Moving chicks to coop FAST

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by animalyodelers, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. animalyodelers

    animalyodelers Songster

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    I'm sure this has been asked 1,000,000 times but I'm new and a little overwhelmed finding specific help.

    A few days ago I bought 9 7-8 week chicks. I believed they were coop ready, but found out AFTER I purchased them that they were still on the heat lamp :hitmostly at night. I don't know the temp but was told it was just a little heat.

    I was not prepared for this, and money is a little tight for a few more days until payday. So, they have been spending nights in my dog's wire indoor kennel (medium-large) near a wall heater. We started the heater at 75 night, 70 day and have been decreasing each by a few degrees each day.

    Our temps have been highs in 60s and lows in mid to upper 30s. Most of the day is 45-55. We have been taking them out each day when it warms to about 50, and bringing them in when they are cold (huddling together and nestling into coop).

    They are at least somewhat cold hardy breeds (Barred Rock, EEs, Wyandottes, Orpington and Brahma).

    Their run isn't yet 100% predator proof (almost-working on it each day) so, I'm wondering should I leave them in the coop during the day, checking on them frequently, and bring them in at night, gradually decreasing temps?

    I have nothing between inside and outside to transition them from house to coop. I'm worried that even if I get the indoor temp down to 50 (the lowest I could possibly do) the 35 degree nighttime temps will be too much of a shock. My kids are in love with them and we can't risk losing any. They are layers/pets only.

    I cannot emphasize enough how much I need them out!! We have 1191 square feet for 5 people, 2 dogs, and now NINE chickens.

    I live in Western WA so it tends to be damp, although there isn't any rain forecasted for a few days.

    Any advice is SO greatly appreciated!:love
     
    Raenh likes this.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    Put those chicks outside now. I've had chicks less than 6 weeks old go through nights without heat with the lows in the mid-20's F. At 7 to 8 weeks old as long as they are out of a breeze they will be fine.
     
  3. MillersFarm

    MillersFarm Easily distracted by Chickens

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    :goodpost:
     
    ChickNanny13 likes this.
  4. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Songster

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    I believe your chicks should be okay outside as they are probably pretty well feathered at that age. You are already doing a good job at getting them ready for the outdoors. Do you have a shop light or can you borrow one? Anyone who works on their own cars might have one. I have put chicks out with a shop light and it worked well. That would give them a little heat if they needed it.
     
  5. animalyodelers

    animalyodelers Songster

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    Olympia, WA, USA
    Thank you all for your advice! I could probably find a shop light to borrow, or I may have one in the garage. I'll take them outside now! I can work on projects outside so I can keep an eye on them just in case.
     
  6. Twoleggedmotherhen

    Twoleggedmotherhen Songster

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    Also in Western Washington.
    Put them outside, they will be fine. As long there is dry and draft free area they will be fine.
    Definitely get the pedator proofing done. Coyotes, birds of prey are real active where we are.
     
    townchicks likes this.
  7. animalyodelers

    animalyodelers Songster

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    Thanks! Yes, I'm working on that daily! We have resident bald eagles in a tree across the street, and frequent hawks. The coop is getting finished predator proofing today and then the run! The coop is an old plastic playhouse I've added hardware cloth and gate latches to. Today I'm boarding up the window that will someday house nesting boxes, and weatherproofing because there are a couple low holes (part of the playhouse design) that could be drafty.
     
    Twoleggedmotherhen likes this.
  8. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Songster

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    Remember to not close the coop up too much. You do need ventilation to get the moisture from pooping and breathing out of that coop. A warm chicken is a dry chicken.
     
  9. Twoleggedmotherhen

    Twoleggedmotherhen Songster

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    We have a pair of hawks that have a nest in neighbor's tree, for 2 days there was a owl in the cedar tree 20 feet from the coop. I have a foot of 1x.5" wire attached to bottom of run buried to prevent digging in and fenced panels on top of run, with a 8x12 heavy duty silver tarp on top (keeps run dry and shades in the summer, and comes down side for wind break).
     
  10. BigATC

    BigATC Chirping

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    I moved our chicks out to the coop about the same age. I kept it closed up for a couple of weeks to make sure they realized that it was safe and "home". I had a ceramic heat lamp for a few days but they didn't seem interested and just huddled up together. I opened the pop door and moved all the food and water outside after a couple of weeks. The first night I had to wrangle a couple of the 20 chicks back into the coop at sundown but has never been a problem since! You need air flow/ventilation for sure just not drafts in the roosting area so I have not been to worried about weatherproofing everything. Best of luck and enjoy!
     

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