky weather stabilizes a little bit (or so say the weather cast folks).
  7. Thanks st-hubert. My run for the time being get's very VERY limited sun. They will get a great deal more morning and noon time sun when we trim the oak tree but for now it's primarily shadow seeing as how we were working with limited space we had to place the coop and run between our 2 storage shed's that face south so east and west of the coop/run is a shed. I'm afraid I might have to wait a while longer to put them outside or... install a heat lamp inside the coop. That actually would be a great option..... hmmm. My poor husband... Now I'v gone and gotten a new project idea....
  8. Thanks for the response morgan and grey eyes. I did the weaning by 5 degrees thing too until the inside of the brooder was the same temp as room temp's. They have a regular energy efficient bulb just for comfort (they seem to be used to having the light on) during the day and we leave the space heater on in the living room at night so they stay cozy but not super WARM by external heat sources of course the temps inside our house is DRASTICALLY different from those outside. I'm going to wait this short storm out (grey eyes, were supposed to have possibly 2-3 day's of showers so possibly this weekend if the ground is dry enough) and put the final touches on the coop (paint, roost's made out of birch branches) and work on building the laying boxes down the road. I figure we have month's before they will need them but for now I need those girls OUT lol. They are starting to get color in their waddles and more of a chicken like voice and MAN it's just nicer when they are happily clucking and cooing rather than complaining and squaking.
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    If they are 8 weeks old and you wean them off the heat lamp over a period of a week or so, they shouldn't need heat at all. If you feel the run is too shady, simply move them to the coop with no access to the run for now. They'll appreciate the extra space.
    The general rule of thumb is 90-95 the first week, decreasing by 5 degrees a week until such time you are down to 70 degrees (end of week 5), at which point they should no longer need the heat. The biggest mistake you could make would be to take them from a warm indoor brooder and suddenly stick them outside without heat. That's why weaning them off the heat is best.
    Eight week olders, already off their heat lamp indoors, should be able to handle temps. in the 50s or even lower in some cases; as long as it's above freezing.
    IMO, you aren't doing them any favors by continuing to provide heat after that point.
  10. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    gritsar thank you for clarifying! I was actually not aware of it like that, so I am glad I found this thread. My two will have the light OFF this week before going out into the coop full time. Do I need to take into account the fact I only have 2 pullets? Instead of a flock for warmth?

    (Not hijacking the post lol, sorry if it comes across rude!)

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