Newbie to Raising Chickens - Winter Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by IslandChicie, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. IslandChicie

    IslandChicie New Egg

    Dec 9, 2012
    Chincoteague Island, VA
    I am in the process of building my chicken coop and was wondering if I purchased chicks during the winter, if I could raise them in the house until Spring. I was thinking of keeping them in a deep plastic tub - like they do for puppies. Along with feeder and heat lamp.
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland

    Yes, you can do that. In fact many of us raise chicks inside for a few weeks until they are ready to go out. But trust me, you don't want them in your house for the remainder of winter!
    Start the brooder temperature at around 95* (but leave a cooler spot where they can cool down if they want to. I hang the heat lamp over one side of the brooder) and reduce it by roughly 5* a week to get them used to cooler temps. They should be feathered out by week 6-7 and then they won't really need the heat lamp so much anymore. You can start reducing the hours under the heat, I usually turn it off for a part of the day, when it's a bit warmer and eventually I only have it on at night. By this time you can move them and the heat lamp outside to the coop and give them the extra light in the evenings for a few more days if needed. By 6 weeks time they will start outgrowing the brooder rapidly and will probably only be too happy to be outside.

    On that note: Do watch out for them flying out of the brooder. They can fly surprisingly well from quite a young age! I've seen chicks aged 2 weeks try out their wings. And they run as well as they fly when you try to catch them LOL
    1 person likes this.
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I agree with sumi. I have done the very thing you are describing - raising them in a big tall-sided tub until I felt they could be out. Once they are fully feathered they are pretty much good to go outside - regardless of temp. And as sumi said, if the top is open, be prepared to chase them around (or just turn off the lights). Good luck to you!
  4. Luhu123

    Luhu123 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 7, 2012
    I would say get the chicks in the spring and then you can put them in the coop in the warmth of summer before it gets cold.[​IMG]And if you have children it would be really fun to get them for Easter. And if you get the chicks in the winter it still might be to cold to put them outside.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  5. sniemeyer

    sniemeyer Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2012
    Boulder, CO
    I kept my chicks in the bathtub for the first two months! They were definately ready to be moved outside after that, and after about 1.5 months, they were not staying in the bathtub very well.... You may want to wait just another month or two before you get them so that it's not the dead of winter when you move them outside. Inside, they will definitely be hard to contain come february!

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