Ready for the coop?


May 9, 2015
Good morning! We have chicks who are almost 7 and 8 weeks (half the flock is almost 7 the other half 8 wks). 6 birds total...wondering if they can go in the coop now? We are in NE PA it is 70-80 during the day and about 50-55 at night. I'm worried about them being too cold at night. What do you think?
I am just a beginner and mine are still inside, but I read that they should be fully feathered. Anyway I hope someone answers because I would like to know as well.
It's a misconception that chicks need to be raised in a brooder. The only two hard and fast requirements for chick well being are heat (free from drafts) and safety. If those criteria can be satisfied, chicks can be kept anywhere, even outdoors in a coop.

Many of us already have older chickens in our coops, so putting chicks in the coop too soon may violate the safety aspect. But if you have a coop, and these are your first chickens, then you would have been able to install them in your coop from day one.

In fact, I'm expecting a shipment of chicks next week, and they will be living outdoors with the rest of the flock right from the start. I have a grow-out pen, fenced off and secure from the rest of the flock where the chicks will be living. My heat source will be the "Mama heating pad" chick cave that has been the talk of this forum over the past few months. The chicks will have both heat and safety so there's no need for a brooder.

No matter the heat source you choose, as long as the chicks have heat, you can go ahead and move them into the coop at any time, regardless of whether they have a full set of feathers or just fuzzy down.
Very interesting. I'm going to check out this mama heating pad. Thanks

How do you keep them from pecking g the cord? I'm assuming this is a regular heating pad with towels to protect the pad. Is it she to high or low?
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Most electric cords are sturdy enough chickens aren't going to damage them even if they peck them. It's been my experience chickens don't persist in messing with non-edible items. This hasn't proved to be a problem so far with any of the folks who have been using this method.

Chicks in the first week need the pad low and touching their backs and the temp control on high. After the second or third week, the pad should be raised up to around six inches, four at the rear of the cave, and turned down to a medium setting. Newer pads with an automatic two-hour shut-off won't work for this use unless they have a auto-shut-off by-pass switch. The heating pad needs to remain on all the time.
So they still need heat at night then. No electricity out by the coop and it's pretty far from the house. Guess I'll keep them in a little longer until it's a tad warmer at night
I'm near albany NY so even farther north than PA...our temps have been the same pretty much and I moved my 4 week olds out to the coop last week...I hung their heat lamp in there and turned it on only at night for the couple nights it dipped into the long as its above 50 I'm not turning the heat lamp on. I shut most the windows and leave a few vents cracked open for airflow but they have been fine all week...2 more weeks and I'll be leaving vents totally open at night

at 7 weeks your more than ready to move to the coop...dont bother with the heat lamp they will be just fine at night

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