Moving chicks to coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kirak74, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. kirak74

    kirak74 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 22, 2017
    Hello all! Chicken newbie here :)
    I am getting my 15 chicks in mid-February. I will start them inside, but am wondering when it is OK to move them to coop.
    I'd like to move them by the third week in March because we have house guests coming that probably won't appreciate sharing their bathroom with 15 chicks.
    We are in NC and temperatures in March are in the 60s during the day, but can get into the 30s at night. I'm wondering if they are 5 weeks old and I provide them with a heat source (we are using a heat plate), will they be OK in the coop?
    Thank you!
     
  2. N F C

    N F C just blowing in the wind Premium Member Project Manager

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    [​IMG] It's nice to have you here.

    Around 5 weeks of age (or thereabouts) they should be pretty well feathered. I think they would be fine to move by the 3rd week in March.

    What breeds are you getting? (New chicks are so exciting!)
     
  3. BrahmaDahDah

    BrahmaDahDah Just Hatched

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    I'm doing the same thing for this year: Getting hatchlings in January. I've raised many successful flocks of all sorts of varieties of chickens and I'll say the key to when your birds are ready to go outside depends on the variety and temperature. The rule with chicks is that they need to start at 95 degrees dropping 5 degrees every passing week. These are both day and night time temperatures. I know 60 seems warm to us, but your chicks at 3 weeks old need to be at 85 degrees. They just don't have the feathering to stay warm. All that fluff on our chicks is all about letting air onto the chicks body for absorption, it does nothing to insulate them. I would suggest keeping your birds in for as long as possible, at least until they can tolerate those 60 degree day temps(About 6 weeks) but they'll still need to be kept warm if your night time temps drop too far.

    Most hatcheries recommend you keep your chicks heated until the sixth week of life, or until the heater can drop to 70 degrees. In normal weather conditions such as spring I would say that flies, but seeing that we'll be raising our chickens in late winter we need to reman mindful of feather growth. Feathers are they key. If your chickens are well feathered take them out and see how comfterble they are in the cooler weather. If they aren't huddling or puffing up there feathers, then you may be set to let them run the coop.

    Just remember, every chicken variety responds differently to cold. Genetics are a big part of how well or poorly your chicks will do in your area.

    Best of luck!
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I hope this link helps. After raising chicks indoors, (ONCE) I can tell you that you will need more than just a day to get that bathroom back to guest quality after 15 chicks have called it "home" for weeks. The dust gets into little cracks and crevices you don't even realize exist! We kept our first batch in my husband's small office. There's a closet in there that he keeps his formal clothes in and his tux was in a bag in that closet. When he got it out to wear it for an event, imagine how surprised he was to find chick dust in the pocket a couple of months after the chicks had been evicted and the room thoroughly (we thought) cleaned out!! Oh, boy!

    Good luck on your new adventure, and a most warm welcome to BYC! If there's anything we can do to help, just type away!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors
     
  5. markeddings

    markeddings Out Of The Brooder

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    Looks like others have given you some good advise on temps for moving your chicks outside to the coop. I have some friends who lost birds by moving them out too soon, or at least not providing some additional warmth on some cold early spring evenings. Even down south, we can have some fronts bring some pretty cold nights in early-mid March. I chose to start my last flock in the late summer so that they would be warm at night through the first 2-3 months. By the time things start to get pretty cold in December, they are nearly 5 months old. I also like having them start laying in January and February, when other folks are just getting their chicks ordered. My daughters sell the eggs, and this gives them a leg up on their friends who restart in the late winter/early spring. The downside is the girls don't get to enjoy their first summer eating clover and bugs as playful youngsters! I am going to reflock this July and hopefully I will have the same good luck I have had using this strategy in the past. Hopefully your birds will do well this spring and make the transition smoothly.
     
  6. kirak74

    kirak74 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 22, 2017
    I am so excited. We ordered lots of different kinds (Barred Rock, silver laced and colombian Wyandottes, some easter and some olive eggers, two leghorns for white eggs and some cuckoo marans. I did get one Rhode Island Red that I may end up regretting because I understand they can be mean, but needed to add one more to get to the minimum order. I'm sure I'll have lots of questions, so thanks for your input!!
     
  7. markeddings

    markeddings Out Of The Brooder

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  8. markeddings

    markeddings Out Of The Brooder

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    I like your way of thinking. We love a wide variety in our flock. We currently have Buff Orpingtons, RIR's, EE's, and an Australorp. Looking to start over and expand this July with ISA Browns/Red Star, RIR's, EE's, silver and gold laced Wyandottes, Welsummers, Buff Orpington, Ancona's, and one Barred Rock and one Blue Copper Marans. Spend some time with the RIR chick and she may turn out ok. Ours are a little bit on the agressive side but only one is even close to mean. No real problems. Best of luck!
     

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