What is the minimum time a chick needs to be in a brooder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by rhackenb, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. rhackenb

    rhackenb New Egg

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    I will be getting my chicks in about two weeks. I will build a brooder based on many of the excellent ideas shown in this forum. What I would like to know is what is the earliest point where I can move them a tractor coop. They will be the only ones in it. Is it a matter of simply maintaining body heat? I could put a lamp in the tractor until they don't need it anymore. Would they be ok at 1 month? I've never raised chickens before so I'm a newbie at this. Thanks.
     
  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    Depends on where you are and what your low temps are like right now. When it's warmer out, I have brooded chicks in a tractor, just shut the door so they couldn't go outside on the ground, and put a heat lamp inside.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Normally I'd say 3 weeks, but thats for warm temps outside.

    Make sure they're fully feathered, Have a warm coop and buddies

    to huddle with [​IMG]


    BTW! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2011
  4. rhackenb

    rhackenb New Egg

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    I live in Indiana. By April 1 it will still be chilly. I think you answered my question. The only issue is keeping them warm. How big do chicks get after one month? My guess is that they are much larger than they were as peeps.

    Thanks for the feedback.
     
  5. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    Chicks are going to need supplemental heat (brooder) until they are fully feathered. Until then start with a temp of 90 and reduce 5 degrees weekly.
     
  6. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Personally, I never take a chick out of the brooder until they are 6 weeks old. At that point they always have all their feathers, and if there is a cold spell, I know they will be ok. I think one time I put them out at 5 weeks, but I wasnt really comfortable with it. Some breeds, like silkies, are, in my opinion, more sensitive to cold, so I just like the extra insurance policy a longer brooder time allows. I dont think a4 week old chick really has all its feathers, there is often still chick fluff around the head and neck, and the under belly.
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Chicks develop in size and flight ability quickly. They need lots of room as they grow, and grow fast they do!!!

    I like to start right out with 3' foot side panels and lots and lots of room for them to scurry around in. I also find that they move in and out of the heat lamp circle at will. By three weeks, many don't even sleep under the lamp, but sleep nearby it. You'll also be amazed, I suspect, at the unholy amount of dust a dozen chicks can produce. Have fun, as they don't stay chicks for very long. They'll be big ol' chickens before you know it.
     
  8. ginormous chicken

    ginormous chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Personally, I never take a chick out of the brooder until they are 6 weeks old. At that point they always have all their feathers, and if there is a cold spell, I know they will be ok. I think one time I put them out at 5 weeks, but I wasnt really comfortable with it. Some breeds, like silkies, are, in my opinion, more sensitive to cold, so I just like the extra insurance policy a longer brooder time allows. I dont think a4 week old chick really has all its feathers, there is often still chick fluff around the head and neck, and the under belly

    6 weeks is the earliest I would put them out. I usually wait until 8 weeks. Silkies 9 weeks!! (I am really protective though). It also depends on temp. Here is the valley of CA summer temps can reach 104 with summer nights dropping to 75. That would be fine at 6 weeks. But last set of chicks I brooded was in Oct. !!! Yeah, I waited until everyone was 8 weeks. Don't get me wrong, I moved them out to the garage, but I still waited. I don't want them to freeze. As far as a light goes, I know some people will put them out with a light before they get their feathers. (Like 3 weeks!) My only fear with that, is that what if predators get them? It is not so much the heat, but opposums, racoons, rats, and hawks, are pretty unscrupulous!​
     
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I keep mine in until 8 weeks. In the summer, I put some out into a grow out coop at 5 weeks because the night time temps never dropped below 70 degrees, which is where five week old chicks need to be on the 24/7 minimum heat scale.
     
  10. Lark Rise

    Lark Rise Chillin' With My Peeps

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