Outside in the coop or too soon?

Jess21687

In the Brooder
Mar 9, 2018
18
5
16
Hey everyone! We have an outdoor coop and chicks that will be 6 weeks on Saturday. Some have a LOT of feathers and one has some spots not filled in. Right now they’re inside with no heat lamp and the house is set at 68. We live near Madison, Wisconsin and the days are in the 40/50s but the nights are still pretty chilly. The coop is staying in the 50/60s. When do you think we’d be ok to put them out there all night with a light and then without a light?
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,064
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
My chicks wean themselves off heat at 4 - 5 weeks of age. They are brooded in a coop with a MHP. Temps when they wean off heat are 30's at night to 50 - 50's during the day. Your first step would be to put them in the coop all day for a few days, then leave them over night. Are they in a room that you can close off and open the window to help them get hardened off to cooler weather?
 

Jess21687

In the Brooder
Mar 9, 2018
18
5
16
I've had my 5.5 week old chicks out in their coop since they were 1 week old with a heater plate. It's gotten down to the low 20's at night here during that time. They are just fine.
Do you open the run during the day and let them out to play and then keep the light on if they need to warm up?
 

Jess21687

In the Brooder
Mar 9, 2018
18
5
16
My chicks wean themselves off heat at 4 - 5 weeks of age. They are brooded in a coop with a MHP. Temps when they wean off heat are 30's at night to 50 - 50's during the day. Your first step would be to put them in the coop all day for a few days, then leave them over night. Are they in a room that you can close off and open the window to help them get hardened off to cooler weather?
Not really without wasting heat for the house but we can let them outside for some of the day.
 

Redhead Rae

Chickens, chickens everywhere!
Premium Feather Member
Jan 4, 2017
8,523
45,753
992
Braxton County, WV
Do you open the run during the day and let them out to play and then keep the light on if they need to warm up?
It's been too cold and wet to let them outside. Plus I don't have a containment area for them at the moment. I don't use lamps they are VERY dangerous. I nearly set a fire to my coop with a lamp last winter. I use a premier1 heater plate. They duck under that like they would under a mama hen when they need to get warm and pop out to get food and water when they need it. I'll be moving them to a mobile setup within my chicken paddock once they feather out or it gets warm enough for them to do without the heater plate. Once they feather out, they should be able to keep themselves warm in a huddle box at night.
 

MINDANAO DAVE

Songster
5 Years
Hey everyone! We have an outdoor coop and chicks that will be 6 weeks on Saturday. Some have a LOT of feathers and one has some spots not filled in. Right now they’re inside with no heat lamp and the house is set at 68. We live near Madison, Wisconsin and the days are in the 40/50s but the nights are still pretty chilly. The coop is staying in the 50/60s. When do you think we’d be ok to put them out there all night with a light and then without a light?
If you're not in a hurry why not give them a couple more weeks and know for sure they will be fine and hopefully the outdoor temperatures will be better for them. After putting in the time to get them this far why take a chance? Good Luck
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,215
491
Long Beach, WA
Not really without wasting heat for the house but we can let them outside for some of the day.
Start getting them used to the outside temps with field trips to their coop/run. Start with a short period of time and work your way up to them being outside all day. If you can move their brooder to an unheated space, like a garage or shed, it will help them adjust a bit faster.
 

orrpeople

Grading essays - be back soon!
5 Years
Jun 15, 2016
5,488
21,015
812
State of Jefferson
Yes on the gradual exposure to the outdoors... it's all relative. Birds the age of yours are usually fine outside - but since yours have been in, they'll need transition time for acclimation to new Temps and conditions.
Best wishes for you and your chooks!
 

MANNA-PRO

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