Putting Outside

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by rmonge00, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. rmonge00

    rmonge00 Chirping

    Hey everyone,

    I am raising 25 baby chicks right now (they are 1 week old and healthy!!) Right now they are in a 20 sq. foot brooder with a heat lamp. There permanent arrangement will be a 120 sq. ft coop and then I plan on letting them free rang over 2 acres (all fenced in). When can I move them into the coop and then when can I let them out to free range over the 2 acres. I live in Western Washington (our last possible freeze is around mid-April). What do you guys think?

  2. tazcat70

    tazcat70 I must be crazy!

    Will you have heat in the coop? I would say at this time of the year, without a heated coop, they need to be fully feathered before going out. So that is about 6 weeks. When the weather is warmer, I have put them out as early as 2 weeks.
  3. rmonge00

    rmonge00 Chirping

    No it is not heated - I guess I will need to wait 6 weeks. Do you think my 18 sq ft brooder will be big enough for 25 6 week-old chickens? Also, when can I let them out of the coop to free range?

  4. tazcat70

    tazcat70 I must be crazy!

    Your brooder is gonna get too small in a hurry. But wait as long as you can to put them out. But with 25 they would probably be ok sooner than 6 weeks. Wait as long as you can before it starts driving you crazy with them in the brooder.

    I have let 2 week olds out to free range. But I am there to watch them. There are no hard set rules. Just do what you can to keep them safe.
  5. rmonge00

    rmonge00 Chirping

    Ok thanks -

    So if I stick them in the coop at 4-5 weeks and it gets down in the 40s at night, willl they be ok??

  6. terry's chicks

    terry's chicks In the Brooder

    Feb 15, 2011
    I have 26 almost 2 week old, and I am running an extension cord to the coop so they can have more room this weekend. We are in NC and it's still getting down in the low 40's I plan on putting a couple of my heat lights out there, it's 10'x12' and I think they are ready to have more room.Just getting too crowded in the brooder in house. I will just watch them closely.
  7. ddroland

    ddroland Chirping

    Oct 15, 2010
    Eastern PA
    Quote:You have to cold harden them before you can just take them from Brooder temps out to 40 degrees. You can do this by raising your heat lamp a couple inches every several days to lower the temps. When they are fully feathered and can do well in the Brooder with minimal heat they can be put out. The coop should be draft free.
  8. chkinut

    chkinut Songster

    Feb 25, 2010
    Leesburg, Ohio
    well, a lot of folks may not like what i'm gonna say....but i put my chicks outside pretty early. and yes, i cold hardened them by turning off their heat lamp during the day. anyway, i had them outside by the time they were about 12 days old....all 14 of them, with no heat. now they are almost 3 weeks old and still going strong. they are in a little coop that's raised off the ground and with plenty of hay and i close them up at night. there were a few nights where i was worried and would check on them and they were all huddled together and were just fine. i figure with 14 chicks, they can generate a lot of heat....almost like that of a mother hen. they are doing great today and getting more feathers every day.
  9. rmonge00

    rmonge00 Chirping

    OK - sounds good. I don't have a run though. I have about 2 acres fenced in (supposedly so a chicken will not be able to escape and dogs wont be able to get in (can't do anything about cats and raccoons with fencing). When do you guys think I will be able to let them outside?

  10. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It's a good idea to show your general location in your profile so you don't have to type it every time you past (and we don't have to ask.)

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