Brooder question

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by grettajill, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. grettajill

    grettajill New Egg

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    My chicks are 3 1/2 weeks old. Not fully featherd. Can I put them in a brooder outside with the lamp?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Probably.

    As long as the change in ambient temperature is not too drastic,
    they should be fine as long as they are kept dry and totally protected against any drafts.

    Use common sense and observe their behavior for any distress.
     
  3. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I generally begin "hardening off" my chicks at about 3 weeks old, with supervised time outside during the day if it's not cold or windy. As aart said, observe their behavior.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    A broody hen broods her chicks outside as they are being hatched. A lot of us brood outside from Day 1. Outside may be a specially built brooder, a brooder in the coop, the coop itself if there are no adults around, an outbuilding, or maybe a detached or attached garage. All chicks need are a dependable heat source, protection from the environment like wind and rain, and protection from predators.

    You do not need to heat their entire universe. All they really need is an area warm enough they can go to when they need to warm up and cooler areas so they can go cool off if they get too hot. Straight from the incubator mine are really good about self-regulating as long as they have a difference in temperature with one area warm enough and another cool enough.

    One of your challenges in brooding outside is that the daily highs and lows can vary a lot. You need one area that is warm enough in the coldest temperatures and another area that is cool enough in the hottest temperatures. It doesn’t matter if one area is too hot and one is too cold as long as there is an area somewhere that works.

    I don’t know what day and night temperature range you are seeing. A few years back I turned my daytime heat off at two days and the nighttime heat off at five days. But that was a brutal heat wave. In the winter I usually leave it on for five weeks, on rare occasions a bit longer. If you could give some details on your temperatures and your outside facilities, we may be able to offer specific advice. As BeetandSteet sort of implied, how well they have been hardened off can have an effect too.
     
  5. grettajill

    grettajill New Egg

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    They have been in my living room for since hatching. My brooder box is big enough and our winter has been mild. 50s and 60s during the day, so I think I am going to light the box and take them out. I still have the large space inside to bring them in if needed. We thought we would only have 50% of them hatch with our first try and we put in seven eggs. All of them hatched! They are a little cramped in the indoor box I had prepared. We watch them like hawks and the box is under my window so I can keep an eye on the light and them and hoping the predators will stay away with it being on the porch and not easy to get into.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    What do you have them in outside?
    Guess I assumed you were putting them in a secure coop.
    I wouldn't count on the light and the porch keeping them safe from predators.
     
  7. grettajill

    grettajill New Egg

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    They will be in a LARGE brooder box with a lid that shuts and made of solid wood. My coop is 1/2 an acre from my house and I still have one hen that uses it. They are still in my living room for the moment as its a 20 degrees difference and this next week is going to be nice and I will take them
    Out in the brooder in the day and probably bring h in at night. No predators can get them. It is more sound than my coop.
     
  8. KeyFlock

    KeyFlock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I brood my chicks outside from day 1. We have a brooder made from an old water trough with a cover on top and a heat lamp. They stay on our covered porch in the brooder until they're 4 weeks old, then we move them out into our small coop with a heat lamp.
     

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