how long

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickies01, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. chickies01

    chickies01 Out Of The Brooder

    Quick question How long do people recomend I keep my chicks in the broader for?
     
  2. SampyArctica

    SampyArctica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the average is around the 4 or 5 week mark to be out of the brooder full-time, or whenever they have enough feathers to keep their own body temp regulated, but really you could start taking them out anywhere from 2 - 5 weeks - it depends on the temperature of the area you live.

    Eg. I live in Australia and we've had some pretty warm days here, our chicks have been out (just during the day) since they were 2 weeks old and have loved it. But you might wait a bit longer if you live in some of the colder areas of the States or Europe right now...

    Sorry, but I don't really know where Derby is (where it says your location is). If you think it's warm enough outside though, feel free to let your chicks out of the brooder and keep a close eye on them to gauge their reaction to their environment. They'll soon let you know if they're cold or not. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Are you in the tropics or maybe near the Arctic Circle? If you check, there re Derby’s all over the world, north and south of the equator. Sorry but I really don’t have a clue on your local weather just based on “Derby”. Derby Australia will be different than Derby Vermont.

    When your chicks can go outside the brooder will depend in several things. Part of it is obviously your local weather. Part of it is where are they going? Part of it is how well they have been acclimated.

    In the heat of summer, with daily temperatures getting well above 100 Fahrenheit and overnight lows into the upper 70’s, I’ve turned the overnight heat off at 5 days. So weather-wise those chicks were ready at 5 days. In winter I’ve kept heat on them for 5 weeks. No two broods are exactly the same.

    What kind of facilities are they going to? Does it have good draft protection? Decent ventilation? Are there adult chickens that they will need to be integrated with? Do they have some nice bedding they can snuggle down in to help keep themselves warm? Are there enough chicks that they can huddle together to keep themselves warm?

    I find that chicks that have been exposed to cooler temperatures feather out faster than chicks kept in a tropical environment so they can better handle the cold. Also chicks fed a fairly high protein diet feather out faster than chicks fed a lower protein diet.

    My brooder is in the coop and it is fairly large. I only heat one area and let the rest cool off so the chicks get exposed to cooler temperatures. I have moved chicks into my unheated grow out coop at five weeks with the overnight lows in the mid 40’s Fahrenheit. They were fine but it did have excellent draft protection and good ventilation up high. At 5-1/2 weeks the overnight low got to the mid 20’s Fahrenheit. They were fine.

    But mine were well-acclimated because of the brooder set-up and they had been fed a relatively high protein diet (20%) so they were well-feathered out. If your situation is different I would not recommend that age. I’d have to know a fair amount about your situation to even come close to giving you a recommended age.
     
  4. chickies01

    chickies01 Out Of The Brooder

    Its derby England. And were not sure what the facilities are like yet because we havent ordered it yet there are 5 chicks. This is my 1st time ive hatched chicks and when doing research i kept fibding different times and im confused what to do. :/
     
  5. chickies01

    chickies01 Out Of The Brooder

    Its derby England. And were not sure what the facilities are like yet because we havent ordered it yet there are 5 chicks. This is my 1st time ive hatched chicks and when doing research i kept fibding different times and im confused what to do. :/
     
  6. SampyArctica

    SampyArctica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't worry about any confusion - if the chicks get uncomfortable, they're usually pretty quick to let you know. [​IMG]
    If you keep a close eye on them, they're quite good at communicating their needs to you. It'll be obvious in the way they either shy away from the heat lamp or plop themselves directly under it.

    Looking up the weather of Derby just quickly, I'd leave them in the brooder until they were about five or six weeks old - unless you have some way you can fix a heat lamp in the main coop area. If you can't, you want them to have enough feathers to be able to regulate their own body temperature. Feathers = insulation. Of course you can take them out every now and again - it's not like they'd be sitting under their mother for six weeks straight! But if you have them out for, say, 30 minutes and they start searching for sources of heat - snuggling up to your neck really closely if they're on your shoulder etc, then they're cold and need to be warmed up.
     
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  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Derby England does help. I spent a year in London many decades ago so I can appreciate some of the weather you might see this time of year. Your weather is actually fairly mild compared to a lot of us, but I remember ice covering the sidewalks of London and York being snowed in. I don’t know if you have the chicks yet or not, but they could see some freezing weather for a while. I don’t think you are likely to see much below freezing though.

    If you go through all the variables in my post above, you can see why it is hard to come up with one specific number that covers us all. Five chicks is enough to help keep each other warm some but it’s not a lot. When you put them out, you can leave them locked in the coop for a while without opening it to the run. It’s bound to be bigger than the brooder so they will have room. I’d look for a coop that provides good draft protection at the level they will be at and has some openings well over their head to allow for air exchange. If you have that and your overnight lows are higher than maybe +5 C, they should be good to go around 6 weeks. If the overnight lows are lower, you might need to wait another week. Or if you can provide heat in the coop without burning it down, you can put them out there at any time. You don’t need to keep the entire coop one balmy temperature. Just keep one area balmy and let the rest cool off some. You’ll find they actually enjoy the cooler temperatures as long as they have an area warm enough to go back to when they need to warm up.
     
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  8. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I took my last batch out of the brooder at 2 1/2 weeks and moved them out to the grow out coop, I still provided them with the heat lamp of course but they had lost more room, Not sure if I will do it that quick this time, colder now then it was then...just have to watch and play it by ear (and chill factor)
     
  9. chickies01

    chickies01 Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you for your help
     

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