How warm to move chicks outside to coop? (first time chicken mom)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by itsazoo, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. itsazoo

    itsazoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 6, 2008
    Western PA
    I'm new to this and I've read a LOT but I can't find this answer.

    I'm trying to figure out when to have my chicks shipped. I need to know how warm it has to be (at night) before I can move chicks permanently outside to their coop. They'll be the only chicks in a big coop. I could put a heat light in the coop. I can keep them inside for 2 months.
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Though it's not a straight answer, you can put your chicks out at any time as long as you can keep the temp. to the level appropriate for their age in a draft-free building.
    You need the temps to be 90 to 95 the first week, decreasing by five degrees a week, until you're down to 70 degrees and your chicks are mostly feathered out.
    There's nothing that says chicks have to be started in the house. By waiting until spring I was able to brood my chicks in a draft free shed; first with a oil filled electric heater and heat lamps and then just with their heat lamps.
    It's always a good idea to have two heat lamps in case one burns out they won't be freezing.
     
  3. itsazoo

    itsazoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Although my "to be" chicken coop is a very sound & sturdy building (built as a garden shed originally), I'm relatively certain that it's not draft free in any way. [​IMG]

    I could probably put a heater in there too but after having our barn burn down mysteriously this summer, I'm leary.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2009
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I don't blame you. I'm deathly afraid of fire. I felt a little better in that the heater we used was an oil filled electric one. You can actually touch those while they are operating without getting burned, but still the worry is there.
    We are fortunate here in the south that it warms up very quickly in the spring. By two weeks of age the chicks were living on our screened porch with a draft guard and just their heat lamps.
    If your are going to have a heat lamp in the coop (doubly secured please) you should expect to have them out there by about 5 weeks or so.
     
  5. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    If your keeping them inside for 2months then it should be warm enough for them to go outside by then even if you ordered them now. Barring an odd April storm. At most they might need a heat lamp for a couple weeks mostly because the problem is transitioning them. If you keep them inside at 70+F and then stick them outside in 40F they will be chilled but if they are already at 50F and you move them outside they probably won't notice too much. I had no trouble moving my 8 week olds out in the fall when it was below 60F. I just picked a warmer than average week, laid some extra straw down to make a warm nest, and put in a heat lamp for a few days. They adjusted within days and by the end of the week when it was 40s at night they weren't even sleeping under the lamp.

    I would wait to order though because shipping chicks now is risky. It would be best to get them no earlier than end of Feb and preferably beginning of March to avoid freezing them in transit. Lots of people in northern areas get entire orders of dead chicks when trying to order this time of year.
     
  6. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    My chicks are 6 weeks old I dont plan on moving them outside till the end of march or 1st of april. I have been taking them outside through the days if its not too cold or snowing or too windy to get use to the chiliness. I feel this way they will be better off on getting use to being outside.
     
  7. itsazoo

    itsazoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Western PA
    Weeeellll... I didn't order them in January because I didn't want them delivered till March. Now Ideal (the only place with all the breeds I want) is already sold out 99% of them till April. Who knew they'd sell out in 3 weeks!? So I don't know if I'll still be able to get a 1/4 box of the 10 different breeds I want.

    2 Buff Chanteclers
    2 Jersey Giants
    2 Blue Hamburgs
    2 Columbian Wyandottes
    2 Ameraucanas
    2 Cream Brabanters
    2 Dominiques
    2 Silver Spangled Spitzhaubens
    2 Spangled Russian Orloffs
    2 Silver OR Golden Spangled Hamburgs
    2 Buff OR Dark Brahmas

    (Ya, I know it's a little nuts [​IMG] !)

    If I get lucky and they'll let me order them now and then ship them when they're all available it won't be till April anyway so heat should be no issue.

    Thanks for all the help!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2009

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