How soon can chicks go out in the outdoor chicken house?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SaltLife4Life, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. SaltLife4Life

    SaltLife4Life In the Brooder

    Aug 15, 2012
    I've got 5 barred rock pullets, about 2.5 weeks old and not fully feathered. How old should chicks be before they can go live out in the chicken house? I've still got them inside and under heat all day and night because they've still got down. I'm new at this hobby so any help would be fabulous! Thanks!! :D

  2. Makomd

    Makomd Songster

    Jul 24, 2011
    ES of MD , USA
    Probably around 6-8 weeks, when they are fully feathered. If it is still cold around that time (I suggest below 60 degrees) I would supply them with a little heat even outdoors, a place where they can get warm if needed.
  3. Zippy007

    Zippy007 Chirping

    Jul 26, 2012
    As soon as theyre fully feathered, but in the meantime you can lower the temperature on the brooder slightly every few days or week or so, dont just switch them.
    personally if its a nice day out and theyre nearly fully feathered i put them in a brooder outside for an hour or so, and the next time a little longer etc.
    its still scary the first night you put them out, especially the first time, but ive never had a problem sticking to doing what ive said.
    Good luck.
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Free Ranging

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Once they are fully feathered at around 6 weeks you can wean them off the heat lamp. Some better-quality lines of Barred Rocks take longer to feather in, so it may take a little longer. They should, however, be close in size to your other birds before you integrate them ino the flock.

  5. SaltLife4Life

    SaltLife4Life In the Brooder

    Aug 15, 2012
    Alright, great. About the temp, I'm in South Florida so a cold snap down here is about 60! haha. Sounds like 6 weeks is a good time to put them out. On warm days, I'll let them play out there but they always come in for the nights. They are the only chickens I have so I don't have to worry about bigger birds bothering them. Thanks so much!!
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    If the chicks are kept in the appropriate environment for their age and are secure, their location is irrelevant. Millions of chicks are brooded in sheds, barns and coops the world over.
    We brood in outbuildings. I just cannot take the dust and smells. I'm brooding right now, in an outbuilding, and the temperature tonight will hit 0 F. It's all about managing the environment and making it appropriate for them.

    I'd take a bit of your warm temps about now, but I'd probably faint dead away, my blood is so thick. LOL
  7. I had mine out at 4 weeks, maybe less. They were half feather/half down but I had them in the grownup coop over nights in a rabbit cage just so they could safely get acquianted with the others. During the day, while they were still chicks, I had them in an outdoor enclosure so they could free-range with a safety barrier between them and the elders. At around 6 or 8 weeks (no clue, but they were still half the size of the grownups if not smaller) I let them loose with the big ones full time. No real issues, just the usual pecking order sorting stuff. Now that they're nearly full grown and fully acquainted, the biggest young boy is now the head honcho of the lot ;)

  8. Wednesday

    Wednesday Songster

    Aug 3, 2013
    Oviedo, FL
    We put 34 chicks in stand alone coop and run with 2 Eco glows in coop at 2 weeks old in Florida. Lows are in 60s and days are mid 70-80s during the days. They love the extra space. No adult birds. I put hay under Eco glows on sand floor for extra warmth and change dirty hay every 2 days. The brooders were too tight for flighty chicks.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013

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