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Transitioning to Coop Advice

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by vdunn, May 25, 2017.

  1. vdunn

    vdunn In the Brooder

    Feb 28, 2017
    Morris Township, NJ
    Hi Everyone,
    My girls are between 5-6weeks old and I think I am babying them with heat, food, and light. Please excuse the appearance of the brooder since I just got home. The girls still like to huddle under the heat lamp at times and are in the garage. Sometimes I find them roosting away from the heat and puffballs. The thermometer is 80-85 degrees under lamp. I really want to move them to the coop but it doesn't have electricity. They appear to have sufficient feathers. Temp outside 50's-low 70's day and 50's at night. In New Jersey. Should I start by turning off the lamp in brooder at night leaving them in garage? I feel like they have no sense of Day and Night and eat and drink all the time. Or should I run electricity and put lamp in coop as they adjust? Do I also keep food and water in the coop or just the run? Sorry lot's of questions.Please any advice would be great!! Thanks in advance ,

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  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    IMO reduce their brooder temp to your ambient temps first for a few days. And then you should be able to move them out. You can turn off their brooder light and see how they react - likely, they will just sleep.
  3. vdunn

    vdunn In the Brooder

    Feb 28, 2017
    Morris Township, NJ
  4. vdunn

    vdunn In the Brooder

    Feb 28, 2017
    Morris Township, NJ
    thank you. I appreciate the advice.
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    You can start by turning the lamp off during the day. They will complain b/c they have been spoiled, and do not like change. We have a weekend coming up. If you are able to be home to supervise, you can put them out in the coop during the day, and bring them back to the garage for the night. They DON'T need a heat lamp at all. But, they will benefit from a hardening off period. This correlates to gardening. If you take those tomato seedlings from a green house environment, and stick them right into the garden, they are going to complain bitterly, and not perform well. Chicks and tomatoes need to be gradually exposed to outdoor temps. After a couple of days of hardening off, you will feel more confident to turn them loose!

    My chicks were brooded in their outdoor coop with heating pads and were weaned from pad at 4.5 weeks, with night time temps dipping into 40's, and lots of nasty cold rainy days as well.
    azygous likes this.
  6. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Yes, you are overly pampering your chicks, possible to their detriment. It's time to wean them off heat. They were ready a couple weeks ago. They are using the heat lamp as a sun substitute now, not as a replacement for lost body heat. Chickens enjoy the feeling of warmth on their feathers because the sun is an important source of vitamin D. But they do not need it any longer to replace lost body heat as their feathers keep that from occurring.

    Do as the others have suggested. Turn off the heat lamp. Let them spend days outdoors with a choice of sun and shade. After a few days, you may move them into the coop to sleep. Since they've not experience day and night, a dim night light in the coop for a couple of nights will ease this transition and reassure them of the security of their new surroundings.
    TominWa and sunflour like this.
  7. vdunn

    vdunn In the Brooder

    Feb 28, 2017
    Morris Township, NJ
    Ok, Thank you! I turned lamp off last night and they were fine this morning. Will take them outside tomorrow and move to coop at night maybe Sunday.

  8. kitkat5505

    kitkat5505 Songster

    Apr 25, 2017
    When I transitioned mine to the coop at around 7 weeks I first started turning the lamp off during the day because it was getting hot during the day but still getting near freezing many nights. They do still have the lamp on in the coop at night ;extension cord going to coop), but only because we have a couple 4 week chicks in the brooder that we moved into the coop too. I'm thinking another week and they'll be feathered out enough to join the big girls completely and we can stop using the lamp. Our lamp actually was off most of one night last week due to rain shorting the cord and they were fine.
    sunflour likes this.
  9. We fast-tracked a transition from indoors to the coop with three little ones last year: https://polloplayer.wordpress.com/2016/03/12/forwarding-address-roost-bar-norththe-coop/

    But I think they were 8 weeks old by the time we actually had them sleeping in the coop. My guess is that it will :probably: be okay...I'm a worrier though so if it was me I would wait it out another week or so. But I only had three and you have five so maybe they can huddle together for body heat...
  10. TominWa

    TominWa Songster

    Apr 16, 2017
    Montesano Wa.
    My Coop
    If I would have listened to you when you gave me the same advise a few weeks ago my life would have been a lot easier....and the chickens happier. I babied them way too much. Listen to azygous.

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