Chick question!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Foxiapii, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. Foxiapii

    Foxiapii Just Hatched

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    Apr 27, 2017
    How old does a chick have to be to go outside and not risk getting sick? I have an Australorp, two Silkies, and Red Producer I wanna take outside but I dunno if they're old enough.
     
  2. Leah567

    Leah567 Hopelessly Addicted

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    I put mine out at 7 weeks. You can put them out when they are fully feathered out
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC.

    The answer is...it depends.

    Some variables:
    -your climate.
    -how you've managed their heat in the brooder.
    -what kind of coop/run you have.
    -if you have older birds.

    I now put my chicks out in a separate section of coop a with a heating pad at one week old. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/integrating-new-birds-at-4-weeks-old
    Have also kept them inside for longer but taken them out to a day pen with shelter from sun and wind depending on the weather.

    There's lots of options......tell us more about the above variables if you want a more detailed suggestion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  4. Foxiapii

    Foxiapii Just Hatched

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    @aart
    Currently the weather where I am is staying at a near constant 75-80 degrees during the hottest part of the day and about 65 degrees at the coldest. They'd only be out for like an hour, SUPERVISED, before being brought back into the brooder. I keep my chicks at 95 degrees the first week and then lower the temperature 5 degrees every week. I do have 3 older birds. An OEGB rooster, a leghorn hen, and a light brahma hen. I also have a 1 month old buff orpington chick that my leghorn has adopted as her own since day one (odd, I know).
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I usually lower the temps quicker than the '5 degree a week' deal....usually have them off heat by 3-4 weeks even outside at temps cooler than yours.

    Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:
    They need to be pretty warm(~85-90F on the brooder floor right under the lamp and 10-20 degrees cooler at the other end of brooder) 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 acclimation 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.


    Or you could go with a heat plate, commercially made or DIY: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate
     
  6. Foxiapii

    Foxiapii Just Hatched

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    Apr 27, 2017
    Thank you so so much!
    I'm still new to the whole brooding thing with chicks so this info helps a lot.
     

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