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transferring chicks to coop outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by m2wandc, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. m2wandc

    m2wandc Songster

    Apr 19, 2009
    The learning center says 60 days before putting them in a coop/run, but it seems many of you have done the transfer at much younger ages then 8 weeks...curious???

    What age did you transfer yours?
    What temp was it outside (day & night)?
    How did you go about doing it?

  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Up to 8 week in the house with the brooder and heat lamp
    At 8 weeks, we move them into this brooder outside with the heat lamp


    We leave them in there until they are fully feathered. You can see it is right next to the roost (to the left), so the chicks are visible to the other birds but separated to avoid injury. They are usually in there to about 12 weeks.

    To the left of the brooder, we cut a small opening in the wire and open it during the day, so the chicks can get in and out but the bigger birds won't fit in - a safety net so to speak. We keep that open for 4 weeks, and then put them in with the flock. There is the normal pecking order business but we have not ever had an injured bird following this method.

    Good luck!!!!
  3. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I moved mine out to the coop at two weeks old, and it was under 30 degrees outside. They had two heat lamps and it was draft-free, though. I was SO happy to get them out there and they liked it WAY better than the brooder in the house.

    I have pictures and the whole detailed story on my blog (link in signature). If you are interested, click here:

    I was very happy with the results and would recommend it to anyone that can make the coop draft-free and have heat-lamps in it.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My chicks started out in a shed from the day I received them. This was early April. I don't recall the actual temps. last year, but on average in early April the temps. range from 50s to low 60s during the day and 30s at night. The had their heat lamps and (for the first week) an oil filled electric heater. At two weeks old we moved them to the screened porch (shed was getting too hot during the day from no insulation) with their two heat lamps and a good draft guard. They did absolutely fine. We took their heat lamp away during the day at 4 weeks and for good at 5 1/2 weeks.
    I did have more chicks than you do, but no matter the number I will never brood chicks in the house.
  5. m2wandc

    m2wandc Songster

    Apr 19, 2009
    Hmmmm so my 1.5 week old chicks COULD be AOK if we put them in the coop/run at about 5 weeks of age?

    1) they would be all alone...just the two chicks, not adjusting to larger chickens...

    2) the coop will be draft free...

    3) Hmmm heat lamp out there?


    I'm guessing they will out grow their brooder before it's time to move to the coop... [​IMG] I just asked DH about it and he said "I don't know, let's figure it out when we get there" (but I think it might be here sooner then he's thinking...LOL) [​IMG]

    If I can find the pack n play in the attic, I'm guessing that would be tall enough to accomodate two chicks that want to fly and jump out of the brooder and it could still have a heat lamp in the garage, but might be drafty out there? hmmm what are your thoughts of that situation at approx 5 weeks of age? it gets pretty chilly here at night...
  6. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Mine went outside at 2 weeks old.

    They have their red light in their house, they go in as they need to. It's decently warm (70+ in the daytime) so they can be comfortable outside.

    I let them out in the morning out just like big girls and close them in at night. I don't intend to feed them inside the coop anymore when they learn to sleep through the night.


  7. m2wandc

    m2wandc Songster

    Apr 19, 2009
    Looks like you have a hot wire hooked up...is that for dogs or cats?

    Also, how do you get the heat lamp outside...do you leave extension cords across the lawn, or is there a way to do it without cords???

  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    The white behind their house is MY House, and it's right next to the plug in outlet where my fence energizer hangs. Note the yellow fence insulators on the Tpost in the top right corner.
    I'm using a green "lawn" extension cord - you can see two of them on the ground in the left side of the photo. I don't expect to use the light after they are fully feathered.
    The hot wire is for my neighbor's dog, because I don't have their "real" run built yet and this one isn't predator/dig-under proof.
  9. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    I keep mine in the house until they are 4 weeks old. Depending on the temps outside, they go into a draft free enclosure with a heat lamp if it gets below 40 at night. If it is above 40 the cover comes off and heat lamp put. They do just fine. I keep them in the house with me for 4 weeks. I have had chickens in my house since the beginning of March and frankly. I will be glad in a couple of weeks when this last batch goes out.

    I use either the 20 gal aquarium or the huge plastic clear tub I have as a brooder. Depends on how many I have. And I cover it with a screen. The expandable kind you use for your windows so they get fresh air. I change the bedding everyday. Allong with the water and food.

    I like them inside so I know what is going on with them. I have only lost 1 chick and it had a bad start and was doomed from the beginning. I stepped in and gave it help but it only lived for a week.

    My system seems to work out just fine for me except for the dust.
  10. I started taking the first group outside at a week old, for about 15-20 mins or longer if they were pecking around, trying to fly etc. Same with the second group. By the time they first group was 4 weeks old, they were fully feathered, and staying outside in a chain link dog pen for most of the day. They were absolutely fine with it and enjoyed it. They had two insulated dog houses filled with hay to go if they wanted. I brought them in when the sun started going down and the air was cooler. Obviously there were NOT in a draft free area.

    Around that time, we decided to move them into the coop (10'x20' building with a 20'x30' run. The building is NOT insulated, and has spaces between the boards like a barn does.) with a 100 watt bulb for heat. (BTW, they did NOT use the light, even at 4 weeks old!! Their choice!!!) We also build at 4'x8' "brooder" on top of a table in the coop. The sides were plywood, and in essence, a huge wooden box for the 3 week olds. They had a red heat lamp, and enjoyed cuddling under it at night but during the day, they stayed on the opposite end of the box. Within a week of being in the brooder, I went in to feed one morning, and all chicks had flown out of the brooder, and were in the coop with the 1st group. I let them all out int the run that morning, left the pop door open so the little ones could come back in and get under the light if needed. I moved a heat lamp into the coop area and low enough to the floor for the wee ones. (this group has been much slower to feather on average. Some fully feathered by 5 weeks, and others looking like 3 week olds with lots of fuzz still) I put the babes back in the brooder that night.

    The next morning, they were out with the others again. Now I know I could have covered the brooder, but since everyone was getting along, everyone was content, and warm enough, I decided to let them stay out with the week older gang.

    Then we got 6 chicks who were a week old. They didn't stay in the house at all. STraight into the brooder outside with a heat lamp at night, but not during the day as it was in the high 80's, low 90's by then! At night it would drop down, so they needed the heat. One day it was raining and I left the light on all day. At 2.5 weeks old, this group decided to fly the coop! Went in to check on them, never imaging they could have flown 4 ft high! But they did, and were out in the coop, but staying together. So from 2.5 weeks, they have the option of being outside all day, or staying in the coop.

    This past weekend, the temps were in the 90's and ALL the chicks were laying in the coop, wings spread wide, and PANTING! Forget about draft free!! I put a fan in the gable end of the coop to pull the hot air out, and one box fan in the floor to cool them down. I ended up adding a second box fan! Put ice in the water, and fed them all COLD soured milk with their starter mash. They gobbled every crumb up, and finally cooled off and were comfortable. Those evenings they finally went into the run when it was shaded. Needless to say, they sure didn't need the heat lamp at all those nights, but I did turn the box fans off, and just left the exhaust fan on.

    All that to say, go with your gut and how the chicks are acting. If they are cold or too hot, you'll know, and can deal with it. I don't believe there is a "right and wrong way", because there are always different circumstances.

    I currently have 31 chicks, and they are all locked in the coop at night.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
    1 person likes this.

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