Moving chickens outside

chickenbum

In the Brooder
May 8, 2015
6
1
11
Portland, Oregon
I just moved my 5 week speckled Sussex chickens outside into their coop and I'm a bit nervous. They seem fine and it's only getting down to around 45 degrees. Should this be ok?
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,436
438
Montana
Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided join our flock. Five weeks is a little early to move your chicks into 45 F temperatures. The temperatures for chicks should be 90-95 F for the first week, reduced by 5 F for each week afterward until they are fully feathered at 6-7 weeks. That means that at 5 weeks they should still be kept in temperatures at about 70-75 F. You're running a big risk of them getting chilled in 45 F at that age. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your chicks.
 

Yorkshire Coop

Everything is possible.....
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Aug 16, 2014
22,833
25,145
1,247
Over the hill! UK
My Coop
My Coop
Hi :welcome

Glad you could join the flock! I too agree that it's a little chilly yet to be moving them outdoors without a heat source. I would wait a little longer to be moving them. Even at 6 -7 weeks if mine are still requiring heat I keep them under it a little longer. I go by how my chicks are acting too monitoring them carefully and watching what they are doing. I can usually tell they don't need heat anymore when they are sleeping away from the lamp. Here is a lovely section of the learning centre on raising chicks > https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-and-raising-chicks

Wishing you the very best of luck with your chicks and enjoy BYC :frow
 

N F C

Moderator
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Dec 12, 2013
92,977
387,483
2,102
Wyoming
Good morning and welcome to BYC!

You're going to love the SS you're raising. They are some of my favorites in our mixed flock, very sweet-tempered and pretty girls.

Hope you can keep your chicks in for another week or two, by then they'll be better feathered and your temperatures should be a bit warmer.

Good luck to you and congrats on your new flock!
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,042
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
I can only speak for myself, but I move my chicks out to unheated (deeply bedded) coops at 5-6 weeks and have not had a single loss or even so much as a sign of anything being remotely amiss with them post move....just happy, healthy, active chicks running about being chicks. This includes last year when they moved out at 5 weeks and three days later we had a surprise cold snap with sub -freezing temps and snow. I wean them off the supplemental heat between 4-5 weeks and tend to keep them a bit cooler from the start than the "rules" suggest they need. There have actually been studies done in which animals (this particular case, young pigs) were able to adjust the temperature of their environment wherein they chose a temperature well below the commonly accepted "required temperature" for that particular species at that stage of development.
Everyone has their own approach to things like this - what you have to do is go through some trial and error and find what works for you and your birds.
 

chickenbum

In the Brooder
May 8, 2015
6
1
11
Portland, Oregon
Well, it seems my girls did fine last night in their bedded coop for the first time without heat. This morning they were walking about and pecking like crazy! Thanks for the welcome btw!!! Now I just need to see if they will make their way down the ramp to the run I've built. On ideas in how to coax them down?
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,436
438
Montana
Well, it seems my girls did fine last night in their bedded coop for the first time without heat. This morning they were walking about and pecking like crazy! Thanks for the welcome btw!!! Now I just need to see if they will make their way down the ramp to the run I've built. On ideas in how to coax them down?

I'm glad to hear the made it through the first night okay. The way to manipulate a chicken is through its stomach. Move their food out of the coop and down to the bottom of the ramp. To further entice them, you can sprinkle a fine trail of feed from the top of the ramp down to the feeder at the bottom of the ramp.
 

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