Moving 8 week old chicks outside

slunurse

Hatching
Jan 30, 2015
7
0
9
I have 6 week old chicks and would like to move them outside when they are about 8 weeks. They are mostly fully feathered now but it's almost January. I'm having the barn re-wired so it can handle a 250 watt heat lamp. Is it safe to move them outside into a mostly draft free barn with a supplemental heat source? What are y'alls thoughts on that?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Feb 2, 2009
26,155
16,885
797
Southeast Louisiana


This is my brooder permanently built into the coop. I put chicks in here straight from the incubator or post office whether it is the heat of summer or below freezing in winter. I wrap it a lot better in winter. As long as you can keep one end warm enough and give them room to cool off if they need to, you can put them outside as soon as they come out of the incubator. Some mornings in winter the far end of this has ice in it. The chicks stay where it is warm.

I’ve had chicks raised in this go through nights in the mid 20’s Fahrenheit before they were 6 weeks old with no supplemental heat. They were raised in this brooder so they were exposed to colder temperatures and became acclimatized. The grow-out coop where they were had really good wind protection and great ventilation up high. There were enough of them that they could huddle together and share body warmth if they needed to.

I don’t know your temperatures or what your coop looks like but at 8 weeks yours probably won’t need any supplemental heat. If you want you can put a heat source out there, just be careful not to burn your barn down. I use a heat lamp in my brooder, but Canoe gave you another option. You can also make a wire cave, put a heat pad over that, then cover the heat pad with something to protect it from poop. At that age they are likely to spend a lot of time on top of it instead of in the cave so it needs to be protected from poop.
 

beb444

Chirping
Nov 16, 2015
226
15
71
Northern CA
I think it's fine. But how cold does it get? The good thing is that they are in a draft free place. I just put 8, 9 week old chicks out where the weather gets in the 30's at night and they seem fine.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Nov 23, 2010
32,141
25,502
997
St. Louis, MO
That's cause no one carries them except pet shops for reptiles. The pet shop ones are more expensive.
The beauty of ceramic emitters is that you can provide chicks with hemeral lighting. 8 hours of dark and 16 hours of light - or whatever serves your management style.

I primarily use two 150 watt for large broods in cold weather. Otherwise I use the Premier eco brooders. Much less energy cost and no fire hazard.
 
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kuchchicks

Songster
Apr 8, 2015
1,027
141
171
I've never had chicks this time of year but have about 25 that hatched Nov 30. They are fully feathered. Ohio temps right now can be down to zero, sometimes negative digits with wind. When can these guys be moved outside?
 

beb444

Chirping
Nov 16, 2015
226
15
71
Northern CA
I've never had chicks this time of year but have about 25 that hatched Nov 30. They are fully feathered. Ohio temps right now can be down to zero, sometimes negative digits with wind. When can these guys be moved outside?
So they are almost 9 weeks old? Do they have a shelter for cold weather that is draft free? Have you brought them outside at all for "field trips"? They are off their heat lamp, yes? What is the temp. where you are keeping them? If you have a shelter and they have been introduced to the cold, just make sure you have a lot of bedding for them all to snuggle up in but I think they should be good. There are 25 of them. That's a lot of body heat.
 

kuchchicks

Songster
Apr 8, 2015
1,027
141
171
I still had them under a lamp 24/7 til yesterday primarily because I did not know what I was going to do. I have had had chickens for 7 years and hatch every year BUT never hatch in fall or winter - only warm months. SO after some reading I have decided to wean them off the lamp. They were ok without it yesterday for about 8 hours. I did turn it back in over night. Right now they are in my inheated garage. My question is how long should it take for me to get them ok with the temp so I don't have to put the lamp in at all? And then how long after that will it be ok to move them from my garage to my outdoor coop? The outdoor coop has a fenced in run and they can come and go from the coop as they please thru a little chicken door.
 

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