Moving brooder to coop, feeder advice, newbie questions

Sep 27, 2019
68
66
53
Massachusetts
Hello,

New chick momma here. I have 4 Rhode island reds that are a week old. They are little fluffballs of happiness!

They are in a brooder filled with pine shavings inside my house with a Titan Incubator Heating Plate for warmth.

I am here for advice on -

1. At 2-3 weeks old, can i move their brooder box to the (insulated) coop outside with the heat plate, and they'll be ok? Here is the forecast for the next month in my area -
Screenshot_20190927-221946.jpg


2. Can I let them explore in the grass yet? It'll be very warm tomorrow, in the 80s. Is it safe if they eat some grass? Should I put chick grit in the grass while they're outside in case they eat grass?

3. I need a better feeding system, because this feeder (see photo) is driving me nuts with how messy and hard to clean it is. Any suggestions?
Screenshot_20190927-221446.jpg

Thanks!
 

PioneerChicks

Naturalist
Sep 4, 2019
3,848
14,809
727
Idaho
My Coop
My Coop
:welcome
Yes, 3 week old chickens are old enough to explore on the grass in the sun. My advice for you, make sure your chickens have constant access to water.
Once they are fully feathered they can live without a heat lamp, until then, they can be outside, just make sure they have a heat lamp nearby.
 

blackdog043

Crowing
Feb 19, 2017
2,384
4,070
416
SE PA
:welcome

You could move them to the coop now, with the heat plate. I keep mine in the garage for a few days, to keep a better eye on them, then move them to the coop brooder. I do this in Feb, with temps a little cooler or the same that you will be having. I use the mama heat pad, same concept as a plate. After 4 weeks they may not use the plate much, but might sit on top of it for warmth. I usually take mine away, about 4 - 5 weeks.

Yes you can take them out to explore for a little bit in the grass. Put the grit in a dish/container and put it in the brooder when you put them back in. You can put it with them in the grass also. I actually use one of those feeder bases for my chick grit and just put a small empty mason jar in the center.

This is what I did to solve the problem with those feeders. There's a couple other ideas in the thread that might interest you also. What you want to do is limit the amount of food that gets in the base or just use the cardboard tray idea.
Here's the thread link:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/no-waste-chick-feeder-build.1297528/#post-21117273
 
Last edited:

NNYchick

Crowing
Jun 15, 2017
1,523
2,568
271
Harrisville, NY
I put chicks out in a sectioned area of the coop at a week old with there mama heating pad. Those temperatures look good as long as they have a heat source. Towards the end of October you have some night time temperatures below freezing I would bring in the water at dark so it doesn’t freeze and replace early in the morning.
I don’t let mine out if the coop that young as they run fast and are hard to catch if they find a way to escape the enclosure.
I use the same feeder as for adults it has plastic spikes and a lip around the edge that helps prevent beaking out and scratching out large amounts of feed. I also put something under it so if they do get some out they eat it and it doesn’t get lost in the shavings to rot.
3669DD73-47E7-480A-9A58-FB2A4A49C009.jpeg
 
Sep 27, 2019
68
66
53
Massachusetts
:welcome

You could move them to the coop now, with the heat plate. I keep mine in the garage for a few days, to keep a better eye on them, then move them to the coop brooder. I do this in Feb, with temps a little cooler or the same that you will be having. I use the mama heat pad, same concept as a plate. After 4 weeks they may not use the plate much, but might sit on top of it for warmth. I usually take mine away, about 4 - 5 weeks.

Yes you can take them out to explore for a little bit in the grass. Put the grit in a dish/container and put it in the brooder when you put them back in. You can put it with them in the grass also. I actually use one of those feeder bases for my chick grit and just put a small empty mason jar in the center.

This is what I did to solve the problem with those feeders. There's a couple other ideas in the thread that might interest you also. What you want to do is limit the amount of food that gets in the base or just use the cardboard tray idea.
Here's the thread link:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/no-waste-chick-feeder-build.1297528/#post-21117273

Thanks for the response and the link! My chicks haven't started scratching at the food yet, but they get pine shavings in it and poop in it. I tried elevating it this morning so they won't walk on it, but they just jump up into it. Once there's poop in it, I feel like I need to throw out all out. I will try the solo cup idea first since I have one handy!

I read about the Mama Heating Pad that you use last night...would it be good to make one of those, and also have their heat plate (12" square) when I move them into the coop in a couple weeks? Or is one heat plate sufficient?
 
Sep 27, 2019
68
66
53
Massachusetts
I put chicks out in a sectioned area of the coop at a week old with there mama heating pad. Those temperatures look good as long as they have a heat source. Towards the end of October you have some night time temperatures below freezing I would bring in the water at dark so it doesn’t freeze and replace early in the morning.
I don’t let mine out if the coop that young as they run fast and are hard to catch if they find a way to escape the enclosure.
I use the same feeder as for adults it has plastic spikes and a lip around the edge that helps prevent beaking out and scratching out large amounts of feed. I also put something under it so if they do get some out they eat it and it doesn’t get lost in the shavings to rot.
View attachment 1920036

Thank you! I will Google that feeder and try to find it. I purchased a no-mess adult feeder but they can't use it until 12 weeks.

I will use your idea of putting something under the food, right now it's just sitting on pine shavings in the brooder box.
 

blackdog043

Crowing
Feb 19, 2017
2,384
4,070
416
SE PA
I read about the Mama Heating Pad that you use last night...would it be good to make one of those, and also have their heat plate (12" square) when I move them into the coop in a couple weeks? Or is one heat plate sufficient?

Your heat plate should be fine, as long as all the chicks can fit underneath it.

You could make a funnel out of paper and tape it to the top of the feeder, if they're jumping on top of it.
 

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