Exactly HOW do you move chicks?


7 Years
Mar 30, 2012
Newbie chicken owner here with 27 three-week-old chicks. My question is when we are ready to move them from their starter brooder guard into their chicken coop, how do you do it? They will jump in my hands when I have dried mealworms, but it's kind of hard to hold onto one of them. How do you actually get 27 chick into the coop? We keep reading things, but I haven't found anyone who actually tells you HOW to move your chicks. They can already fly around and they can run a whole lot faster than I can, I promise!

If we can get them out there, how long are we supposed to keep the warmer light on?

How do you all keep their food and water clean? They are so danged messy. I am out there cleaning out their water 4 or 5 times a day. They get the little pine wood chips in everything, but nothing seems to bother them except when they get startled. They do fine if they hear me singing but heaven forbid something startles them.

They seem to love me--I think I now have the title of "that singing person who brings us food, water, and worms." When do they start letting you hold them? I have blue-laced red Wyandottes (not sure what the little "free" chick is; I think she is a Sicilian Buttercup, but I am brand new at this so not sure).

One more question: How long do you have to keep the warmer light on at night--especially after they are moved into the coop? Or do you have to? We live in Kitsap County, WA, and it has been a really warm spring thus far for us.

Thanks in advance to any and everyone who will answer these questions for us.


Scribe of Brahmalot
12 Years
May 18, 2009
Hi - Welcome to BYC!

Moving chicks is pretty easy if you have a box. Take them out of the brooder, put them into a box, and transfer them to the coop. The flaps on the box will keep them from jumping out while you are moving them.

If you have any bricks, place a couple under the food and water dishes to raise them up a little. That helps some to keep them cleaner. Of course, chickens love to scratch, so they will always get some dirt or shavings in their food and water no matter what.

I'm not sure how warm it gets where you are, but I would keep the light on at night at least until they are fully feathered. I am in Florida and I keep a light on for my chicks at night. The best way to tell is to see if they are huddled together and looking unhappy - if so, turn the light on.

Good luck!


Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011

I just put mine in whatever carrier is handy, but then my chick pen's not far... If you want to let them get used to you handling them, you'll have to handle them lots. Bribe them with treats. That always works!


Veggie Chick
12 Years
Mar 22, 2010
Saratoga County, NY
If you have problems catching them all, turn off all the lights. I always move mine in evening or early early morning. Turn off lights everywhere, then they are easy to pick up and stuff in a box or carrier. :)

oh, and as for the water, search 'nipple waterer' on here. I make my own out of various size buckets (small for chicks, 5 gallon for biggies) and I never have dirty water. They'll use one right out of the egg. :)
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chiques chicks

7 Years
May 11, 2012
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
To move, any box or crate. Commercial birds are moved from pulley house to layer house in open crates on tricks 9000 at a tome for hundreds of moles and survive. A little crowding for a short tome won't kill them.
As stated, darkness helps calm them down, so doing it at night is great.
I found my feed and water stayed much cleaner when I got hanging feeders/waterers I use a chain and s hooks so I can raise it as they grow. Also keeps things dryer.


7 Years
Mar 30, 2012
Thank you so much, everyone! I felt kind of silly asking, but my mama (God rest her soul) said no question is a stupid question unless it is one that isn't asked--so I asked!

I have found hanging feeders but haven't found hanging waterers. I have seen the nipple waterers but am not sure how they are put together or how they work. Anyone that has any pictures, that would be GREAT! (I loved what TheOldChick posted--with pictures and everything!) I loved reading what ALL of you posted but truly for newbies like me, pictures are fantastic!

Where do you find the hanging waterers, or do you make them or what? I will try to post some pictures if I can figure out how to do it. I'm 54 and husband is 67 so we're not quite sure about a lot of this picture posting stuff.

Thank you again, everyone. You are the BEST!

(I don't even know what all the smiley faces mean so am hesitant to put anything other than a plain smilie.)


7 Years
May 14, 2012
Northern Utah
Hello & welcome!

I put mine in a plastic tub (a Rubbermaid tote) to move them inside and out (they're not ready for the coop yet). Inevitably one will poop in it so I just hose it out afterward.

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