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How do I send my chicks to the coop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CHIC, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. CHIC

    CHIC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chicks are now 4 weeks old and I read that it is time for them to go to the coop. However, it just started getting really cold and I don't feel that would be a good idea. Right now, they are in the brooder in the garage and I took the heat lamp away to see how they would do and all they did was pile up on top of each other. They didn't even wanna move. I am having great anxiety about this. Can anyone help me and tell me what you do. The only way I could get the heat lamp outside would be to run an extension cord and I don't want to do that if I don't have to.
     
  2. Ferngully

    Ferngully Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not sure where you read they were ready to go outside at 4 weeks old. It is recommended that chickens not be removed from a heat lamp and sent outside until they are atleast 8 weeks old and fully feathered. For them to pile up onto each other, someone on the bottom will not make it (expire). They piled onto each other because they were cold. This is especially true if you are already receiving cooler or cold weather. I would suggest giving them a few more weeks in the garage and decreasing the temp of the heat lamp as recommended weekly and see how things go from there.
     
  3. crazyhen

    crazyhen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ran an extension cord and taped with electric tape all the plugs. I also double attached all the lights that were hung. that helps to prevent fires. do not get those bulbs to close to the wood chips. I kept a thermometer in the coop at the level of the chicks to make sure the temp would hold. At 4 weeks they still need some heat but not as much as a warm house. You can put a warm box in a corner of the coop to keep warmer than the rest of the coop.
    I kept my first in for 8 weeks. Oh boy!!! what a mess of dust. Never do that again. They will get use to the coop after a bit but do require some heat at first. Gloria Jean
     
  4. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh yes, much too early to not have heat. They need all their feathers, 5 - 8 weeks minimum in spring/summer depending on the breed, 10 - 12 weeks easily for some... If raised outdoors by a mother hen, they'd still be cuddling with her at 4 weeks (and each other), but without a mamma, no way yet.

    Rule of thumb is start the temps at about 95 degrees F, then start to raise the lamp a little more each week so the temp drops by 5 degrees each time. By that logic, they probably need to be around 75 degrees or so still, gradually reducing the temp till by 6 or 8 weeks they may not need the light much or not at all, but may still need to be inside for a bit at this time of year.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  5. LittleMamaBigPapa

    LittleMamaBigPapa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my chicks were in a large U-Haul dish pack with a hardware mesh/framed lid unitl 6 1/2 weeks - May 1st thru June 18. (they had to go out then because we went on vacation for 10 days). Fortunately, it was June so I felt ok, but I never took them off the heat lamp until then for sure. I kept it between 85-90 in their box until they moved outside.
     
  6. CHIC

    CHIC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, would it be ok to have the brooder in the coop? They are getting dust all over everything. Could I just make a pen in the corner? I am kinda scared about the fire hazard
     
  7. crazyhen

    crazyhen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You have to go with your own feelings there. Two facts they need heat, they need shelter. If you can provide that in the coop without drafts then ok. Its not so much where they are as long as their needs are met. Put the thermometer out where you want them to be. Check it with the heat lamp on for 24 hours. Make sure there are not drafts. Gloria Jean
     
  8. CHIC

    CHIC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advise! I am so glad I went with my gut and didn't just "throw them to the wolves". Thank guys!
     
  9. farmgirlwanabe

    farmgirlwanabe Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I have four 3 week old chicks that are making a huge dust mess in the house (my kids love it!) and I'm looking forward to getting them into the coop. However, I'm in Nova Scotia and it's starting to get pretty cold now.

    Has anyone ever used an electric heating pad? I thought I might try it under the brooder box in the coop. Maybe there's less chance of fire with a heating pad instead of a heat lamp. What do you smart folks think?
     
  10. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Yes you absolutely CAN do that! Last time I did it when it was cold I made a base of hay bales then put plywood on top, and put the brooder on that to get them off the floor and make things easier. WARNING, the bales got full of mice looking for a warm spot to live too, but the chickens sure gobbled them up when I moved the bales. They did however provide good insulation between the floor and the chicks, and while some think it's a fire hazard, I don't see how it was a worse one than anything else out there.

    Make sure your heat lamp is high enough, and fastened VERY well to whatever it is mounted to ((Don't trust those clamps! They can come off unexpectedly)) and that the cord is out of reach and not dangling someplace dangerous.

    Heating pads are not rated for outdoor use, even if it's 'in' a coop, and they are not meant to be running for such long periods of time.
     

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