Smooth Transition to Coop in February

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MedSchlFarmers, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. MedSchlFarmers

    MedSchlFarmers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 5, 2016
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    I've tried to gather information from other posts, but wanted to clarify the best plan of action for my chicks to move outdoors to their coop in the coming weeks. Our lows are in the 30s, highs anywhere from mid 40s to 60s. We are in North Carolina. Our coop is a hybrid run/coop (and we plan to expand the run in the coming months as they get bigger), with that being said, there is not wind protection unless they climb to a roosting bar, which I think is too high at their young age. I've attached a picture of the coop. (Before the chicks go out unattended we will be nailing trim to the top of the hardware cloth so that no predator can try and sneak between the cloth and plywood)

    They are 4 weeks and 1 day. Do I wait to start weaning them from the heat lamp at 6 weeks when fully feathered? Or do I start to wean them now? They moved from the house (65-70 degrees) with heat lamp to the unheated garage with heat lamp last night. They seemed fine this morning, but they were sleeping close together under the lamp. It got down to the 30s outside last night. I also put them outside in the coop for about an hour today for the first time. It was 66 outside and sunny. They seemed a little scared and possibly a little cold. These are our first chickens. The breeds are Orpingtons, Easter Eggers, and 1 Silkie (who is always hiding and warming under someone). Any thoughts for a safe and proper exit strategy?
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  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    This time of year I would brood a little longer, you usually provide heat until brooder temperatures are the same as outdoor temperatures, or your birds are fully feathered, weather now is way different than weather in a couple of months.

    I would keep brooding them in the garage at least at night, during nicer days I would put them in the coop to mess around and become familiar with it but putting them back in the garage with heat at night for a couple of weeks yet.
     
  3. MedSchlFarmers

    MedSchlFarmers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, perfect. Thank you. That's what I was thinking. Is there a picture of a fully feathered chick somewhere on the site? Not sure what I'm looking for, other than the term and age of 6-8 weeks.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Most or all of their baby fluff will be covered in feathers, unfortunately your silkie will always look like fluff, I would also factor in their behavior, whether they are grouping under the light, cold, or far away, hot. I would just keep raising the lamp every week, at about eight weeks they should be good to go without the light.
     
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  5. MedSchlFarmers

    MedSchlFarmers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Perfect. Thanks!
     

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