How long do chicks stay in brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by alr2014, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. alr2014

    alr2014 New Egg

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    Dec 2, 2014
    We should be getting our chicks around December 16th. They are golden sex links. This is our first time to raise chickens!! My 5 year old daughter wants chickens from Santa - of all things!
    I'm wondering how long they should stay in the brooder box?
     
  2. Rosie BB

    Rosie BB New Egg

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    Your chicks should stay in the brooder box for at least 7 weeks. If not, more. They should have grown adult feathers and have shed their down by then. I hope I helped :)
     
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  3. Rosie BB

    Rosie BB New Egg

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    @alr2014 ^^^ above post sorry
     
  4. jonalisa

    jonalisa Codswallop!

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    My Coop
    They can go out into a coop when the are close to fully feathered. Mine were 5 1/2 weeks and by that time, I was beyond ready to get them out of the house (dust, odor). They can go out into an outbuilding with supplemental heat, if not yet fully feathered. If your brooder is small and they want to start flying around and are getting boisterous, that is a sign that they need more room.
     
  5. alr2014

    alr2014 New Egg

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    I'm nervous about getting them at this time of year- even though we are in Texas, it's still cold. I tried to explain to my daughter that Santa couldn't bring them because of the weather but that didn't work! Thank you all for your replies!
     
  6. Rosie BB

    Rosie BB New Egg

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    No problem dear :) and good luck.
     
  7. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think it's about the best time to get chickens. It is a little more work in the winter brooding chicks but you will have them outside right when the bugs start coming out so you get right on top of them and you will start getting eggs April/May when most people are just starting chicks.
     
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  8. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    I am in West Central Texas (south of Abilene) and you are right...it is cold...still in the mid-30's so far today. You will first want to be sure that the chicks, as they grow, have adequate heat in their brooder. Each hatchery website has detailed instructions for that so I won't waste the space repeating it here. Usually around 8-10 weeks your chicks should be able to withstand outside temps. The most important things are make sure they have their adult feathers, make sure they have a coop that they can be totally out of any direct wind yet has adequate ventilation. I would suggest that you not use supplemental heat once they are moved outside. Chickens have the ability to self-regulate their body temps once they are that age and supplemental heat just disrupts that ability. I have 22 adult hens that are doing a lot better than me in this cold and they live in a metal coop with a concrete floor. They have deep bedding (mix of shavings and straw), nice spacious roosts where they can share body heat without being crowded and a healthy diet that helps them stay warm. Also, I have 7 nine week old roosters that just went out to their bachelor pen a couple of days ago (yes in the freezing weather) and they are just as happy as they can be.

    Keep in mind, if you have not had chickens before, that they grow really fast. Make sure your brooder is large enough and/or can be expanded to accommodate that growth. Best of luck to you and your daughter. I think it is cute that she wanted chicks for Christmas time. Post some pictures when you can.
     
  9. Wxguru

    Wxguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 5 week olds right now here in Arkansas...and brooder is in the garage. The garage on cold nights registers in the low 40s. They have supplemental heat from a heat lamp, but they are getting more and more used to the cold and aren't huddling. Just puffing up to stay warm. There are 6 of them and at times they are in groups of 2's but not always. They are about 80% feathered (almost completely on top...but still a lot of fuzz underneath and low on the sides.
    They are starting to practice "flying" in the brooder...and it is big. For the 6 of them, it is a 4x8'....so space isn't an issue. I have installed a good roost to see if they would take to it. 3 have so far...the other 3 are "testing" it on occasion. :)
     
  10. alr2014

    alr2014 New Egg

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    I will be keeping mine in the garage as well. It's well insulated and I will also use heat lamps - keeping them in the house is not an option. I have 15 on the way - not sure how many will actually make it though! I plan on building a 6X8 brooder with a divider in the middle that can be removed.
     

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