Midwest Chicken folks: how do you put your chicks outside?


In the Brooder
5 Years
Aug 24, 2014
Been reading about moving chicks from the brooder to the coop, and feeling a little concerned on how to do it.

Was trying to get a handle on the temperatures that are ok for chicks, but you all know about the Midwest - one night it is 40 degrees, and the next night it is 70! Just like in the daytime, we can have 80 degrees one day, and then 50 degrees the next!

How do you get your chicks used to these big swings in temps?

I know once they are grown they'll be fine, but I'm just trying to figure out how to help the chicks get through it without getting sick.

I do have 22 chicks, so I'm hoping that helps them to snuggle in and keep warm when they will need it.

How do you "harden off" your new little chickies in the fall or spring when temps are so unpredictable?

I have 9 week old chicks outside. They have been out since 4 weeks. It was hotter outside than inside, so that was an easy choice. Now I have another group of chicks that are a mix of 1.5, 2.5 and 4 weeks old. I have them in the garage with a Brinsea Ecoglow that they can get under to get warm. I have been putting the door up during the day to try to acclimate them to the weather, but I'm not sure when to move them outside. They all still go under the warmer at night, and we don't have electricity in the barn.
I am no expert, as these are my first chicks ever, but my chicks spent their first night in the actual coop last night instead of the garage! There are 44 of them and they are 5-weeks old today. It was in the 80's yesterday here in upstate, NY and didn't get very cold last night at all. Tonight sounds chilly, so I'll put the heat lamp on for tonight, but that should be it for the week since the rest of the week looks warm.

Most are fully feathered in already, but I will stop babying them as much by mid-October...hoping to have chickens that are cold-hardy and don't need heat throughout the winter.

I did put them in the coop for the first time last night right at dark after they were outside all day (I've been bringing them out daily since around 2.5 weeks). They literally fell right asleep (was so cute!) and were curled up all around the coop when we peeked in at 6:30am. They used the roosts in the brooder religiously, but only a few used the new ones in the coop (low to fit them!).

When I get home around 3:00, I plan to let them out in their run and see how that goes. In a few days, I'll open that to their pasture which is enclosed with electric fencing.

Hoping all goes well--very excited about the progression!


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