chicks in brooder, is there an average time?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ptjeff, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. ptjeff

    ptjeff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2013
    this is sort of a wide open question, but be that as it may, let me try.
    i will be getting 10-15 buff orphington chicks and was wondering if there is an average time that these chicks will stay in the brooder before they are allowed out into their coop/run outside. they will be the first into the coop, so there shouldn't be any additional pecking order issue. i'm trying to estimate weeks so that they are ready to get out before 1. i finsih the coop and 2. the weather has not warmed up enough. and by the way, what is warm enough?
  2. DavidKerk

    DavidKerk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2013
    What you do is start at 90 degrees and decrease the temperature in the brooder by 5-10 degrees (the chicks will let you know if they are cold [​IMG]) each week. Once you reach about 5 degrees above the temperature outside, you can put them in their coop. If you want, you could put their heat lamp in the coop and this would make it so you could put them out there as early as about 3 weeks.

    A lot of raising chicks is just interpreting them- if they are pressed against the wall of the brooder as far away from the heat as possible, that means they are warm. If they are huddled under the light, then they are cold. Just adjust the light accordingly and most of all, don't worry about it too much. Chicks are very resilient!

    I hope this helps!
  3. ptjeff

    ptjeff Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2013
    thanks David,
    i now remember that basic rule. i guess i got caught up in other stuff and forgot that one
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I don't lower the temp like a lot of folks think you need to do. I try to mimic a broody hen as much as possible, and her temp doesn't get lower as the chicks get older. They just spend less time under her, and I find my chicks naturally do that. Or, I start just turning off the heat lamp during the day after a few weeks. If they were raised by a broody, they'd only be under her at night and maybe a few hours during the day, the rest of the time spent out at ambient.

    Regardless, chicks don't need the heat lamp any more when they're fully feathered, usually around 5-6 weeks old.
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Aside from the heat issue, how long they will/can stay in the brooder depends on the size of your brooder. Many people brood in containers that are far to small and the birds grow out of it very quickly, becoming overcrowded and stressed. The bigger the brooder the longer they can stay in there comfortably, though the older they get the more boredom becomes an issue. I usually raise 6 or 8 at a time in a brooder that is about 3 x 4 feet. When my chicks are two or three weeks old they start going outside in a little pen for a few hours a day in a warm, protected location, weather permitting of course. This lets them get some exercise and entertainment and relieves boredom. They move out to their coop/run at 5 weeks old.

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