The Big Day--Moving to Outside Coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Ashley Pederson, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. Ashley Pederson

    Ashley Pederson Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 22, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Hello!

    My first batch of chicks are now 7 weeks old and getting rambunctious in their 2'x4'x2' indoor brooder box. We have five of the little darlings: a Rhode Island Red, Buff Brahma, Barred Rock, Gold Laced Wyandotte and Ameraucana. The hubby finally finished building our coop and run this past weekend and I am wondering whether it would be ok to move them out to their coop to give them a bit more room.

    The average weather has been in the mid-low 40s at night and in the low-mid 60s during the day. I know they would be fine during the day, I am just a little concerned about the temp drop at night. He installed a hook to mount their brooder light in the coop and there is an outdoor electrical outlet nearby, so we would be able to hang their heat lamp inside.

    I am pretty sure they have all their big-girl feathers as they no longer have any visible chick fluff. I have been doing a lot of reading on the subject and have seen mixed reviews, so I thought I would take advantage of the vast amount of chicken knowledge here [​IMG]! Sorry if I seem like an over-worried chicken mom. It's truly amazing how quickly the little beasts can work their way into your heart and my two young daughters would be inconsolable if anything happened to "their cheep-cheeps".

    Thank you so much for your advice!
     
  2. Ashley Pederson

    Ashley Pederson Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 22, 2014
    Portland, OR
    We live in Portland, OR if that gives anyone a better idea of the weather patterns. I know there are a lot of urban chickens in Portland, so I'm sure several of their humans have found their way into this forum.
     
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    They'll be fine. They'll be mad at you for a day or two, but they get over it, I promise. Mine were 5.5 weeks when I put them out, mostly feathered but still some fuzz around their heads. I just couldn't handle the dust one more day. The coop wasn't even finished yet - we worked around them after they went out.

    The first night I worried all night long. Our daytime temps struggled to get to the 40s and at night it was in the 20s. I put a wireless thermometer out there with the receiver next to my bed. Big mistake. The first night I kept waking up and watching that thermometer fall. I had put a heat lamp out there, but was it enough? I didn't think so. I kept getting out of my nice warm bed, putting on my boots with my jammies, and checking on the little darlings. They were fine every time I went out - I was freezing! Every time I got up and looked in on them they were all snuggled in the corner next to the pop door - and on the opposite side from the heat lamp. Second night I checked on them only once - they were still just fine, and still not under the heat lamp. The third day the heat lamp came out - I wasn't going to risk a coop fire for something they clearly didn't need. That night it snowed, and we got our last snowfall on June 6th. Every one of those chicks survived, thrived, and aside from the ones I gave to a lady who had lost her flock, all are still with us, laying eggs and being chickens!

    They do need care, that's true, but I've come to the conclusion that they are not the delicate little flowers we make them out to be. Mom doesn't sit on them constantly for 8 or 9 weeks, so why should I? Mine probably celebrated when the daytimes hit the 60s and nighttimes warmed up to the 40s. Right now I have a group of chicks out in the run with nothing more for heat than a heating pad over a straw cave. 11 of them are 2 weeks old and 4 of them are 1 week old. The week-olds have been out there since they were day-olds, the two weekers went out after their first 6 days here, but only because my husband was in the hospital and we hadn't finished the outdoor brooder yet. They are absolutely thriving - they eat, drink, poop and play well, and when they get chilled they run under Mama Heating Pad for a quick warm-up.
     
  4. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At 7 weeks & fully feathered they will be fine at those night time temps, even without the light, especially if they're sleeping on the ground.
    I turned mine out several weeks ago at 5-1/2 weeks and had them sleeping on the roosts like regular chickens but it never got much colder than around 45* at night.
     
  5. Ashley Pederson

    Ashley Pederson Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 22, 2014
    Portland, OR
    Thank you for the reassurance. Another question I have been debating is whether to keep their chick food and water founts with them in their coop for the couple of days they are restricted in there and wait to add the larger founts until they begin eating and drinking in their run, or should I go ahead and invest in the larger metal founts now and put them in the coop to get them used to it now? Space isn't really a factor in the coop--we were warned about "chicken math" ahead of time and build the coop to be large enough to house 12 chickens comfortably so we wouldn't have to rebuild when we eventually added to our flock of five.
     
  6. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It don't matter. It depends on how often you want to refill the feeders & waterers.
    Personally I'm lazy and if I have to fill feeders & waterers more than once a day I get more or bigger waterers & feeders.
     

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