Moving chicks to the coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DaltonJones4, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. DaltonJones4

    DaltonJones4 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 25, 2014
    I've searched many threads but I cannot find my answer :(
    What I'm wondering is if its okay to move my 12 year old chicks outside (I know, 12 weeks is way too old to still be in a brooder and I started them way too early)?I've been introducing them to the outside on warm days, but here in Illinois, the nights still drop below 30.
    I, and them, are getting tired of being inside!!

    They're currently in a 56 degree basement with no heat lamp. If I were to move them out to the coop permanently on a day around 55, would I need some sort of heat source for the colder nights?

    Any info will help, thank you!
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    At 12 weeks your chicks are more than ready to be outside in the coop without heat. The general rule is when they are fully feathered - 5-6 weeks old. They will be just fine and dandy!
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  3. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    Feathers are fantastic insulation. As long as they have protection from wind and rain where they sleep, they'll be absolutely fine.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I agree. With decent wind and rain protection (same thing adults need) they are long overdue. I often have mine in my unheated grow-out coop in below freezing weather by the time they are 6 weeks old.

    You do not need to provide any heat out there at that age.
  5. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Warning: sermon on chicks and heat..

    Many, many people totally miss the point about why we provide heat for chicks. They are operating under the misguided notion that chicks need constant heat like so much baked goods in an oven, when in reality, chicks only need a heat source while they are still covered in down. Once they get feathers, they are more than able to keep their body heat from escaping.

    Ideally, when brooding chicks, you should be starting to wean them off heat by the end of their first week after hatching. As they grow in their feathers, a process that begins during the first week and continues for four weeks, they need less and less heat to replenish lost body heat.

    By the time chicks are four weeks old, most are fully feathered out or pretty close to it. They have snug little feather jackets and very little heat is able to escape their bodies, even if it's quite cool. Chicks brooded outdoors under a broody hen are pretty much finished needing her to warm up under during the day, even in 50F temps. And they only sleep under her at night for the security, not necessarily for the warmth.

    So folks! Please get over thinking your chicks need constant baking! Quit coddling them! Those little squirts are tougher than you think!
    1 person likes this.
  6. DaltonJones4

    DaltonJones4 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 25, 2014
    Okay great! Thank you all so much for your help. My only fear was the sudden drop in temperature they've never experienced, but sounds like they've been long ready to go out.
    Thank goodness :D

    Thanks again :)
  7. DaltonJones4

    DaltonJones4 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 25, 2014
    Thank you for the info, never looked at it that way!

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