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time to go in to the brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by toddog, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. toddog

    toddog Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2011
    hi can you please tell me do i wait until my chicks are fully feathered before i put them in my new coop
  2. austinandkara

    austinandkara Out Of The Brooder

    No, you can put them in the coop whenever, as long as they are able to stay warm. They should have a heat lamp available to go under if they do get too cold. You are supposed to wait until they are fully feathered to let them free range/go outside because their feathers can trap heat and keep them warm. I will say, though, that when our hens hatch chicks we just let the hens do the mothering and they take their chicks out to forage within a week of them being hatched.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I really don't have enough information about your circumstances to be able to give you a definite answer. I'll try though.

    Most chicks are fully feathered at 4 to 5 weeks old. Unless you have something unusual going on or severe weather, they should not need supplemental heat after that. I have no idea how cold your nights are inside the coop. Even if your nights are fairly warm, I'd provide supplemental heat until they feather out.

    Chickens of any age usually do not do really well when sleeping in a draft or breeze unless the nights are reasonably warm. I've seen chickens sleep in trees when the night-time temperatures got down to zero Farenheit, but they were in a well protected valley. But basically when they are young, it is best to keep them out of breezes until they are older, even if they are fully feathered.

    My brooder raised chicks usually do not roost until they are 10 to 12 weeks old, so expect yours to sleep in a pile on the floor when you first put them out there. If they have some nice bedding to scrunch down in, like wood shavings or straw, they can do a pretty good job of keeping themselves warm.

    How well are yours acclimated? Are they used to a temperature swing or do you keep them at very warm temperatures all the time? I normally keep one area in my brooder the right temperature but the far corners are usually 20 to 30 degrees cooler. It is not that big a shock to mine when I remove the heat.

    So, can you put them out in the new coop before they are feathered out? I would not without supplemental heat, but you might get away with it. A lot depends on what the coop looks like an your weather. I do think you are taking a risk.
  4. toddog

    toddog Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2011
    ok thanks so much . its about 10 here at night at the moment so i will wait a bit [​IMG]

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