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"hardening off" when moving to coop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kbunny, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. kbunny

    kbunny In the Brooder

    May 16, 2011
    Chicago IL
    I am about to move my three-month-olds to their new coop. They've been raised in the basement thus far, therefore they are used to an environment with little temperature-change and no wind.

    I've read that chicks raised indoors should be slowly exposed to the outside, like "hardening off" indoor-grown seedlings in gardening (an hour the first day, a few hours the next, then a half day, then a whole day but still in for the night, then out).

    But I am wondering whether this is really necessary in summer when the outdoor temps are pretty consistent and warm.

    My plan is to put the birds in their coop and keep them in there for a few days before letting them out into the yard. The coop has screened vents and windows, so it will allow some sun and air without "full exposure."

    What are peoples' experiences with moving indoor-raised chicks outside? Do you do it all at once or with some form of gradual exposure?

    Could I endanger my birds by moving them into the coop all at once?

    Any advice or experiences would be much appreciated.

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    You've got a good plan. move them in all at once. Now is the best time.
  3. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Songster

    Apr 11, 2011
    Since warm here during the day my 4 week olds have been spending days in the coop (in a large dog kennel) they come in at night. My plan is to do that until they get their feathers then we will try some supervised free ranging and sleeping in the kennel at night until ready.
  4. littlefork

    littlefork Songster

    Jan 24, 2010
    We had the same situation, our chicks were 10 weeks old and still in the basement. The weather has been so hot we were concerned about moving them but we finally had some cooler weather so moved them on Tuesday. They are doing fine, we kept them inside the coop for a couple of days and then let them out into their run they had a great time chasing bugs and digging in their new sand pit, they all went back into the coop when it got dark and got on their roost.
  5. I moved a pair of leghorn chicks outside in may when it started heating up. They had full access to the outside and everything in the coop. They were just starting to molt. Now i have 2 prime leghorns, almost ready for soup!
  6. lorain's fids

    lorain's fids Songster

    Jul 9, 2011
    New Jersey
    Are your chicks 3 months old or do you have three 1 month olds?
    My chicks are 7 weeks old and still sleeping inside at night. My coop isn't quite done yet-so for the past few weeks I have been bringing them outside at 7am and they spend the day in a huge rabbit hutch(no rabbits), we also made a little play area with a screened top for them to run around in. Then at 6:30pm we bring them in, which gives them about an hour to settle in before the light fades from my laundry room window. I have been leaving a nite lite on for them but with my coop almost done, this week, there will be no nite lite. I tried leaving it dark yesterday but the girls got upset and would not go and lay down, and I swear they were 'crying" soooo needless to say there was a nite lite on for them. Their run was finished on Friday so they loved running around in their run. I have been thinking about when their coop is actually done, about putting the large dog crate that they have been sleeping in inside the coop for the first few nights, this way it won't be so scary for them- so maybe you could do something like that also when they sleep out for the first few nights.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011

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