Chicken newbie needs help!

2-dimples

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 17, 2008
20
0
22
Woodinville, WA
Hi. I'm new here and I was hoping you all could answer a few questions for me regarding what the temperature needs to be before a chicken can go outside. I just bought my 4 chicks on sunday and they are in their rubbermaid brooder with a heat lamp overhead. The gentleman who helped me at the store says they can be taken out of the brooder and outside in the pen when they are fully feathered at 6 weeks. Then later someone else told me it's to cold to let them go outside at this stage. I live near Seattle and it is currently in the 30's at night and 50's during the day. In April it is in the 40's at night and upper 50's low 60's during the day (when they would turn 6 weeks). We currently have the outdoor pen built, and the next project would be the little chicken "hutch" that they would climb up into to lay their eggs eventually. Would the hutch be warm enough for them? Would they know to go into it if they are cold? I'd would feel so bad if we lost them due to the cold.

Also, are they really okay in the rubbermaid container for the 6 weeks? As you can tell I'm a little new at this! I'd appreciate any help! Thanks!
 

Frozen Feathers

Songster
12 Years
May 4, 2007
2,755
4
211
Maine
At 6 weeks, they should be fine in those temps. They will go in at night. Just make sure you have a draft free area for them and keep food and water available at all times.

Oh, and welcome to BYC.
 

2-dimples

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 17, 2008
20
0
22
Woodinville, WA
Thanks for the advice (and welcome). So, probably the only draft-free area would be the hutch itself since the pen is just all chicken wire on all sides. That is okay? They'll just stay in the hutch if it becomes to windy?
 

unionwirewoman

Songster
12 Years
Sep 14, 2007
788
10
151
Kalispell , MT
Welcome ! I live in Kalispell , Mt. and I let my chicks outside when they are fully feathered . Don't worry too much about it . I think they would be just fine to get away from the weather in a hutch . Have fun !
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
974
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Welcome fellow washingtonian!

They should be fine. Some say otherwise but I just slowly acclimate them. Their brooder is actually outside and I take the light away at about 6 weeks here. However, I do keep them in bunches of about a dozen, so if I had fewer, they may be a bit chilly some nights. Rubber maid will probably get a bit cramped in 6weeks. They grow like weeds.
 

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