moving chicks outside

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kueblercoop, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. kueblercoop

    kueblercoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2015
    I just got my coop finished, it is 4x4 feet on the inside and have space for a heat lamp.
    My chicks are 4 weeks old. Highs this week are 55-73 and lows are 36-52.
    I have 3 autralorps and 3 red producers.
    They have been in a plastic bin in the house with a 120W bulb the last few weeks, last night I moved them to the garage with the 250W heat lamp.
    I would love to move them to the coop with the lamp this week during the day and bring them to the garage at night. I put them out a few hours yesterday and they seemed happy with all the room to move and things to explore and jump on. I brought them in when I noticed they were all huddled under the light.

    Is this an OK plan? When can I move them outside and leave them at all night?

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  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I'd move them out now. They'll huddle under the heat at night whether they're cold or not. The test is if they huddle under it during the day, they're too cold. If they move about freely, they're fine.
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    A couple side notes.

    I prefer a ceramic emitter than an infrared lamp so they can have a dark period at night.

    4'X4' is only enough space for 4 adult LF.
     
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  3. kueblercoop

    kueblercoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2015
    Thank you!
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Is that coop protected from breezes and bad weather blowing in? The coop appears to have one or two open sides. It should be protected from drafts. Canoe is right. You need more square footage for six chickens. 10 square feet of run space minimum per, and 2 square feet of coop space per chicken, minimum. Coop space, especially perch space is crucial to avoid conflicts at roosting time. You need a foot and a half minimum per adult chicken for perch length to accommodate fluttering wings so they don't knock each other off the perch when trying to hop up.

    Otherwise, there's no reason not to move them to the coop immediately. Supply heat at night until you observe them no longer sleeping under the heat source, then remove it.
     
  5. kueblercoop

    kueblercoop Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2015
    The picture shows doors open, but I can shut them in the coop and it has no open sides and a closed roof. I believe I do need to add one more roosting bar, thank you. The "run" space is about 36 square feet which is a little over 7 square feet per chicken, however they will have some extra day time run space extending off the coop being installed this summer. The coop itself is has about 18 square feet, 3.6 per chicken.
    I think I will move them out tomorrow and watch how how they gather during the day. I will supply heat at night and watch, however do I need to supply heat during the day?
    They are 4 weeks old with temps about 50-60 during the day.
    I could switch to the 120W during the day. I likely over did it with the 250W yesterday. It was their first time not being in the house and I was nervous they would be cold.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2015
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I've had 4 week old chicks escape into the woods at night that I couldn't find. I figured they would be goners. It was about 50 but the next morning they came back none the worse for wear.
     
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  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If they're in an enclosed coop, you probably won't need to supply heat during the day, unless you have a cold snap that sends the temps into the 40s before they get acclimated. Heat at night and then see how they do after a week or so. You just want to protect them from extremes in temperature until they become completely acclimated to outdoors.
     
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  8. Tansie

    Tansie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2015
    How did the chicks get on? Mine are 5 weeks old and I'm trying to move them outside this week. Temperatures here are similar to yours, about 57 at day and not much difference during the night according to my weather apps. They have been spending most of the day outside for about three weeks and spend a lot of their time exploring, but they do sometimes huddle up on the bench together. I'm worried about leaving them outside for the night but I can't keep them inside forever.
     

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