Do you think they have enough feathers to go outside soon? PICS


9 Years
Aug 20, 2010
Long Island NY
Hi All,

Here are my 4 1/2 week old bantams. Are they almost ready to go outside in their coop? It's chilly here...mid 60's to 70 day and 50 at night. I can put a heat lamp in with them if needed. I just can't tell if they will be getting more feathers or this is it.

Thanks as always!



50 at night is NOT chilly, especially for chickens. Depending on the size of their coop, they may be perfectly comfy at night, with their body heat and feather insulation. Your chickens are close to being fully feathered. Give 'em another week. And you probably won't need to put a lamp with them unless it drops below 50. Then just have a lamp in one corner - securely fastened! - so they can go there if they need to, but still have a cooler section of the coop.

You might not need to provide supplemental heat for more than a week, if you wait another week to put them outside full time.
I'd move them now and give them a heatlamp at night for a week. Then take away the heat lamp. They'll be good to go at that point.

Their heads will feather in more, and if you lift up a wing, it's probably still pretty bare under there.

If you can, whip over to Home Depot or Lowes or Menards if you have one of them, and go to the lighting department - they sell this awesome dimmer that you plug the heat lamp into, then, the dimmer plugs into the wall. There's a small box with a slide switch on it and you can dim it a bit more each day, until it's almost gone. It's easier on them to do it that way than to just completely take the lampe away in one day!
I'd have kicked them out 4 weeks ago with two heat lamps with 100W bulbs in case one went out.
It's about the age they get to start to roam about, with the option of gong inside if they are cold. Dimer switches on lamps are awesome to help with regulating how warm you want it and for weaning them from needing night lights.
Thanks everyone for great advice!!

and Thanks Wynette!!! Great idea with the dimmer!!! I'm on my way to Home Depot right now.

They are a little bare under the wings and still look a little "messy"....I think I'll wait until one more week b/c I haven't gotten down to 70 yet with the heat lamp in the brooder (I felt bad, they looked a little chilly still) I really want to acclimate them right, so now I can be comfortable after a week of 70.

Thanks again!
We put ours in the coop at 2 weeks. Made sure they had everything they needed, heat lamp in the corner and some different levels of roosts so they could get closer to the heat or further away. Open the pop door in the AM, they could go out and play in the run or stay inside the coop, we left it up to them. All 25 are doing fine and and now 7 weeks.
They look like they could go out very soon. They would be fine outside now during the day. I usually put mine out when they are 6 - 8 weeks old, depending on the temperature. Wind protection for them is good. They would have a great time digging & looking for bugs. I feed my chicks a game bird starter that is higher in protein than chick starter. They feather out faster. You could just feed them some extra protein. Feathers take a lot of protein to grow. Also, remember that chickens are not vegetarians. They love meat. When free ranging they will even kill and eat mice, lizards and small snakes.
Also, remember to be very watchful of predators and make sure the babies are safe.

Blessings, Pat

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