Brand new chicken lady looking for advice!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by alyzandra, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. alyzandra

    alyzandra Just Hatched

    Feb 11, 2017
    Southeast Missouri
    Hi all! I'm so happy to have found this forum. I'm about as novice a chicken owner as can be. We have four Rhode Island Reds that are 9 weeks old and appear to be thriving, they've already become little pet babies to me. We've kept them inside since birth because of the harsh Missouri temperatures.
    My first question is at this age and given that, to my novice eyes, appear to be all feathered out, when is the best time to finally let them outside in their coop? The Temps could still get into the low thirties, high twenties at night, but they've quickly outgrown the large rabbit hutch we built for them to grow inside and I want them to be comfortable, but also safe.
    When would you say is the safest time to allow them to be outside on a regular basis?
    I'm sure I have a million more questions but this is the most pressing.

    Thanks and nice to meet everyone!
  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Chicken Obsessed

    May 4, 2016
    Somewhere in the Universe
    Welcome to BYC!

    Have your chicks been properly acclimated? How long have they been off heat? They are old enough, but if they are used to warm temps it could kill them to suddenly go in the cold.

    Great to have you with us!
  3. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    If you feel they need some heat use a low wattage hanging light in their new coop that they can come to get warm if needed----like if they were with their mother---if they got what they need in their coop/food/water keep them in the coop, closed for a day or two so they can get use to it, then open the door---if they want they will go out and have the heat when needed. When you see then not using the heat remove it. NO you do not Need a Red Heat Lamp, just a 40 or 60 watt bulb hanging about a foot off the floor.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas and [​IMG]! Great to have you aboard! By 4-6 weeks your chicks would be fully feathered out. So, by 9 weeks and in your location, I would not think any supplemental heat is necessary, provided they have a good coop to go into at night. They generate a lot of their own heat and keep the temps comfy in the coop. Best wishes and thanks for joining BYC! [​IMG]
  5. N F C

    N F C home again! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    If you do decide to use a hanging lamp for warmth, please be very careful...there's been more than one story here on BYC this winter of coop fires. It would be devastating to lose those little birds and your coop.

    Best wishes.
  6. Tony K T

    Tony K T Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 28, 2008
    New Hampshire
    If they have been inside all along they have not produced the right amount of down they need to be outside.I for one do not believe in providing heta for birds.My reason is if you provide heat they do not produce the down that keeps them warm.If you do provide heat and they do not produce down and you lose power,you can pretty much call them dead as they have nothing to protect them from the elements.
    Everyone seems to think that keeping them warm is best when actually your birds will be much healthier if raised naturally with no heat.They will be healthier and tend not to be sick as much,but remember you still need to worm them 2 times per year.
    In N.H.,Tony.
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  8. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under alyzandra [​IMG] Welcome!

    As you have already received some great advice, I will just wish you and your little ones all the best.

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]

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