Moving chicks outside in SW WA?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AllisonK, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. AllisonK

    AllisonK In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2008
    When can I move my chicks outside? I have been reading so much and now I am all confused. The my pet chicken site said 4-5 weeks, another site said 8-10 weeks, and I get even more variety of answers when reading back posts here on BYC. :lol So what do you think? I'm in SW WA. Lows in the 30s highs 40-50s. Our five chicks are a month old and have been in the garage since week 2. Note that my garage is not heated, has no insulation, and is honestly about the same temp as outside just no wind. The chicks have a heat lamp but they spend the majority of the time as far away from it as possible. They are in a (covered) kiddie pool right now so they have plenty of choices of where to be in relation to the heat lamp. [​IMG] Oh and they have their feathers. Not sure if all of them but they have no more cute fuzz that I can see.

    And a completely different topic but at what age can I start looking for signs of roos? Our chicks are Barred Rocks and Buff Orpingtons. Or any other ways to sex these girls (I hope)?

    Last edited: Feb 27, 2009

  2. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Songster

    Jan 10, 2009
    SE Iowa
    I moved my latest chicks outside in a raised pen that is in a small building. I have a heat source for them if they get too cold. They have been out for two weeks with no problems. Temp here is 20's at night and in the 30's during the day.
  3. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    Is the cover solid, or just a screen? I'd raise the lamp up higher, for a few days, see if they are still avoiding it... turn it off during the day when you can keep an eye on them and see how they act, then just turn it off if they are not cheeping loudly and/or huddling with each other for warmth.

    You can open the garage door with the lamp available to them too, and get them used to that, but be careful because drafts can be dangerous.

    It sounds like they're very close to going out though time-wise, it seems early, but if you harden them off (like a plant seedling) and they take to it well, throw the charts out and do what seems right! You know the risks and it sounds like you're a smart cookie, so just keep an eye on them and use good judgement.

    [edit] yes, if you do put them outside, I'd still have a heat lamp available so they still can get under it if they need to, like the prev poster said.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2009
  4. AllisonK

    AllisonK In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2008
    The top is about 80% open. The covered spot is a cardboard box and the rest is a huge old window screen I covered with hardware cloth. They rotate between two spots, one under the box covered area where they sleep together another under the hardware cloth area where there is a small stick as a roost that they also sleep on. Well I guess three areas the food/water area is also open with just HW cloth over it. [​IMG] I have only seen them under the heat lamp once last week. I guess they could be under it more I am just not out there when they are. [​IMG]
  5. RIVERA69R

    RIVERA69R Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Quote:I have barred rocks and buff orphingtons also mine are just a week old I hear with the barred rocks if they have black on their legs and top of feet they are female but on all the combs should tell if you have a rooster or not it will be bigger by now then the pullets

  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    MY birds were about 2 months old when I noticed the difference in the saddle feathers. The Roo's were longer and more pointed and the pullets were shouter and more rounded. They were all about the same size the Roos didn't get bigger than the pullets until closer to 3 months. I put mine out in the daytime at 1 month but they were in a chicken tractor where they had a place to go into if they wanted. I don't have any pictures of my tractor but I also have a brooder that I have used. I also use it as a chicken jail for any I want to separate. I have a picture of that on my BYC Page.

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