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Chicks Outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Baby Chick, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. Baby Chick

    Baby Chick Songster

    Feb 28, 2012
    Every April I get new chicks & this year instead of getting just 6 I'm getting 12. We usualy put them in a Guineapig cage with a heat lamp above it in my basement, but I don't think this is a good idea with 12 chicks because they won't have much room. So once they are big enough I put them in a small coop with a run outside that my Dad made just for the chicks, and I was wondering if it would be ok to put the 12 chicks staight in there with maybe a heat lamp because its much bigger than the cage. It would be even better if I didn't need to put the heat lamp in but I don't know if that would be a good Idea. So is this possible & safe? [​IMG]

  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    If you can keep them warm enough, I see no reason not to brood outdoors - plenty of people do. Only you can answer the "safe" question though as we can't see your set up. Is the brooder your dad built able to withstand the predators you have in your area? Is it draft free and is there an area where you can safely use a heat lamp without concern about it having contact with the bedding and setting the whole set up on fire?
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I agree very much with HEChicken.

    You don't have to keep the entire coop warm. I keep my brooder in the coop and only heat one area. The rest cools off to whatever ambient is. Those chicks spend a lot of time in the cooler areas, but they do need the heat to go back to. In Connecticut this time of year, I would provide heat for the first four to five weeks.

    I'd hate to try to brood chickens in a small brooder where they didn't have a chance to find a cooler spot. I'd really worry about cooking them. Heat is usually more of a problem in those little ones than cold. If you have one big enough and only heat one area, they can find their own comfort zone.

    What you might consider for the first two or three days is to put a cardboard ring or something around the heat source to keep them from wandering too far from the light and not know to go back for the heat. My brooder is 3' x 5' and I've never had this problem, but some people warn about it.

    I'll emphasize something HEChicken said, it needs to be draft free at the level of the chicks. They need ventilation up higher, but at chick level you don't want any breezes hitting them directly.

    What you are talking about can be done. Many of us do it. All you need is predator protection, a safe heat source, good ventilation, and draft protection.

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