How long until I can put the chickens in the coup

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Farmer Mike S, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. Farmer Mike S

    Farmer Mike S Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2012
    Glen Mills, PA
    I don't have them yet, but I'm going to get fresh hatched chicks, which I know need to be in a small area under heat. How old do they need to be for me to move them into the coup with no heat, I've heard 4 weeks, 8 weeks, so I'm a little confused. Also, should I use two heat lights or is one fine?
  2. You can use 1 heat lamp. I would move them outside maybe at the age of 10-12 weeks. Just make sure when you put them outside they have their adult feathers
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    There really isn't a clear cut answer. It depends where you live (climate,) season, whether you have heat for them in the coop, and how well they feather out, whether they have spent time outdoors, and I'm sure other factors. The last time I brooded chicks was in the coop, in spring with one lone heat lamp, which they avoided after 3 weeks, even though night lows were well below 70. 4-8 weeks is probably a decent range of when they are fully feathered, which is when they can tolerate most any weather, though 6 weeks is probably plenty unless you live in Alaska and it's spring. They do seem to feather out faster if they grow up outdoors. If you brood indoors, it's a good idea to take them outdoors a while, even when quite young for short periods. Probably the biggest mistake newbies make with heat is getting them too hot.

    They don't need a small area at all, they just need to have a place to get warm when they want. Here is one chart of the minimum amount of space they do best in, to give an idea:

    up to 2 weeks: .5 sq ft per chick
    2-4 weeks: 1 sq fr per chick
    5-8 weeks: 2.5 sq ft per chick
    then 4 sq ft per chick
  4. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 2, 2012
    We didn't move our chickens out to the coop until they were completely feathered, which was about when they were 2 months old. It really depends on your climates, how many feathers they have, and if you think they are ready to go outside. If the weather is warm when you are ready to move them to the coop, by all means do it! Just watch them close the first few days and if you see them huddling together, they are too cold and you should put them back into the brooder for a few more weeks. Good Luck!

    P.S. If you already have adult chickens, don't put your chicks in with them until they are at least 4 months. That way they won't get pecked as badly as they would when they are little.

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