Letting Chicks Out

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by msazeeta, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. msazeeta

    msazeeta Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm sure there are many posts like this but I haven't been able to find any specific answers yet.

    My chickies are 3-4 weeks old. They are almost fully feathered besides their heads and parts of their backs. I've been keeping them in the house and still have a heat lamp on them, but have decreased the temperature every week. They are starting to get more brave and this is the first week they have not freaked out while I handle them. They are also getting more curious and jump out of their box every once in a while. It's been rainy the past 2 weeks and I don't plan to let them out until the rain stops. I also have a separate cage to go inside the run so my year old hens can get used to them being around.

    I'm really just wondering when is safe for me to turn off the heating lamp, and also when I can put them outside, and when they can sleep outside? Any thoughts would be helpful!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    You are suppose to start at around 85-90 degrees and lower the temperature by 5 degrees a week until brooder temperatures are the same as room or outdoor temperatures depending on where you are keeping them. At that age they should have 70-75 degrees. If your house is that temperature than no more heat is required. If outdoor temperatures are that your chicks can go outside comfortably. Sometimes it helps to put them out during the day than bring them in at night or provide extra heat at night only for a few more weeks. It's about slowly acclimating them to the next temperature.
     
  3. bramblefir

    bramblefir Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I put mine in the coop at 3 weeks with a heat lamp. The heat lamp hangs by its cord, a chain, and baling twine (can't have too many failsafes). Directly under the heat lamp I put a mini roost. The roost is made of 2 cinder blocks and scraps of 2x4s. One board is put through one of the holes in the cinder blocks and the other on top so they can roost closer or farther from the heat.

    I've been raising chickens for 15 years and have never had an issue with this arrangement.
     
  4. jennifer0224

    jennifer0224 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I just saw this thread and wanted to say, last April I put my 3 week Olds into the coop with a heat lamp. They were almost fully feathered and it wasn't too cold, so I decided to leave the heat lamp off one night. Two of them were dead, huddled in a corner the next morning :( Don't make my mistake! I like brooding outdoors in their coop, but will keep the heat lamp on until at least 6 weeks from now on.
     
  5. jennifer0224

    jennifer0224 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bramblefir, what time of year do you raise chicks? I used the same method last year but that was in April / May and now am wanting to do that in March. In California valley so no freezing Temps at night, I'd say the lows are probably in the 40's though.
     
  6. bramblefir

    bramblefir Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Year-round with broodies and typically March & April for shipped chicks. I hatch out with the incubator as well and will do that mostly in the spring, sometimes in the fall.

    And I absolutely agree about keeping the heat lamp on!
     
  7. jennifer0224

    jennifer0224 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Bramble! I will move them to the heated coop in a week or two.
     
  8. msazeeta

    msazeeta Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2016
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    I just put my chickies outside for the first night tonight. They are 4-5 weeks and just started eating their newspaper bedding so I decided it was time. We finally get a week long break from the rain too, so I'm hoping the timing is right. I put them in a cage in the chicken run with the heat lamp. My year old girls were NOT happy about it but I keep checking on the chicks and they seem to be doing fine. Thanks for the advice!
     
  9. bramblefir

    bramblefir Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're both very welcome!

    IMO, most people keep their chicks inside too long. I really feel that chicks do best finishing their brooding out in the coop (assuming it's not super cold).
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    My chicks start their brooding in the coop - in late March or early April - in MN. The only time I have chicks in the house is when I hatch them in the incubator. Then I will sometimes keep them in for a week or so. But then the smell and dust override the cute factor and out they go.
     

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