Questions about moving chicks to hen house

OldeDog

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 26, 2013
12
0
22
South Mississippi
My twelve black Australop hens are now 6 weeks old, coop is almost finished. How and when do I transition them to the new hen house?

Do I just move them to the hen house? How old? Is eight weeks good?

I thought I might shut them in the hen house for a week, to get them used to being in the house and outside the box that has been their home. This would mean keeping water & food in the house, is this OK?

These are not docile hens at all, but by hand feeding them treats they are coming around. Here is a picture of two at five weeks.




Any help or suggestions welcome.

Thanks
 

Angiebubs

Songster
8 Years
Aug 19, 2011
2,331
74
206
Amery, WI WI/MN border
How warm is it where you are at? At 6 weeks they need to be at around 70 degrees. Do you have a heat lamp in the hen house?

Do you have other adult birds already in the hen house? If so, you will need to keep them separate until they are closer to the same size as the adults. I would also recommend having them where the rest of the flock can see them for awhile. Then when you do introduce them, have small spaces where they can get away and hide from the other adults.

Contrary to others, I keep food and water inside the coop. With the winters we have had, they have stayed inside most of the winter (Coop is 12 ft by 24 ft though)
 

bobbi-j

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Mar 15, 2010
14,353
27,046
982
On the MN prairie.
My twelve black Australop hens are now 6 weeks old, coop is almost finished. How and when do I transition them to the new hen house?

Do I just move them to the hen house? How old? Is eight weeks good?

I thought I might shut them in the hen house for a week, to get them used to being in the house and outside the box that has been their home. This would mean keeping water & food in the house, is this OK?

These are not docile hens at all, but by hand feeding them treats they are coming around. Here is a picture of two at five weeks.




Any help or suggestions welcome.

Thanks
You can move them out there any time. They appear to be fully feathered so they can handle it if it gets a little cool there. (I see you're in Mississippi - I just can't make myself use the word "cold" :) ) They should not need added heat at this time. My chicks start out in the coop. My "brooder is a piece of 8" high garden edging formed into an oval. I have two heat lamps, at different heights, and feeders and waterers away from the lamps. I live in MN, and I will be getting day-old chicks at the end of the month. We're talking 40's and 50's at night at the warmest. My coop is an 8x8' shed. How big is your coop? Will they get too hot in there during the day? Do you have an attached run? If you do, it would be fine for you to just lock them in the coop/run area for a few days or a week to get them acclimated to their new home. I keep feed and water in my coops in the winter. Water goes outside once it's warm enough that it won't freeze up. Feed stays inside. Personal preference.
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
Premium member
6 Years
Feb 25, 2014
17,200
32,222
827
Northwestern Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
Mine will be 8 weeks old tomorrow. Two weeks ago this coming Tuesday they went out to live in the coop. No supplemental heat, but they were very well feathered out. I live in Northern Wyoming, and it snowed again last night and today. They are thriving - feathers getting dense and they are going in and out the pop door all day long. They seem happier, and I know I'm happier!



Agatha, Gladys and Pearl, (three of my 22 chicks) first day out in the coop.


The girls (and Charlie!) out in their temporary run a couple of days after they went outside. We had our dog's x-pen set up from day one, and they've been in and out at will from their first day. We've had a couple of sunny days, and a few times daytime temps have broken 55, but at night it's in the 30's. The vents stay open. They keep each other warm. Tomorrow the permanent run will be finished and I'll feel more comfortable leaving them out even if I can't be home for a little while.
 

OldeDog

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 26, 2013
12
0
22
South Mississippi
Thanks to everyone for the replies.

We live right on the gulf coast, so it's pretty warm, hot in summer, so I built a 10 by 5 ft. hen house. It only freezes 2 - 4 times/year, so the top 2-3 ft. is just hardware cloth. It can cover that with plywood or just tack up clear plastic in winter. Picture from last week below. Only the human door remains to put up. A picture from about a week is below:




If I put the hens out at eight weeks, it will be all ready. I will put up a temporary run at first, but intend to free run them when older. Again, thanks to everyone.
 

Jaybo

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 6, 2013
34
1
24
Cedar Creek, Texas
The conservative estimate I got was that at 12 weeks, they'd be ready. 9 - 12 weeks is the most common answer. One thing that was pretty much a constant was introducing the newcomers after the older birds were down for the night. I guess if they wake up together, it eases the transition. I hope to find out for myself, soon,
 
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