I think my chicks are ready for the coop. But I have questions/concerns

meggy77

Chirping
May 1, 2017
35
17
59
Hi there, I love this site. I'm a newbie chicken owner and I feel like a stressed out parent. My chicks are around 5 weeks old (pretty much fully feathered) and I think they are ready for the coop. But I have questions that I'm going to list 1 by 1. just FYI- I live in SC and its 90 degrees during the day (they have been outside during the days in a play yard for about a week now and seem love it.
1- do you put pine savings in the coop?
2-I bought these self Watering nipples off amazon but don't know what it goes to? Do I make my own bucket or do they sell them?
3-food- what's the best way to feed to prevent rodents? Do you put the food and water in the coop and run? Two separate containers each? Should they use their normal food and water container for a while until they get used to it?
4- do y'all recommend providing a light in the coop? Not for warmth but for comfort? I heard that some chickens are afraid of the dark and not want to go in at night? Any help is greatly appreciated. Here's a pic of my chics and coop (FYI my hubby is adding on to the run) it's a lot smaller than we thought.
 

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eggbert420

Songster
Feb 15, 2017
2,152
407
196
Texas
1 if you want to, its up to you.
2 its cheaper to make your own. Just drill holes and screw them in.
3 yes yes and yes
4 not necessary to provide light . Chickens should go to sleep when it gets dark.
 

PD-Riverman

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
5,007
1,302
406
Conway SC
Hi there, I love this site. I'm a newbie chicken owner and I feel like a stressed out parent. My chicks are around 5 weeks old (pretty much fully feathered) and I think they are ready for the coop. But I have questions that I'm going to list 1 by 1. just FYI- I live in SC and its 90 degrees during the day (they have been outside during the days in a play yard for about a week now and seem love it.
1- do you put pine savings in the coop?
2-I bought these self Watering nipples off amazon but don't know what it goes to? Do I make my own bucket or do they sell them?
3-food- what's the best way to feed to prevent rodents? Do you put the food and water in the coop and run? Two separate containers each? Should they use their normal food and water container for a while until they get used to it?
4- do y'all recommend providing a light in the coop? Not for warmth but for comfort? I heard that some chickens are afraid of the dark and not want to go in at night? Any help is greatly appreciated. Here's a pic of my chics and coop (FYI my hubby is adding on to the run) it's a lot smaller than we thought.
I do have some pine shavings in the coop.
I do not use the nipple waterers, Mine are mainly SS buckets with automatic fill. But making a bucket for your nipples is easy.
Take your feed up at nights or earlier if they got some scattered.
I use a small training lights for my just moved chicks----but the light is dim and goes off 2 hours after dark. ALWAYS put your chicks in the coop instead of the run. Putting them in the coop allows them to get comfortable in it and they can ease out when they want and will feel better about going inside later.
 

SueT

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 27, 2015
9,707
30,618
1,007
SW MO
I use shavings.
I take the feed in my house at night, bring it back to the coop in the morning.
I have a light in my coop but don't use it except if there's something to check on after dark.
The water nipples can go in an inexpensive bucket you buy. I got mine at Lowes, a 2 gallon. Be sure to read instructions on the size holes required, each brand is a little different. Be sure to put a lid on the bucket so they can't fall in...
Here's a video I made of 6 wk olds using the nipple bucket.
 
Last edited:

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,023
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Hi there, I love this site. I'm a newbie chicken owner and I feel like a stressed out parent. My chicks are around 5 weeks old (pretty much fully feathered) and I think they are ready for the coop. But I have questions that I'm going to list 1 by 1. just FYI- I live in SC and its 90 degrees during the day (they have been outside during the days in a play yard for about a week now and seem love it.
1- do you put pine savings in the coop?
2-I bought these self Watering nipples off amazon but don't know what it goes to? Do I make my own bucket or do they sell them?
3-food- what's the best way to feed to prevent rodents? Do you put the food and water in the coop and run? Two separate containers each? Should they use their normal food and water container for a while until they get used to it?
4- do y'all recommend providing a light in the coop? Not for warmth but for comfort? I heard that some chickens are afraid of the dark and not want to go in at night? Any help is greatly appreciated. Here's a pic of my chics and coop (FYI my hubby is adding on to the run) it's a lot smaller than we thought.

1. I use dried leaves and use a deep litter. But, you probably don't have the needed height to be able to do that. So, coarse pine shavings are fine.
2. I did not see your pic, but, you can use your own bucket. There should be installation instructions for them. If not, do a google search.
3. To prevent rodents: never leave food out over night. I use fermented feed. That pretty much makes it impossible for the birds to bill it out into the litter (where it will attract rodents) and it gives your flock the added benefit of probiotics. You can read the how and why of FF in the article written by Tikki Jane in my signature.
4. No light unless it's to encourage winter time laying. Birds need day/night cycles just like we do. And yes. They will scream the first time they face a dark night if you've been using a heat lamp. Hopefully, you've had them weaned off heat for a couple of weeks by now.
 

meggy77

Chirping
May 1, 2017
35
17
59
1. I use dried leaves and use a deep litter. But, you probably don't have the needed height to be able to do that. So, coarse pine shavings are fine.
2. I did not see your pic, but, you can use your own bucket. There should be installation instructions for them. If not, do a google search.
3. To prevent rodents: never leave food out over night. I use fermented feed. That pretty much makes it impossible for the birds to bill it out into the litter (where it will attract rodents) and it gives your flock the added benefit of probiotics. You can read the how and why of FF in the article written by Tikki Jane in my signature.
4. No light unless it's to encourage winter time laying. Birds need day/night cycles just like we do. And yes. They will scream the first time they face a dark night if you've been using a heat lamp. Hopefully, you've had them weaned off heat for a couple of weeks by now.
Thanks! Are they old enough for Fermented feed or should I wait a while on that? Also, I've weaned them off of the light during days (when they didn't go outside) but not at night? Should I give them a few night without the light or just go for it?
 

meggy77

Chirping
May 1, 2017
35
17
59
I use shavings.
I take the feed in my house at night, bring it back to the coop in the morning.
I have a light in my coop but don't use it except if there's something to check on after dark.
The water nipples can go in an inexpensive bucket you buy. I got mine at Lowes, a 2 gallon. Be sure to read instructions on the size holes required, each brand is a little different. Be sure to put a lid on the bucket so they can't fall in...
Here's a video I made of 6 wk olds using the nipple bucket.
Thank you! So you don't have ANY food at all out at night? Even in the coop? Water? All of this is overwhelming right now. I think I'm making it harder than it has to be.
 

peepsnquacks

In the Brooder
Apr 13, 2017
28
8
21
Citra, Florida
I actually have done it both ways. Our first batch had lights until they went into outside coop, and then just went "cold turkey" into the dark. They did used to cry at night if the light was off (I live in FL...did NOT need it for heat, our AC is currently broken!!) and so we'd turn one on for just a night light.
Second batch, our Bantams, I took off the light very early, because it was creating too much heat. When it's dark, they just all get in the rubbermaid tub (their brooder) and snuggle for sleeping. Have been lucky, no pecking with them, and I always heard they were bad about it.
Seems like chickens are just programmed to know what to do. When we let them out every evening and weekend for supervised grass and bug eating adventures, they go back in the coop on their own at EXACTLY dusk. Like, you could set your watch by it. Kinda neat! :)
I do leave my food and water in all the time, but my coop is different, it has a wire bottom as well, and I do not think anything could get in there. But, they do not seem to eat any at night, because the amount is the same in the morning. The ducks would eat it in a heartbeat but they can no longer fit their big fat bills in the feeders....hahahaha. I feed them in plastic bowls with lots of water nearby. They are pigs. Seriously.

So excited for you and your babies!! Let us know how it all turns out!! :)
xoxoxo
PnQ
 

SueT

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 27, 2015
9,707
30,618
1,007
SW MO
Thank you! So you don't have ANY food at all out at night? Even in the coop? Water? All of this is overwhelming right now. I think I'm making it harder than it has to be.
They go to sleep at night, and don't need the food at night, whereas the mice are mainly nocturnal and we have a problem with them. I leave the waterer, they don't drink at night, but with the nipple bucket the water stays clean and so far, I haven't needed to change it, I just add to it. I've had it about 3 weeks.
Re the brooder light... they no longer need it. You can take it away whether it's for light or warmth.

Yes, it doesn't have to be that hard! Relax! Good luck!
 

ChickenFajita6

Songster
Apr 1, 2017
135
322
111
I didn't know about picking food up at night!! My chicks coop is built on a concrete pad - should I still be concerned with rodents getting in there to the food?
 

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