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Ok going outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Eowyn2, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Eowyn2

    Eowyn2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, another thread about when those babies can go outside. I'm sorry. I'm just a terribly specific person, and there's so many vague answers out there.

    So I have 6 chicks who are approximately 4 weeks old now. I have a temporary coop ready for them outside where they can continue to grow safe from my adult hens. I can put a lamp in there (and plan to) and it will have plenty of hay to burrow in.

    Overnight temperatures right now are hovering around 30 - sometimes 27, sometimes 34. Daytime temps are in the 40's to sometimes 50's lately.

    They've been brooded in a round stock tank in my unheated garage, which can get relatively chilly, and I've moved the brooder lamp quite a bit higher the last few days. It's probably 3-4 feet above the level of the stock tank floor right now. They have also spent time outside in the sunshine on warmish days (mid 40's to higher) 3-4 days out of the last week. They seem to be pretty ok with being outside so far.

    Here's the largest and most feathered-out with the smallest and least feathered-out chick:

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    ...with a Thomas the Tank Engine style toy for size reference, held by my sweet little chick. :)

    So. Can they stay outside with a heat lamp in the closed part of the coop overnight or should I give them another week in the garage?
     
  2. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    You can put day olds outside in a coop with a heat lamp. Lots of folks do, myself included. The question is usually when can you take away the heat and neither of yours has head feathers yet so I'd expect another week or two before that.
     
  3. Eowyn2

    Eowyn2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, Debid. They're out enjoying the sunshine and the bigger space as we speak. :)
     
  4. farmer boy

    farmer boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    before i put mine outside they were the same size as yours maybe a little bigger and the smallest would have been your smallest but i had a couple of chicks i had 7 so they would be warm and could huddle in a group if got to cold and they wouldn't get to lonely even though there is 2 i always wanted more so they would have a group to be with when they go outside with the big birds .. its better to have a group of them around 4 or more so they would be safer from the bigger birds
     
  5. pollo portero

    pollo portero Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for starting this thread. I, too, have questions about when the chicks can handle colder temps. I have been brooding 2 sets of chicks in my kitchen. One set is 5 black Cochins and 3 silver Polish that are 4 weeks old. The largest chick is 1 pound, 4 oz. and the smallest is 9 oz.
    The other set of chicks is comprised of 3 week old heavies and 4 week old bantams (and one runt, frizzled, 4 week old Cochin!).
    I want to move the Cochin/Polish group out to a small coop in my unheated pole barn and give the other group more space in the brooder. Some still have down on their heads, but they seem to be well-feathered. The brooder lamp is about 3 feet from the bottom of the brooder and the chicks alternate between basking in and avoiding the lamp. Can I move them and should I keep the light on them? Also, should I switch to straw or keep the pine flakes? The coop is open chicken wire on 3 sides, but could be enclosed. In Michigan here it is about 20-30 degrees at night and 30-40 degrees during the day. From what I have read so far, it looks like they can be moved-though I'd miss having the little fuzzbutts so close! This is my first batch of chicks and I would hate to lose any. Any advice from experienced flocksters would be gratefully appreciated!
     
  6. farmer boy

    farmer boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    you should be able to move them outside but i would put the lamp out there to .. you are moving both groups one just one outside ?? .. its better for them to be in a group to .. to keep them warm
    when they huddle and if you have older chickens when u introduce them once the young ones get older .. its better to have them in a group to when they group up so they have a little group of them outside and they will be safer from the older/bigger birds
     
  7. Eowyn2

    Eowyn2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I would keep a heat source with the ones you put out in the barn until their heads have feathered, like Deb mentioned. And the bigger the group of chicks together in a cold space the better; they will help keep each other warm.
     
  8. pollo portero

    pollo portero Out Of The Brooder

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    I was planning on moving the older, bigger chicks outside and leaving the younger ones inside for awhile. And I would keep the light on out there, too. The outside coop is not terribly big and the Cochins are getting huge fast. I don't think there would be enough room for all of them--there are 25 total between the 2 groups. Would the 8 larger ones be enough to keep each other warm? I hadn't thought about introducing them to the older chickens... Hmmm, I may need to rethink this. We are actually renovating the existing main coop to house separate flocks-one older and established on one side and one juvenile/growing on the other. That renovation will be ready in a couple of weeks. Eventually, though, they will all be together. Thanks fo the input, it gives me other facets to consider!
     
  9. pollo portero

    pollo portero Out Of The Brooder

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    Eowyn2:
    Could I move the 6 Bantams with the Cochins? That would make the flock bigger, but not stress the coop room-it's not terribly large. They are the same age, but definitely not the same size. Would the Bantams get picked on? They were all together for the first 2 weeks of their lives, but have been separated for 2 weeks.
     
  10. farmer boy

    farmer boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    the bantams will be fine with the older ones if you have younger ones that you would put in with the older ones like young bantams they can't be with standard size birds over 10 weeks until the bantams are a lot bigger but the older bantams can be with the younger bantams
     

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