Ok to move them to coop?

SoORchick73

Songster
8 Years
May 9, 2011
223
7
118
My 5.5 week old chicks are mostly feathered (except one girl who is ONLY feathered on her wings seemingly...but shes the largest of all of them or close to it). We were planning on putting the heat lamp in the coop for another week or so. Its still cool/coldish (55-60 during the day and we are having some bitter cold winds and rain that make it feel like its 40!) My main question is, should I close off access to the outside run, though they will have access to the coop with the heat lamp 24/7 still for awhile longer anyway til the chick that is behind on feathering catches up? Or is it ok to leave the door open to their fully enclosed run during the day....will the one girl with fewer feathers know to go back in to the lamp if shes cold? Or will she stay with the others and end up getting too cold? Opnions greatly appreciated as always.

I had a not so newb feeling today at the feed store when I helped someone pick out food for the hen flock she was just given. I was like dang *I* actually helped someone else?? lol Thanks to what ive learned at BYC
 

SunnyCalifornia

Songster
9 Years
Oct 8, 2010
2,505
40
174
Escondido CA
It sounds like your temps are still pretty cold. If you have to move them out, then I'd offer some heat. But unless its raining, or wet, I'd let them out in the run to start adjusting to the temps. They'll run back to the heat if they get too cold. Don't let them get cold AND wet though. That might be dangerous.
 

SoORchick73

Songster
8 Years
May 9, 2011
223
7
118
Thanks Sunny! Your neighbor up here in rainy Oregon would love some of that sun. I wanted to be sure to do this right since im attached to these little boogers.
 

ADozenGirlz

The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png
10 Years
Oct 18, 2009
6,121
89
301
Connecticut
Quote:I ALWAYS keep new members of my flock confined to the coop for at least a week or two before letting them out into the run. This accomplishes several objectves:

1) it reinforces where they ought to return at night to sleep (chasing chickens is no fun, they're quick!);
2) it familarizes them with the location of the nest boxes, which is a good idea as free-range chickens can develop the habit of laying elsewhere if not trained to the boxes at first.

Moving residences is very stressful for chickens and keeping them in the coop for a week or two before letting them explore gives them a chance to re-group and relax after the big move.

When you decide they're ready to go out into the run, they'll go outside when they're ready and it may not be immediately. Certainly if they're cold they WILL stay close to the heat lamp.

On an unsolicited, cautionary note: be super careful with your heat lamp. NEVER rely on the clamp to hold it in place and always consider whether anything could potentially fall on it or knock it into something flammable (cardboard, pine shavings, etc.) . We always have multiple tethers on our heat lamps in case one fails. There are terribly sad stories all the time of chicken coops and homes being burned down due to a heat lamp. It's just not worth the risk to house and hens.

That having been said, enjoy your babies, they'll be making breakfast for you before you know it!!
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Apr 3, 2011
55,754
46,312
1,202
southern Ohio
I agree with having your chicks stay inside their coop for a few days to understand where home is and where they are to sleep at night. Many people say their chicks won't come in at night from their run to go to bed and they have to gather them up. Since it is cold they should be inside anyway for several days, then I say let them outside.
 

teach1rusl

Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
10,017
166
356
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
Well, since my most recent chicks went out at three weeks and it was still pretty cold here at that time (March), I did keep them shut inside the coop w/a lamp - no run access. Had they been older, and/or the weather warmer, I probably would have opened up the pop door for a few hours of outdoor time each day from the get-go.
 
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SoORchick73

Songster
8 Years
May 9, 2011
223
7
118
Thank you for the advice, this all makes sense. However I thought you werent supposed to allow them access to the nest boxes until they were of laying age? We blocked off the nest boxes with a board screwed into the wall. Am I wrong here?

Quote:I ALWAYS keep new members of my flock confined to the coop for at least a week or two before letting them out into the run. This accomplishes several objectves:

1) it reinforces where they ought to return at night to sleep (chasing chickens is no fun, they're quick!);
2) it familarizes them with the location of the nest boxes, which is a good idea as free-range chickens can develop the habit of laying elsewhere if not trained to the boxes at first.

Moving residences is very stressful for chickens and keeping them in the coop for a week or two before letting them explore gives them a chance to re-group and relax after the big move.

When you decide they're ready to go out into the run, they'll go outside when they're ready and it may not be immediately. Certainly if they're cold they WILL stay close to the heat lamp.

On an unsolicited, cautionary note: be super careful with your heat lamp. NEVER rely on the clamp to hold it in place and always consider whether anything could potentially fall on it or knock it into something flammable (cardboard, pine shavings, etc.) . We always have multiple tethers on our heat lamps in case one fails. There are terribly sad stories all the time of chicken coops and homes being burned down due to a heat lamp. It's just not worth the risk to house and hens.

That having been said, enjoy your babies, they'll be making breakfast for you before you know it!!
 

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