Moving them out to the coop

acissej

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 2, 2010
75
1
39
Duvall, WA
I'm thinking our 3 biggest ones are ready to move out to the coop this weekend. They're 5 week old BOs and they're fully feathered except for their heads (which are getting there). I'm just wondering about the weather. Do I just remove them from their nice cozy brooder and leave them out in the coop, when it's been very cold here? Today it didn't get above the low 60s. Also, our 4th BO is TEENY, like barely bigger than when we got her, and nowhere near fully feathered. She seems ok health-wise and doesn't really act different than everyone else, but I doubt she's really ready to be outside since she's not feathered. We have 2 Light Brahmas that aren't quite ready (they're 1.5 weeks younger than the BOs and aren't fully feathered yet). My mom suggested moving the heat lamp out there with them, but I'm not sure. What would you do? Move them all out together even if some aren't ready? If so, move the heat lamp out there with them? Or just move the 3 that are fully feathered? Or just wait another couple of weeks for the LBs to be ready too (who knows if the small BO will be ready by then though)? I'm not sure how we'd set up the heat lamp since I'm not sure we can get it very high from the ground inside the coop. Here's a pic of our coop so you can see what I mean. Any advice?


There are 2 identical doors on the back of the coop too, so it's QUITE ventilated...maybe drafty.

 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
19,389
24,145
912
Colorado Rockies
If you've raised them together to this point, I wouldn't separate them. I think they would do much better to move them all as a unit when all are ready.

But why not just give it a try? Move them all in, with a heat lamp so the ones that need it, can warm up under it when they feel chilled.

You will know if it's not working out for some reason. Then just move them back indoors, and try it again in a week.

Last year, I was integrating the youngsters into the coop with the elders, and it didn't work out. They just weren't ready. So I backed up, and tried it again later. It took two tries before it worked for everyone. Every batch matures differently. Keep it flexible!
 

enggass

Songster
10 Years
Mar 8, 2010
1,683
64
231
Mid-Coast Maine
Likewise... And I have questions too!
Looks like Sunday AM is the day my birdies will be moving into their permanent home. Just getting the roof on my run tomorrow, and that is it.
They are 7 weeks old Tuesday. The weather has turned summer here and it will be 80's daytime and mid 50s-60 night time for at least the next week. Perfect timing.
My questions are, what is the best way to transition them? Put them in the coop first with access to the run? Just the coop at first? I will not be putting any lamp out with them.
I can't wait. They are going to love it after being in a basement since they were born...
Any tips on transitioning will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Steve
 

Rachel'sFlock

Songster
9 Years
May 21, 2010
1,293
33
168
Otis, Oregon ~ Chicken People Since 5/10
Oh, clever you, enggass for thinking to ask! I just took the brooder out into the coop, and set them free, on the food and water side of the coop. Sheesh. I'm glad they all did fine. I never thought to ask anout a method of how to do it!!!

Bright Blessings
 

enggass

Songster
10 Years
Mar 8, 2010
1,683
64
231
Mid-Coast Maine
Cool. My problem is that my coop is not a large walk-in like so many here. I cannot just put my brooder into the coop.
My Brooder is 4'x3', and my coop is 4'x6'
Can anyone else chime in as to how they went about it?
 

vstoltzfus

Songster
10 Years
Aug 10, 2009
199
4
111
Lancaster County, PA
For the OP, I would put them all out with a light. When the little ones get cold they'll go under the light. For Steve: I put mine out at anytime of day it suits me. I put them in the run. But if they don't go in the coop at sundown you may have to pick them up and put them in. I don't know what your setup is, so if it is not possible for you to get into your run and get them then you may want to put them in the coop near sundown and lock them in. Then they'll (hopefully) know that is home and they'll go in at sundown the next day. Good luck.
 

write2caroline

Songster
10 Years
Jun 21, 2009
2,156
77
218
Jacksonville
My first batch, I put them out during the day when it was warmer and had a heck of a time getting them back into the cat carrier to put them in the brooder at night. They were feathered out by then. So finally that got old and I let them in the coop all day and night - took a couple of nights and some solar lights to get them up the ladder.

You can also put very hot water in a bucket with a lid - like a frosting bucket from your local bakery (they are free if you ask for one) water is an effective heater radiating heat. With the lid on the bucket the heat will disapate more slowly providing heat for your chicks in the coop at night. It doesn't require you to run a cord out to the coop and is quite effective. They will be warmer and you can rest assured they are fine.

Caroline
 

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