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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by leck8, Feb 23, 2015.
At what age should I take my baby chicks to the coop and let out of brooder
Depends on temperature, but generally when they are fully feathered they're ready to be outside.
Your chicks should be fully feathered before they go out to deal with the weather. I shoot for 6 to 8 weeks but I go plus or minus depending on our temps at the time.
Ok thank you
Lower the temperature by 5 degrees every week (week 1 100, week 2 95, week 3 90, etc) at about week 6 they should be fully feathered and ready to go to the coop.
No, Gosh!!...100 is too hot!!
Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:
They need to be pretty warm(~85F on the brooder floor right under the lamp) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker integration to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder. I do think it's a good idea to use a thermometer on the floor of the brooder to check the temps, especially when new at brooding, later I still use it but more out of curiosity than need.
The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:
If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.
If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.
If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!
The lamp is best at one end of the brooder with food/water at the other cooler end of the brooder, so they can get away from the heat or be under it as needed. Wattage of 'heat' bulb depends on size of brooder and ambient temperature of room brooder is in. Regular incandescent bulbs can be used, you might not need a 'heat bulb'. You can get red colored incandescent bulbs at a reptile supply source. A dimmer extension cord is an excellent way to adjust the output of the bulb to change the heat without changing the height of the lamp.
I had the most trouble when trying to use a thermometer. Once I gave up on what the temperatures were 'supposed to be' and just adjusted the light based on their behavior things were 1000% easier.