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Four Week Old Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Dean W, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Dean W

    Dean W Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2013
    Central Texas
    Hello,

    I was wondering when it's okay to put four week old chicks outside? The reason I may have to move them outside is I'm getting some new ones next week. Is it okay to put day old chicks with the four week old ones? The weather has been warm in the 50-60's during the day and 30's at night.

    Thanks for looking...
     
  2. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2011
    Rison, Arkansas
    No, i would not put 4 week olds outside just yet. They need to be at least 7-8 weeks old and have been weaned off brooder heat.

    I would not put chicks in with the 4 week olds. The chicks may get "picked on" by the older birds.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    What are your circumstances outside? Can you safely get heat out there? Will they be protected from older chickens?

    My brooder is in the coop. The chicks are in that from the time I take them out of the incubator. It’s a 3’ x 6’ brooder with a good draft guard and good ventilation. I keep one end heated and let the rest cool off as it will. During colder weather that can get pretty cool. They do spend a lot of time in that cool end, just going back to the heat when they need to warm up.

    I think four weeks is too young in those temperatures. How soon you can put them outside is partly determined by how you acclimate them. If you are keeping them in semitropical conditions then just throw them out, they need to be older than if they are used to the temperatures. I don’t think there is a magic age you can put them out. I think it depends on your circumstances and how you have managed them.

    Last Fall I had about 20 in my brooder. The overnight lows were hitting the mid 40’s Fahrenheit. When they were 5 weeks old, I moved them to my unheated grow-out coop. It had good draft protection, good ventilation, and no heat. Within a few days the overnight lows hit the mid 20’s. They were fine but they were in a protected coop and they were used to colder weather. I really think having them in the colder parts of that brooder helped them feather out faster.

    Some people mix chicks that age in a brooder and it works out, others have total disasters. If your brooder is really really large for the number of chicks involved you might be OK, but personally I would not try it. All it takes is one bully among the older ones or a younger chick to get trapped in a corner where it can’t get away.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Thinking about this a bit, your best bet may be to set up a second brooder for the older chicks. If it is in your house it should not need to be heated. Even better, if you have a garage that cools off a bit you can maybe provide heat at night and get then acclimated.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Dean W

    Dean W Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2013
    Central Texas
    Okay, maybe I could partition the brooder I have made for the two groups then?
    I have them in a barn inside a water trough that I made a plywood cover for. There is one of those red heat lamps in there that runs day and night. I do have a little quail like pen setup now that has good draft protection. Electric can be easily had by running an extension cord out there.

    Yes, I was kind of worried about them being a little more competitive than the new chicks.
    I appreciate all the help and thought you've gave me. You can see my reply above.
     

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