From inside to outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rider3, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. Rider3

    Rider3 In the Brooder

    Aug 26, 2009
    Hello, I got my new chicks one week ago today. They're growing so quickly! When can I safely move them from their indoor "nursery" to the outside coop? (I live in the Boston area, so it's getting warm, but it's not very hot -- yet.) They're getting pretty daring and keep wanting to fly out of their box at the moment, not to mention the smell is getting a bit much. When I do eventually move them to their coop, should I put a light in the closed portion of the coop at night? They're not used to the dark, as they're under the heating lamp all the time. I want to do this in the most gentle way possible. Can anyone give me some advice/thoughts on how to go about this change? I think I'll be more anxious than my girls will be! Thank you!
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  2. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    The general rule about heating for chicks is the same whether you're keeping them indoors or outdoors. Start at about 95 degrees the first week of their life, reduce heat by 5 degrees each week thereafter until they are fully feathered out (or until you get down to the ambient low temperature anyway).

    It's harder to keep a somewhat constant temp in a brooder outdoors than indoors because of the natural temperature cycle of day and night. You'll probably have to be checking frequently and fiddling with your brooder arrangement to get it right outdoors. It might be warm enough out there during the day without the lamp, but you may need to turn it back on at night. Some people have found their coops get too warm in the daytime with the sun, too!

    Some people who use a heat lamp that also provides light do provide a night light for their chicks when they first turn off the heat lamp. You're right about trying to avoid sudden, drastic changes.

    When I brooded chicks artificially last spring, I had them outdoors in a playpen on our screened breezeway during the day without a heat lamp, but where I could keep an eye on them to make sure they were warm enough. They were fine in our normal summer temperatures. But I brought them indoors to their brooder with its heat lamp at night.

    Of course it goes without saying that you need to have a secure coop that will keep them safe from night time predators.
  3. Rider3

    Rider3 In the Brooder

    Aug 26, 2009
    Can you recommend a night-light? The only thing I have (and know of) is one of those big heat lamps with a clip. Too large to put into the coop, really. I was hoping for a cord with a light-bulb screwed in at the end, which I could hang in the coop somehow. I just can't find something like that. And, what kind of bulb? Should I go for another warming bulb or would a simple 40 wt. do the trick? I had read on some boards that people have used a 40 wt. bulb, but I'd like to research that more. THANKS!!
  4. Ravishaw

    Ravishaw Songster

    May 7, 2010

    i'm in phoenix... we're already at 97 during the day. So I wired electricity out to my coop...
    Heat lamp for the night and I'm good.

    Now, I just need to screen in the door, put in a restraining cable to help it keep its shape, and a net over the top.
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    What elmo said. Chicks need not be brooded in the house if you can maintain the appopriate temps. outdoors.
  6. Rider3

    Rider3 In the Brooder

    Aug 26, 2009
    Okey, dokey -- thanks, everyone! I'm an eager rookie! I'll let you know how things go.

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