our my 8 week old ready for the coop in CT weather

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by rocklobster, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. rocklobster

    rocklobster Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2009
    Hello,

    My wife, son and I are raising 6 hens for our first time this year. They are now 8 weeks old and are in a box in my garage. There is a 250 watt heating bulb above them about 3ft above the floor where they stand. The light has been on them 24-7 since 1 day old. The garage is unheated and probable gets below freezing lately.

    I need to get them out of the garage because they are getting so big, so fast! I did some searching here and most people say they can go out when they are fully feathered which should be around this time. Since I've never done this, I cant' know for sure if the are fully feathered! I'm assuming they are but don't want to make a mistake.

    I'd like to ask you a few questions before I make a mistake and end up killing them all the first night I put them outside.

    This is the coop that I have.

    They will have a heated bucket (aquarium 25 heater) with 2 nipples on the bottom. Food will also be inside the coop too for them.

    Do I need to put the 250 watt heat-light inside there if I move them out of my garage this weekend? It will be in the mid to high 20F in Connecticut right now. I'd rather not use the lamp if they don't need it, I don't want fires but I don't want them to freeze either.

    With regard to ventilation, do I need to cover all the vents you see in the picture with plywood and just leave them cracked open a little? Everyone says you need ventilation without drafts. That seems to be a contradictory statement that I have problems applying the coop I have. I know if I had a window open in my house, everyone in teh family would say it was drafty!

    The chicken door is on the floor. Should I close that at night so the air doesn't rush in from the floor past them too? I'm not sure how much I need to cover all the holes!

    Many thanks for any advice. We are total first timers and have no experience at all. This web site has been our only source of information and it's been fantastic to search.

    Many thanks,
    Joe
     
  2. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    My only concern with moving outside without a heat source is that they havent been acclimated to those temps. SO they can stay nice and toasty under the light but will freeze if taken from them in one night. I have weaned my birds down by switching lights strengths-so your at 250 now-go to a 150 for a week in the garage and see how they do. Then -the next week decrease the heat source-so in about a month they should be weaned off the heat lamps. I still put heat lights on when I know the temps are going to be brutal for days-enough to huddle under at any age:) this is just my opinion...
     
  3. DanEP

    DanEP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    great coop, but you might want to run boards along the bottom of the run to make sure that nothing can pull the aprons up and climb under it . preditors can be persistant in their efforts I just had a hawk squeeze thru one o my vent yesturday and get in my coop.
     
  4. KimberlyJ

    KimberlyJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 13, 2010
    I'm in CT also. I have 11 week olds that I tranisitioned as you are from house to garage to coop. However I didn't have a heat source on them since about 6 weeks AND it was warmer a few weeks ago. You really have two issues here...moving to the coop and removing the heat. Do not just stick them in that coop without a heat source. Listen to sonew123--she's VERY good. So either put a heat source in the coop...or gradually remove the heat in the garage and then move. As you are doing all this watch your girls closely, they will let you know how it's going. If they are huddled together they are cold.
     
  5. rocklobster

    rocklobster Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2009
    Thank you for all the replies. Good advice. It's going to be very cold here in a few days, I will be carefull with the girls!
     
  6. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    Quote:aww thanks Kim!! [​IMG] I just have alot of experience with wicked cold weather-lived in the heart of the Adirondacks most of my life and ouch it gets numbing!!!
     
  7. Yoda

    Yoda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2010
    Shady Hills, FL
    I am from CT too! I do have a heat lamp hanging inside my coop. The older ones do not use it but the younger ones still do. I just moved 2 more outside who are about the same age as yours. The go under the light when they feel chilly and the older ones will also gather around them at night. But the oldest ones are fine and do thier own thing LOL
    Joe where in CT?
     

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