From Brooder to?

levalleygirl88

In the Brooder
Mar 5, 2018
16
33
41
So I've got my four chicks inside their brooder that I made when we brought them home. They're now two weeks and growing like weeds. I purchased a book for first time chicken owners and it says that they shouldn't be put outside in their coop until they're five months or so. Is this true? My question is what do I move them to after they outgrow they're brooder? Do I just make a bigger one and when can my chickens move out to their coop?
 

April Barta

Songster
Oct 16, 2017
532
832
211
Puyallup, WA
I moved our chicks out around 6-7 weeks and it was the end of December. They were fully feathered. The most important thing I learned from everyone on this site is acclimation. If you take them from your 60 degrees garage and then put them outside in freezing temperatures, they will not fare well. We opened a window and allowed the garage to get down into the 40s. Then when I made the big move, I made sure they had plenty of pine shavings to snuggle in. I watched the weather to make sure it wasn’t going to drop below 36 at night for a few nights. Since then, they’ve done really well in temps in the high 20’s with no supplemental heat. Good luck to you!
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
11 Years
Oct 16, 2010
7,660
3,991
476
NEK, VT
Gawd no that's not true. I don't know your weather/climate but will assume your entering spring. The birds should be well feathered enough by 4 weeks of age to take frost nights in coop and 40-50F days in run. If you have slower feathering birds you can brood for few more weeks inside. If you ween the heat source they will feather in faster and be acclimated more for the outside. I start turning light off for few hours a day then most the day then by week four they don't have any added heat source and are brooded in unheated garage. So ambient temp is 40-50F. By easing off the heat they acclimate to being put outside.
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
8 Years
Feb 25, 2014
18,285
39,907
867
Northwestern Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
:oops: Mine go out a day or so after they get here or come out of the incubator and I know that they are eating, drinking, know where to go get warmed up, and aren't suffering from shipping or hatching stress. Temps are in the 20s with some dips into the teens, snow, wind, and whatever wild Wyoming weather hits. They are off all heat at 4 weeks and the brooder pen comes completely out at the end of that week.

My first batch, heat lamp raised in the house until 5.5 weeks, were evicted to the still-unfinished coop! Them or me! I put a lamp out there but for 2 days they weren't anywhere near it. I took it out. They thrived. It snowed the second night. That was on an April 1st. We didn't get our last snowfall until June 6th that year. Yeah.

I so totally agree with weaning them off the heat gradually before you put them out. It will encourage faster feather growth and help acclimate them. They should do fine! According to the books and experts, the little Divas should be in the house until they are darn near laying eggs in the brooder. Chicks hatched outside under a mother hen are running all over the place and dodging snow at a couple of days old because they are acclimated from the start, just need a quick warm up from time to time, and sleep all night through under her.

In the end, so much depends on your setup and your own comfort zone. if they are outgrowing their brooder, you could be looking at behavior issues like serious pecking and such starting up. And having very limited space adds to their anxiety when they are finally out in the "wide open spaces". But it's a pain in the hiney to have one brooder for this age, build another one and move them into it, then build a bigger one.......you get the picture. If it was me, I take this next week, wean them off the heat and light so they learn what darkness is (they'll hate you but they'll get over it), and during that time set up a space for them in their outside facility so it's ready for them. Good luck!!
 

SandyRiverChick

Crowing
12 Years
Jun 7, 2009
486
500
291
Brightwood, OR
My Coop
My Coop
I just started my 2nd flock and it's all coming back to me from the first time..... I had purchased some raising chickens book before I discovered BYC and thought they'd be in my basement for 4months. But the first time I took them outside for what I thought would just be a day outing in the spring sun, I never brought them back in. It was clear by their behavior (at 4weeks) that they were feathered enough, not cold and I'd done a decent job insulating my first little coop. I left a 65watt bulb on for heat the first night or 2 but I know I stopped that so they could have total darkness relatively quickly. I have 1 week old's right now and not using a heat lamp so that as I lower the ambient room temp they'll be ready for the big move as soon as possible! 5 months, omg no, that would suck! Have fun!!!
 

levalleygirl88

In the Brooder
Mar 5, 2018
16
33
41
Gawd no that's not true. I don't know your weather/climate but will assume your entering spring. The birds should be well feathered enough by 4 weeks of age to take frost nights in coop and 40-50F days in run. If you have slower feathering birds you can brood for few more weeks inside. If you ween the heat source they will feather in faster and be acclimated more for the outside. I start turning light off for few hours a day then most the day then by week four they don't have any added heat source and are brooded in unheated garage. So ambient temp is 40-50F. By easing off the heat they acclimate to being put outside.

Thank you! We've got the heat lamp on them and each week we raise it a little more to bring the temp down. I think I might take your advice and start turning the heat lamp off for a little bit during the day. I live in Colorado and yes we are going into spring. Right now the temps during the day are 40-60 degrees and dropping down into the 30's at night. I got chickens that are good in colder climates but I don't know if that matters lol.
 

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