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Moving chicks outside

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tabner, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. tabner

    tabner New Egg

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    Apr 18, 2016
    I have 8 red ranger broilers who are two weeks old. They have already grown quite a bit and have feathers on their wings, but still just fluff on their body. They are outgrowing their indoor brooder and starting to smell in the house. Id really like to get them living outside in the coop. Its spring in CT, so in the 60 during the day and high 30s/low 40s at night. Evrrything i read says to wait till 4 or 6 weeks to put them out. But i have electricity in my barn/coop so i can give them one or two heat lamps. My question is - with the heatlamp(s) can i move them outside at two weeks old?
    Theyre all quite healthy. Eating drinking and running around.
     
  2. CascadiaRiver

    CascadiaRiver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For two week old I recommend keeping them at about 90-95 degrees F, so i suppose that if you can keep it around that I see no harm (as long as there are no drafts or anything)!
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You can absolutely move them out with heat lamps and those temps. A broody hen doesn't heat all ambient air to 90F. She provides a warm spot and plenty of cool space.
    I would use 2 lamps in case one fails. I prefer ceramic heat emitters over heat lamps.

    ETA
    90-95 is way too warm for 2 week old chicks.
    Rule of thumb is 90 at hatch, lower 5F each week. That is if the entire brooder space is the same temperature. I've had broody hens hatch chicks when it was in 30s. They did fine running around in the cold and running back under her occasionally to warm up.
    I brood chicks outside with hover brooders as long as the building temperature is above the 30s.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2016
  4. CascadiaRiver

    CascadiaRiver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm, weird! The way I've always done it is 100 at hatch and lower by 5's every week... Hmm! I guess everyone does it different <3
     
  5. tabner

    tabner New Egg

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    Apr 18, 2016
    Alright, thanks!
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Everyone does do things differently. And some are successful in spite of themselves.
    Why would chicks in a brooder need 100F for the first week if a hen can raise chicks when ambient temps are from the 40s to 70s?
    We need to remind ourselves that healthy chicks aren't that fragile. On a couple occasions, I've had chicks at about 4 weeks of age escape into the woods at night when it got down to about 50. I expected them to be taken by a predator or chill to death. In the morning they returned to find mom, none the worse for wear.

    Incubation is at 99.5 and many recommend to lower it by a degree or so the last day or two. Chicks are generating heat on their own.
    This is from Harvey Usery, noted poultry expert. Check the temperature section about 2/3 down the page.
    http://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/chickens/learn-about-brooding-chicks-from-an-expert/

    http://www.nutrenaworld.com/knowledge-center/poultry/heat-lamps-for-chicks/index.jsp

    The 90F week one, 85 week two, 80F week three, etc. thing is how commercial hatcheries do it with thousands of chicks in a brood room. It makes it simpler - not necessarily healthier or more comfortable for the chicks. For those with a small number of chicks, (under a couple hundred) in a room that can't be elevated to those temperatures, it is best to replicate nature. Provide a warm spot and lots of cool space and let the chicks find their comfort zone.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
  7. becka8786

    becka8786 New Egg

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    Apr 18, 2016
    I have a rooster 1 year old. We have chickens about 3 months old. Is it ok to put them in the coop with the rooster? I'm new to this.
     
  8. Amber Glover

    Amber Glover New Egg

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    I am curious as well my chicks are about 3 weeks old and I have their coop ready to go, I just don't want to put them out to early sense it does still get cold at night about 30 and below when is a safe time to let them stay in their coop? This is all so new !! Any advice is welcomed!
     
  9. Cacique500

    Cacique500 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At 5 to 6 weeks they should be fully feathered and can go outside. That's usually about the time they start driving you nuts and dust is all over the inside of the house :)

    I had great luck last time putting them out at 5 weeks (in Georgia though so not near as cold as what you're seeing)...locked them inside the coop for a week with food and water so they'd know where "home" is...worked like a charm. I'd also suggest blocking off nest boxes until they learn to roost in the right spot...mine each took a separate nest box to sleep in initially, even though the roosts were much higher.
     
  10. Amber Glover

    Amber Glover New Egg

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    I am happy to hear that, Thank you for the information! Cute and lovable as they are they sure are messy creatures :) that being said I will not miss the dust they produce!. One last question will I need the heat lamp on in the coop at all times or just at night?
     

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