How to acclimate chicks to outside coop in freezing climate

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by momsheri92, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. momsheri92

    momsheri92 New Egg

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    Nov 15, 2011
    Have three week old chicks almost completely feathered out. They are getting big and rambunctious and I know they'd be happier with more space. They don't need their heater anymore and are doing well in my 60 degree basement, so I am considering putting them outside with the others. Daytime is in the 40's and nighttime is hitting the mid 20's here... I have learned enough from the boards to know I can partition the underneath of my coop so that the bigger birds cannot not get in and then provide a heat source. Question is... I've never done this before and am not sure how to go about the actual transition once the space is ready, and how long I should expect to intensely supervise the process. Help please?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I do this all the time, in similar temps.

    You can take them out now. They'd appreciate having the space. You've got the basics. I take mine out to a separate grow out pen, so the bigger birds don't harass them. I also provide them heat. Week 4-6 night and day, but raising it a bit each week, so that it has less "effect".

    Weeks 6 and 7 are transition weeks. They go from just a bit of heat during the day to no heat during the day. They go from adequate supplemental heat at night to no heat at night. If raising the lamp isn't possible, then lowering the wattage accomplishes the same thing. By the end of week 7, they could care less. They are feathered and have adjusted to the cold, and in a month, yes!! It will be very cold.
     
  3. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    At three weeks, they still may need the protection that the 60 degree basement provides (from wind, chill, rain, etc.) I would put a light out in the coop that they could access at will and let them spend some of the warmer days out there to see how they react. If they don't use the light, they don't need it, and you can let them stay out longer. I suspect they will need to be at least a few weeks older before they are outside all the time.

    What Fred said... [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2011
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Flock integration is tough. Personally, I never try until the younger birds are 16-17 weeks and can hold their own against the vastly larger, stronger and less tolerant older birds. They grow up side by side, seeing and hearing each other through the netting you see, but cannot get at each other. I introduce outside, at free range time. Even so, it is days before the brutal pecking slows. Chicken politics is not for the faint at heart. I just don't believe a 7 week old stands much of a chance against the big ones. Your Mileage May Vary.

    I sent you a YouTube link on your private messages.
     
  5. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Fred's Hens :

    I do this all the time, in similar temps.

    You can take them out now. They'd appreciate having the space. You've got the basics. I take mine out to a separate grow out pen, so the bigger birds don't harass them. I also provide them heat. Week 4-6 night and day, but raising it a bit each week, so that it has less "effect".

    Weeks 6 and 7 are transition weeks. They go from just a bit of heat during the day to no heat during the day. They go from adequate supplemental heat at night to no heat at night. If raising the lamp isn't possible, then lowering the wattage accomplishes the same thing. By the end of week 7, they could care less. They are feathered and have adjusted to the cold, and in a month, yes!! It will be very cold.

    X2​
     

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