brooder-raised RIRs - when to move outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hensonly, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. hensonly

    hensonly Songster

    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY

    My RIR pullets are 5 weeks. They've been in the brooder since arriving (except when my dog got into the brooder and they all left -fast- but that's another story!). Anyway, I've got their coop pretty much ready to move into, but should I just put them in, cold turkey (so to speak) or should I give them some outside time for short periods first?

    I've been giving them a pan of dirt from the coop since last week when I read about it on this forum. The chicken house is just for the summer - only 3 sides, with a fully enclosed run attached. I've partially blocked the open front of the house for draft protection. Daytime temps in the high seventies/low eighties, with near 90 forecast for this weekend. Nights running in the fifties. Their brooder is on our enclosed back porch which doesn't get very cool at night, so though the heat lamp has been off for a week, they haven't been exposed to temps below 65.

    Because they haven't been exposed to outside germs except the pans of dirt, should I give them vitamins or yogurt or something to boost their immune systems before they do move outside? They are on non med. feed with terramycin in the water from the beginning.

    Any advice greatly appreciated.

    PS: yes, we are building them a weather-tight house for winter!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: