1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Introducing chicks outside...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Teresaann24, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Songster

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    My Boyfriend thinks its time for the chicks to move outside. (I don't) However I can understand what he is saying. They are 2 days shy of being 8 weeks old and have out grew their brooder. They stay in my washroom and the smell is awful. I clean them everyday...and wake up every moring with that awful chicken coop smell..LOL

    It's still Feb! I know spring is right around the corner...but its still so cold out there. I dont have a heated coop so I dont even know if they can make it outside at 8 weeks old.

    I have started on them a temp placement. I am just taking my time. If I make sure they stay draft free would they be ok outside at 8 weeks and still dropping down in the high 20's? The winter has been brutal here. There are 4 all together I figured all of them together in a nice draft free place they would be ok. What is everyones eles input? I should I hold off for later in March or do it now? I have taken them out on nicer days without rain or snow in their portable brooder all day and they have done fine.

    I'm just gonna feel like a bad chicken momma if I put them out this soon. UGh...what to do...

  2. tulie13

    tulie13 Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    NW Florida
    I'm new here, so I would be interested to see the replies to this. But I would THINK that if you had a fairly draft-free place for them to be with a heating light (like you had in the brooder when they were babies) then they would probably be OK. But I wouldn't do it without a heat source for them and lots of extra bedding for them to snuggle in! [​IMG] Again, I'm a noob, so look for other replies besides mine. I think your concerns are valid - you don't want to just toss them out there in that kind of weather!

    Oh, and one thing that I have heard is to absolutely NOT put them outside until they have gotten their "real" feathers. But at 8 weeks they should have those! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I've always transitioned them outside with a heat lamp. Our coop has electric, though. When we used a chicken tractor for grow-out housing, we secured a heat lamp in it and used a heavy duty outdoor extension cord, plugged into an outside electrical outlet.

    They're pretty old, but going from indoor room temperatures to 20 degrees is a big jump, with no time to acclimate to it. Maybe you'll get some people on later today, that have some different experience, to give opinions.
  4. CityClucks

    CityClucks The Center of a 50 Mile Radius

    Jan 31, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    Can you run an extension cord out to their coop for a heat light during the nights for a while?
  5. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Songster

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    I'v tried before was going to provide heat this winter for my adults. I'd need 2 extension cords and in the middle they would be uncovered so rainging and snow that would be a nono.

    I laid the law down...My chicks are staying inside till they are atleast 12 weeks old. That will put me at the end of march. So I think that would be better they would be older and bigger and the weather would be better.
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I go by the general rule of starting chicks out at 95 degrees temperature in their brooder and decreasing the temperature 5 degrees each week. At 8 weeks they are not fully feathered and the temperature in my opinion should be no lower than 55 degrees. Can you make some kind of a chicken tractor? I converted a rabbit hutch. It works great.
  7. yfchoice

    yfchoice Songster

    Dec 28, 2008
    Sandy, Utah
    If you have to run extension cords until spring, get some pcv pipe and run the cords thru it. If you have to use a couple of pieces of pipe, just use outdoor, waterproof duct tape to hold 'em together. That should work.

  8. duckidaho

    duckidaho In the Brooder

    Jan 30, 2009
    There may be some electrical issue (resistance and over heating of cables) of stringing together multiple extension cords over long distances. The longest typical extension cord designed is 100'. We use a fat 100' single cord for this purpose. I'd ask a knowledgeable hardware store person. (The old guy at Ace hardware, not the pimply teen at Walmart) if you have any questions about electrical safety for long cords.
  9. JanieMarie

    JanieMarie Songster

    Aug 26, 2008
    Georgetown, Minnesota
    Quote:lol Amen to that!!
    I have 6 8wk olds I just moved to the barn coop a week ago with a red heat lamp. As cmom said lower the temp each week to help transition them. It was -6* below here last night and they are just fine. Where you're located I would think it would be fine too as long as they are draft free. Maybe hook up a heat lamp and just use it when the nights get cold there. Good luck and have fun cleaning up all the dust when you finally move them out! lol This always amazes me!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by