Get 'em outside

jstp

In the Brooder
Apr 30, 2015
26
0
22
I've read so many different threads. My chicks are 2 weeks old and doing well in their brooder in the garage. When is it safe to move them to the coop? I live in NH so the night can still get a bit chilly 40ish. Daytime is 60-70. I do have a 250w heat lamp that I can move out there. Thanks for all the fabulous info.
 

chickenk8

In the Brooder
Apr 7, 2015
70
4
41
There's so many different opinions on this and I've been doing research on this same topic! Anyways, I have 7 chicks that are roughly 4 weeks old. I live in Southern California, so day time is mid60s to 70s and night time is 50s.
Right now I've been putting them outside during the day since they just LOVE it outside, and bring them inside when it starts getting colder outside. Although they could probably stay outside at nighttime and just snuggle for warmth.
 

newmarch2014

Songster
5 Years
Mar 27, 2014
1,130
127
181
I am in Utah, we are particularly rainy right now, 60's during the day, 40's at night. I am a paranoid overobsessive pet owner. My chickens are 9+ weeks now and I still heat them at night, but not during the day of course. Once it is 50 at night I wont heat them. They are outside in the coop finally, in the 3 day period I keep them locked in to promote them getting used to sleeping in their new home. I would have moved them out a few weeks ago with the same guidelines but I was hoping to integrate them more easily with the big chickens but I have one homicidal head hen so I finally gave up and segregated the coop to protect them during the transition. If head hen doesn't start getting along she will get rehomed as the chicks would be doing just fine with the rest of the flock I think. Last year at this time night time temps were close to 50 at night, I put them out at 6 weeks and no heat.
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
6 Years
Feb 25, 2014
17,197
32,576
827
Northwestern Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
Last year mine went out at 5.5 weeks, before the coop was even finished! I put a heat lamp out there for them, and a wireless temperature transmitter, with the reciever next to my bed. Huge mistake! I kept watching the temp in the coop fall all the way down to 20. Seemed like every 5 minutes I was putting my boots on and my coat over my jammies, running out to check on them. They were fine, I was freezing! They weren't even near the heat lamp. They were in a pile next to the pop door sleeping quite well. That was on April 1st. The next night it was the same story. So the third day the heat lamp came out. If they weren't using the heat lamp, I wasn't risking a fire. That night it snowed. We got our last snowfall on June 6th. I tell people that if I'd have waited until temps were "acceptable", my girls would have been laying eggs in their brooder in the office!

Chicks do take care, but they are a lot tougher than we give them credit for. Can you imagine a broody hen trying to cover a bunch of chicks and keep them at a constant, super warm temperature when they're six or seven weeks old? Nope. By a few days old they are running around all over the place, just ducking under her for a quick warm-up and then they're off to explore some more. By a few weeks old they don't all fit, and she's teaching them to roost. So that's how I now raise chicks, and they not only survive, they thrive! I start them out in a pen in the run with just a heating pad, a wire frame, a towel and some straw. They rarely spend much time in their "cave" regardless of the weather. They are exploring, running all over the pen, watching the big chickens and learning from them. Oh, and our temps were in the teens and low twenties for the first two groups. The third batch had slightly warmer nights - in the 30s. They decide what they need, and they go get it. If they get chilly, they go warm up. They sleep through the night because they start out with that critical day/night cycle so they don't keep each other awake all night long. And by 4 weeks old they are integrated with the flock and don't even use the cave anymore, so no supplemental heat.
 

RedHenFarms

Hatching
Apr 28, 2015
9
0
7
Boulder, CO
Chicks can typically be moved outside full time when they become fully feathered between 6-8 weeks (different breeds feather out at different rates).

When I let them outside full time I make sure that they have most of their feathers underneath their wings.
I will let the little ones free range outside during the day without a heat lamp if the temps are about 65.

Let me know if you would like me to explain any of my experiences in more detail!
 

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