Is a grow out pen necessary?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lambeke1, May 12, 2011.

  1. lambeke1

    lambeke1 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2011
    I have 26 baby chicks due in May 20th. I have a 32x52 inch water trough 24" deep for my brooder, but I imagine they will out grow that in just 2-3 wks. I don't want to spend more money on a grow out pen and I was hoping I could just turn them loose in the big coop. It is 8x20. I can section it off to keep them a little tight and expand as they grow. If I keep it warm enough with a light, would that be ok? I would like for them to get used to it asap and hopefully go in at night on their own once I start letting them out into the pen during the day. I'm getting very excited and can hardly contain my Grand-
    daughter. This is fun, so far. I hope reality is as much.
  2. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    Tucson, AZ
    I had 27 chicks and about the same size trough..they outgrew it in a week. We also had a 5x5 whelping cage in the garage we decided to use. I don't see why you can't partition a section off, provide a light and such in your coop. Many people brood their chicks outdoors and the weather should be warm.
  3. TheNewMrsEvans

    TheNewMrsEvans Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2008
    Big Sur, CA
    I move mine out around 1 month old. I have my coop sectioned off into a baby brooder, and then two large sections with runs. They move out to the brooder until they outgrow it, then I move all of the adult birds to one half and let the babies have a half. When the weather is good they have the pop door open. They always have a heat lamp inside to go recharge. Seems like they are easier to integrate with the flock after only having wire between them for a month. [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You don't say where you are, but given that it is mid-May, the need for much heat is going to be minimal. It is pretty easy to raise 70 degree ambient temps to 90. If you get a spell of hot weather, you'll actually have to watch more for over heating than their being cold.
    Lots of folks brood in their coops or barns. You might want to restrict them for a week or two, but after that, there isn't much problem allowing them run of the coop.
  5. lambeke1

    lambeke1 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2011
    Thanks all, for replying. I live in South Loisiana and it is getting in the 70s at night and close to 90 days already. I have a light with a thermostat on it for at night until I make it through the 5 degree interval faze. I also read it is a good idea to leave a low wattage light on at night to keep them from pecking. I don't want to make this more complicated then it should be. I want them to be self sufficient for the most part. I will of course provide food, water, and shelter and attend to them daily but hopefully just to watch.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by