How long till chicks can go outside??

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by kylieschooks, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. kylieschooks

    kylieschooks Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2013
    London
    Hi,

    I'm getting ready to hatch some chicks for the first time.

    What I need to know is how long do chicks need to stay under heat lamp?

    When can they go outside without any heat?

    I am looking at hatching them just after Christmas and when they are about 6 weeks old it will be February and average temperature in uk is about 7 degrees (45 ) so not warm.

    Also I've been looking at brooders online, but I have been thinking they look fine for when they are tiny but when they get bigger what do peopl usually put them in? Can they stay in brooders until they go outside???

    Thanks
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    I mimic nature. If a hen hatches them they stay with her till they're fully feathered but after the first week or 2 they spend less and less time under her.
    I provide a warm spot and lots of cool space. At 6 weeks they would be able to handle those temps IF they had been acclimated but even a fully grown bird would be stressed going directly from warm to cold. However, 7C isn't that cold for a chicken.

    Here's a few of my setups you could consider and what it looks like outside.

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    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  3. kylieschooks

    kylieschooks Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2013
    London
    Thanks for the info, very helpful. That's a lovely set up you have! Can I ask how old the bigger chicks are in the last picture? I want to get an idea how big they get before going outside. Thanks
     
  4. LTygress

    LTygress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an outdoor "weathering pen" that I used to use, but went with a covered-top enclosure recently instead. The chicks are put out there starting in week 1. It's pretty big, with a heat lamp only on one end. The food and water is just outside of the heat lamp range (so it doesn't get hot).

    The benefit is that the chicks get used to the cold weather. But they still have the heat lamp in case they get too cold. They know where it's at, and have no problem returning to it. The disadvantage is that I have to go outside in that chilly weather to check on them every day! LOL!

    Once they are about 2 to 3 months old, they go in the big pen with all of the bigger chickens. By then, they are old enough to start mingling with the older chickens. And they learn to cuddle with them for extra heat, which helps them integrate into the flock, too.
     
  5. Frankie Ruiz

    Frankie Ruiz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    4 weeks if there are no other chickens in the coop because if there are the bigger ones they will kill them. 8 weeks if there are chickens already in the coop because now they can defend themselves to establish a new pecking order.
     

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