Time to move the girls outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by eric777, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. eric777

    eric777 Hatching

    Jan 17, 2011
    Our two 8 week old BO's hens are fully feathered, and happily living in a large moving box in our garage. The heat lamp has been off for 2 weeks, and they seem to be doing fine with indoor garage temps that drop into the high 40's at night.

    Is this the right time to move them into a temporary coop outside? I'd like to keep then there until they are bigger (12+ weeks), when we can then slowly integrate them into our flock of 6 other hens.

    The temporary coop has a small run, and enclosed hen house that is draft free with nice bedding of shaved wood, but no power supply for a heat source like a light bulb. We have had a few cool spells here (for California at least) recently where the temps outside have dropped into the high 20's., but most nights are in the 30's or 40's.

    Is this the right time to move them outside, or should I wait longer?

    Ideas? Recommendations? Experiences?

  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I think they'll do fine being moved out...that's not a big temperature difference. I would be sure to shut their pop door each night to keep the cool out as much as possible. [​IMG] I'm sure they'll love the little run!!
  3. bluere11e

    bluere11e Songster

    Feb 8, 2011
    West Palm Beach
    They should be good and feathered by now, how ever, they are still youngsters and should be subject to extreme temps. Put them out during the day when the weather is mild. Find a place that has some sand that they can give themsleves a little dustbath. When the temp drops, get them back intide. OR make sure they have a draft free area in their cage and put a light out there for them..[​IMG]
  4. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    I moved my 20 Cornish chicks at 5 wks old outside last week and they are doing fine, started to smell up my brooder room and I don't do inside chickens at all what so ever, except my little hatchlings for obvious reasons.

  5. eric777

    eric777 Hatching

    Jan 17, 2011
    Thanks for all of your replies. I'll give it a try this weekend...

    The weather looks good over the next 7-10 days with the night time lows in the 40's so I think our girls should be fine.

    I'll report back to the forum with any interesting findings.....
  6. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    I had my (12) 5-6 weeks old out side with heat only when it was below 25 or so for a week. Then I took the heat away. They did well all winter! The temps then were highs in 40's-50's and lows in 20's-30's They were fully feathered out and did great!

  7. eric777

    eric777 Hatching

    Jan 17, 2011
    I think this process might take a while.....

    They spent all day Saturday in the coop, but when we checked on them throughout the day, they had not ventured into the henhouse.

    We tried putting them directly in the henhouse, but they did not like it one bit. They came bolting down the ramp. And not once could we get the to try going up the ramp to explore the henhouse.

    We even sprinkled some feed on each of the steos going up.....nope, that did get them to go up the ramp into the henhouse either.

    And when night fell, we checked on them, and they were huddled together on the floor of the run.

    Because of this, we have been bringing them back to the brooder in the garage at night, and taking them back out to the coop in the morning. Not ideal.

    Any ideas on how to get them to go up to the henhouse at night, or over in the day just to explore?

  8. KatieBugg

    KatieBugg Songster

    Dec 21, 2010
    Holts Summit, MO
    I think I would just shut them in the hen house for several days and then open the pop door after they get used to the hen house.
  9. moetrout

    moetrout Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    I would shut them in for a few days and also consider a night light for them. Chickens don't naturally want to go into a dark place. You said you don't have power so go to home depot and get one of those cheap (less than 4 bucks) solar walkway lights. You can easily modify it to be a night light in the coup. I just stick mine in a window and it is just enought light to encourage them to go in at night.
  10. eric777

    eric777 Hatching

    Jan 17, 2011
    Great suggestions.....

    I added a battery powered LED nightlight in the henhouse, which cast a good deal of light and turned the dark, scary henhouse into something more inviting.

    So after a while, the girls became curious and went up to take a look. When the sun went down outside, they stayed up there....amazing!

    I checked this morning, and they were down in the run, but were also having fun going up and down the ramp to the henhouse.

    Thanks for all of your help....and in just 8 more weeks, we can start to integrate the girls with our other 6 hens.

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