Raising Chicks in the Coop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Weasleymum, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. Weasleymum

    Weasleymum Songster

    Aug 1, 2008
    Heya, total newbie here with a question. I'm planning on having about 3 birds and am going to build a small, portable coop+pen-- a tractor basically but with the two parts separate for easier moving. The "house" part will be 3'x4' and about 2.5-3.5' tall inside, and as secure as I can make it: plywood, 2x4s and hardware cloth.

    If I can get a warming lamp into the coop, is there any reason why I can't put baby chicks right into their house instead of keeping them inside in a brooder for so many weeks and then moving them? Or is there anything I would need to do to temporarily convert the coop to a brooder?

    Between my cat and dog, there are more predators *inside* my house than outside!
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    As long as the enclosure is very secure (ie holes too small for them to escape through) and they have adequate heat, then I see no reason to not raise them outside.

    The only potential issue would be drafts, but if it is nice and warm outside anyway, I would think draft concerns would be minimal, especially if they have some solid walled area where they could get away from drafts.
  3. pdsavage

    pdsavage Sussex Monarch

    Mar 27, 2008
    I had my chicks in the coop in an old kiddie pool with a heat light.
    In fact i have some now out in the coop now in a kiddie pool with a heat light.Not the same coop as the other chicks.
    But they cant get out of the pool nor can they get outside.
  4. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    We are raising our ducklings in the coop. Everyone told me they were extremely messy and required a daily brooder cleaning, so I decided to put them right into the coop.

    The coop is fully insulated. We blocked off half the coop with straw so the duckies can't get too far away from the light. They have a lamp for heat. So far they are doing extremely well, even with the temperature dipping down into the 40s at night.

    As long as there are no drafts, your chicks should be fine.
  5. Heather J

    Heather J Songster

    May 29, 2008
    My first two sets of babies I moved to the coop at two weeks. I think if my new coop is ready when my current batch of eggs hatch, I'll move them out after a couple of days. It's way easier, less messy, less time, and then you aren't moving them around from place to place so they can settle in right away. And like you, there are too many fuzzy animals in my house.
  6. PuffMommy

    PuffMommy In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2008
    Fairfield, CT
    I put mine out in the coop at two weeks with the heat lamp and they did just fine. Made life much easier!
  7. LilBizzy

    LilBizzy Chicken Storyteller

    May 20, 2008
    Mine were outside from day 1. They were in a big rubbermaid container with a heatlamp inside the shed. But me, who does NOT like chickens, and they werent my idea, built them a bigger wooden box . Then I built a temporary outdoor pen when they were 3 or 4 weeks old so they could go outside to play, because the temporary shed situation didn't have enough room to run in. Now, they are 11 weeks old, and Im just waiting for Bird Hearder to build their coop and run.
    I have raised chicks in the house till they were fully feathered, and I didnt see any difference in whether they were in or out as long as they had a safe, snug, warm, dry , draft-free place to hang out.
  8. Weasleymum

    Weasleymum Songster

    Aug 1, 2008
    Thank goodness. Thanks for all the replies, too! I was hoping ya'll would OK this idea. We have a very small house (like less than 850 sqft) and having a smelly, noisy box of chicks in the kitchen, trying to protect them from the cat, just wasn't appealing.

    Now if the bottom of my coop is 3ft by 4ft and I'm getting three chicks, should I partition it to keep them closer together for warmth, or should it be OK as is? I wil hopefully be getting them in a month and I'm in central VA, so it should still be pretty warm outside.
  9. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    They should naturally huddle for warmth. If you see them constantly huddled under the light, you may want to lower it. Likewise, if they are avoiding the light when they sleep, raise it up. They need to have room to avoid the light if they start getting warm, so I wouldn't separate the space up at all.
  10. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    If you are worried about it, go ahead and partition it. I piled up straw in my duck coop so they can't get too far away from the light. I'll take the straw out in a week or so.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: