Conflicting advice on when to move outdoors.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Hatrick, May 15, 2009.

  1. Hatrick

    Hatrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2009
    I read another post on here that said you have to wait until they're six to eight weeks to move them to an outdoor coop and that they still need lighting outdoors for another four weeks after that.

    I guess everyone has their own ideas about this but do I really need to wait that long? I thought it was closer to four to five weeks and I never heard anything about lighting once they're outside. I believe by June that the temp's should be fine for them to be alright.

    Although this is Canada, snow is always an option in June. [​IMG]
    I'm really doens't snow here in the summer I promise.

    Would love other opinions on this.
  2. Shay1327

    Shay1327 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2009
    Franklinville, NY
    I moved my 5 wk old meaties outside, and my coop doesn't have power so no light and I live in WNY. Have to say they are all doing fine, doesn't seem to effect their appetites lol. And I have a Mama who doesn't seem to have a problem keeping her 2wk old chicks out there, so I think its whatever works for you and your flock.
  3. vtsarahb

    vtsarahb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    Bradford, VT
    I moved my chicks (standard-sized layers) out to the coop when they were 3 weeks old, and they are doing great. I still keep a heat lamp on in there at night though, because it's been in the 40s at night here.
  4. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    Its not rocket science. If they are feathered out (4-5 weeks) and you have a decent sized group (6+) they dont need anything in June in our outside of Canada.

    If its going to get down into the 30's at night, just turn on a heat lamp into one corner so they have some heat available to sit under.

    But really, 4-5 weeks is plenty old enough to put chicks outside. I always have mine out in their 4th week. My first batch this particular year was my earliest batch, they went into the coop in march. We're in upstate NY 3 hours from canada, its always snowing in march here. And freezing. They had box on its side near a corner under the nesting boxes, and the heatlamp in that area so the heat would be trapped there.

    Waiting until theyre older is just insanity. Unless you have just two birds and can stuff them in a pet carrier in the kitchen at night or something....
  5. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    At four or five weeks, they should be kept at temps that are 80 or 75 degrees. During the daytime the will more than likely be fine, but at night you might just need to add a heat lamp to the coop for them.

    I have moved some of my chicks out to the coop brooder in March at 1 wk. old here. The temps. were still fairly cold (we received quite a bit of snow the beginning of March here) but the brooder is draft free and I had a heat lamp in there for them. They did just fine.

    Bottom line is, as long as you keep their temps where they need to be, they will do fine indoors or out. [​IMG]
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I've seen it snow in Tennessee on June 3. Once. Many years ago.

    A lot of different people report different things on when they don't need heat. Of course, we live in a lot of different climates and have different coops. It's not necessarily the daytime temperatures that are the problem, it is the nighttime temps. How cold does it get in the coop? Will they even go in the coop? Some have to be trained.

    One way to be sure is to decrease the temperature by 5 degrees per week. When you get to the daytime temperatures, they can stay out during the day but need heat at night. Then, once you hit the nighttime lows, you stop providing heat. You also have to consider wind, rain, and drafts.

    Another school of thought is to stop the heat when they are fully feathered out. That calls for some judgment from you. Yoy'll have to decide when that is. Their lungs are fairly close to their back, so they especially need their full feathers there to keep the lungs warm. And they need their feathers over all their whle body to keep their circulating blood warm.

    I think the number of chicks has something to do with it too. If there are several, they can huddle together and stay warm, where one or two chcks may have problems.

    Different chicks will feather out at a different rate, depending on breed and diet.

    Another thing you could do is to put them out with heat available and see if they sleep under the heat or if they sleep away from the heat.

    As with most things on here, there is no set answer. It depends on your specific circumstances.
  7. jmeeter88

    jmeeter88 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    New Hartford, NY
    Quote:That is exactly what I did... I live in Central NY. [​IMG]
  8. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    Since I cannot predict if the weather will suddenly get rainy and chick damp and therefore subject to hypothermia, or if a chick gets stuck and frees itself only to then be hypothermic - between four and six or eight weeks I leave a light on out there.

    While they may not need it - it is there if they do. I'm not out there all the time, I won't see some things. I leave and won't catch some things that might chill chicks. So I leave a light on. I haven't lost one doing it that way, so it's what I do.

    The longer you keep them sheltered to feather and develop mass, the greater you increase the odds before exposure to weather and other variables. They'll have fewer challenges.

    So that's why there is a range of advice. Places differ, housing differs, number of chicks differs. And all that determines when and how well it works.

    I have four to five week old churkeys ( chicks given to turkeys) who run around with daddy because momma was eaten by a fox. They're not fully feathered but they do okay. I caught them at first and gave them a week under the lights with gamebird feed and then gave them back because he was flat freaking out. Daddy does pretty well, all in all and seeing the little BAmix and RIR churkeys riding around on Jake is just adorable.

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