Chicks are 6 weeks, outside time?

downsfarm

In the Brooder
Dec 13, 2017
18
32
49
So my chicks just turned 6 weeks old. They've all survived! I have 15 hens total. Pretty sure they are all fully feathered -- I also got birds which said they could withstand cold temps. They've been in my master bathroom in a rubbermaid brooder for the last 6 weeks. I've slowly been decreasing their heat lamp every week - and now I've completely shut it off (house kept at 70).

These birds! I adore them, but they are getting dust all over the bathroom. I clean them often, but the smell is getting bad too. I'm almost 5 months pregnant, so I'm ready for them to fly the coop..er..bathroom.

Unfortunately, we do not have a garage/basement/Porch/etc. Our only options are in the house and outside in their area enclosed area.

Our plan was to put them in their coop (two large enclosed coop boxes and a small run) for 2 weeks. Then we will let them out during the day into their 330 sq ft yard and only coop them at night. So they'd be 8-9 weeks by the time they are out of the coop/small run during the day. We still have to put poultry netting over the top of the yard to protect them from hawks when out during the day -- until that's done, they'll be locked up.

We live in Northern Missouri. We've had some frigid temps the last few weeks - but it's warming up now. Yesterday and the next few days will be the in 40s-50s during the day.

We don't have electricity to the coop area without running hundreds of foot of wire from the house. I also don't feel comfortable putting a heat lamp out after the horror stories I've read re fires..

anyway...will they be okay outside or do we have to continue to wait?
 

Harmony Fowl

Songster
Jul 17, 2017
601
1,068
246
Virginia
Take advantage of the warmer weather, definitely. Heat requirements don’t go in five degree increments forever. They will probably love it and thrive and you’ll wonder why you waited. You can always bring them back in if they seem uncomfortable, but 99.9% sure they won’t mind the current weather.
 

SueT

Crossing the Road
Premium member
May 27, 2015
7,501
20,035
847
SW MO
That's what I was thinking -- this week is warm enough to help them get used to the outdoor temps.
I have 5 opringtons - 3 lavender, 2 buff, 2 blue Marans, 2 black australorps, 2 buff brahamas, 2 easter eggers, and 2 barred rocks!
Yes you have the perfect window of opportunity with this warm up. And those breeds will be fine.
Btw, there's a Missouri thread if you haven't found it already...
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/calling-any-one-from-missouri.73271/page-838#post-19447621
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,614
26,792
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
IMO, going from a 70* bathroom to 40* day time temps, not to mention what ever your night time temps are going to be is too much of a drastic change. Do you have a window in that bathroom? If so, can you block that room off day and night, and leave the window wide open for a couple of days? If that's not an option, can you move them to an other room with window and do the same thing? Third option is to set them up in the coop with a wool hen or a huddle box. They will need to be hardened off via opened window for a few days, or have a huddle box/wool hen in order to succeed IMO.
 

downsfarm

In the Brooder
Dec 13, 2017
18
32
49
They do have two wooden boxes that I'm going to stuff with straw to get inside of. Would that work? I will look into the wool hen. No windows in the bathroom, and unfortunately one of my dogs is way too interested in the chickens to move them elsewhere.
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
17,470
22,734
906
southern Michigan
My chicks move to the coop much sooner, with their heat lamp in a corner of their area. At three weeks they aren't feathered out and need the heat, and by five or six weeks they stay away from the lamp and it goes away. Yours have been too warm too long and I agree with LG; give them a huddle box of something out there at first. Can you safely attach a smaller wattage heat lamp for them out there for a short time?
Your bathroom must be awful! That dust is bad to inhale, what a mess!
Mary
 
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