so HOW do you transition your chicks from brooder to coop?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 3, 2008
We have 8 5 week old chicks, and finished up our coop and run today! We have the heat lamp out there, and made sure they had found thier feed and water before we locked them up for the night. I am wondering if I did the right thing!?? I've checked on them and they are having a hard time falling asleep... should I have waited and let them adjust to the palace a little each day?? How do you transition your birds?? Once you do, do you lock them up for a few days before letting them in the run?

also fyi- they have had a few hours of outside time when the weather is nice, in a small 4x6 playpen my husband built for them...and they LOVED the space and sun and dirt! BUT they also liked to be placed back into thier box at night...
. no more little box...
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The Great Guru of Yap
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
The Carpal Tunnel Rehab Center
Well.... We had ours indoors for 4 weeks, then my beloved fiance built a mini coop next to the older birds coop. So they can get to know each other. It's working, we put the babies in with them for a bit today and there was no problem except for my piggy BO shooing all the chicks away so she could squeez her fat butt into their coop and eat their food. We put them back in their mini coop because we realized it is too soon yet.

Heather J

11 Years
May 29, 2008
If you don't have any adult birds, your babies should be fine. I would definitely keep them locked in their coop for several days so they can adjust to the new space and learn where 'home' is. Possibly even for a week, but that's your call depending on how they are adjusting. It may take a day or two for them to adjust to their surroundings, but they'll be fine. If you were adding babies to a coop with adults, I would suggest keeping them separate in their own wired-off space for a while yet, but it'll be just great.

When you open the pop door so they can get into the run, expect them to be nervous and not to go running for the outside the first day. It may take a few days for them to adjust and decide they want to go out, and to decide the run is safe and everything.

Congrats on finishing the coop and run--I wish I could say mine was done!

Sunny Side Up

Count your many blessings...
11 Years
Mar 12, 2008
Loxahatchee, Florida
My chicks usually gather every evening in a big pig pile in a corner of their pen and yeep & cheep for about an hour before sleeping. I don't think they're distressed, it just seems to be something they do. The chicks that are raised by hens don't do this, they just snuggle quietly with their moms.

But for safety's sake I try to keep my chicks in some kind of box or cage up on my enclosed porch every night until they're maybe 8-10 weeks (or until I tire of the extra chore). In my area there are corn snakes that will kill & try to eat chicks at night. They are also irresistable tender treats for other predators, and extra vulnerable when they sleep in a corner of their pen instead of up on their roosts.

But if your coop is good & secure, and you've got it warm with the heat lamp, your chicks will be all right, even if they yeep & cheep for an hour before sleep. I wish them, and you, great success!


Opa-wan Chickenobi
12 Years
May 11, 2008
Howell Michigan
My birds always spend a great deal of time jostling for roost position but eventually they settle down and sleep. I think most of us tend to overthink raising chickens. We all worry to much. If you birds are all about the same size the transition from brooder to coop is simply moving them into their new quarters.
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Hilltop Farm
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
My Coop
My Coop
Mine were just over a month old when I put them in their coop with their brooder. I left the brooder open so they could explore the coop but kept the pop door closed for the first few days. Then I opened the pop door and let them out into their run with the run gate closed for another month, then let them out into the yard. I had them in the winter so I always left on a red heat lamp in the coop that they could get under to warm up.

Linda in San Diego

11 Years
May 11, 2008
San Diego
LOL, that is tough to answer. Ours were 5 weeks old, but the outside temps were 100 in the days and only slightly cooler at night. At first they stayed in the coop and then we started letting them out during the day.

But I must add that for at least 2 weeks we had a red heat lamp pointed to one corner of the coop, just in case they needed it.

But, no matter, they chose the corner closest to the house to huddle in, later they started to perch.

Now they are laying, except the Barred Rocks, and they are doing very well.

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