Outgrowing the Brooder Box - Can I move them Yet?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by The Monkey Mama, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. The Monkey Mama

    The Monkey Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 12, 2008
    Kennesaw, GA
    I have some 5 and 6 week old chicks that are totally outgrowing their brooder box and getting ornery about it. There are 18 chicks - cuckoo marans, welsummers, EEs, and silkies.

    I have a 4x6 outdoor chicken coop that stays pretty warm & draft free [I have 5 adult chickens in it right now, whom I will move out when the chicks go in there]. Even on cold nights the water has not frozen inside that coop.

    Do you think I could move these 5-6 week old chicks in there pretty soon? It is getting down to the 30s most nights here, once it was in the 20s. [I am in GA, zone 7, it never gets much below 20 here].

    Would they survive out there without the heat lamp yet?

    Thanks!

    Kelly
     
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    You have to wean them from the lamp. You can't just take it away one day.

    At 6 weeks those larger bodied chicks are not fully feathered.

    At this time of the year brooding them is a new ball game andnot like spring brooding.

    I would not put them out without a heat source.

    If they get sick at this age they will most likely die from the cold exposure.
     
  3. mrsengeseth

    mrsengeseth Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am in Colorado. I moved my silkies out a little bit ago. Their coop is warm, draft free, but ventilated. The temps out side are bone chilling, but they are fine in their coops. I don't know what your set up is but maybe you could put them outside and see how they do during the day, bring em in at night. Could the brooder box be put into the coop?? do you have a heat lamp or other source in their coop?
     
  4. The Monkey Mama

    The Monkey Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 12, 2008
    Kennesaw, GA
    I have no electric or heat source in the coop at all. It would be just body heat and a deep layer of bedding keeping them warm. The coop does have ventilation, but is also pretty "draft free".

    Thanks!

    Kelly
     
  5. @migocontodos~

    @migocontodos~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Personally at that age I would move them into the coop.
    The scenerio could only be better if they were roosting. At that age they are still used to huddling up all together to sleep and it's possible some could get smothered (even thouhg I seriously doubt this would happen) Would it be possible to install a heat lamp in the coop for them at this time?
    Are the roosting poles at a level where they can get to them.
    If not, I'd make some ramps or install other things that would help them get to the roost.
    I'd also make sure I put them in one morning early as possible. Chickens are natural explorers so any additional time in the coop will help them to adjust to it.
    It might help if you go down toward time to roost and set one or two on the roost. I doubt they will stay there but if you did this 3 or 4 days it would not hurt.
    Enjoy the chicks
    Todd
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
  6. rebbetzin

    rebbetzin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2008
    Tucson AZ
    I never did have my chicks in a brooder box, though I bought one. They went straight to the coop, with a heat lamp at night for about a week or so. They were only days old when I got them. But, I am in Arizona where we have warm weather most of the year.

    Can you run an extension cord and put in a heat lamp in the coop? That is what I did, I don't have any electricity in the coop. But, the extension cord works just fine.
     
  7. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Quote:Just what I did... but they were flying out of the brooder box at 4-5 weeks so the lamp stayed in the corner (fed by the extension cord) and I kept them in the coop until I knew they couldn't get through the chicken wire in the run.
     
  8. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Without a heat lamp, it's too much of a shock going from inside to outside for them to survive. They will not get all their feathers in until they are 8 weeks old. I see you have no electric to the coop; is there any way you could transition them out to the coop, like maybe put them in the garage for a day or two first? I really don't think they'll survive out there in your temps without a heat source. [​IMG]
     
  9. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Quote:I agree 100%.
     
  10. TerriLaChicks

    TerriLaChicks Overrun With Chickens

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    I didn't have a heat source in my outdoor brooder either - not that big a deal since we're in La. but we have had a couple cool snaps & light freezes & what I did was buy a "snugglesafe" at PetSmart--it's a frisbee looking thing you zap in the microwave for 5-6 minutes & it stays warm all night. It's plastic & I wrapped it in newspaper each night & it worked very well to keep them nice & warm.
    I've been using snugglesafes for several years for our semi-wild outside barn cats too.
     

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