When can I let my chicks out of brooder and into coop full time?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bbecca, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. bbecca

    bbecca Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 3 week chicks are already perching on top of the waterer and a makeshift perch I made of sticks and they are flying around inside the brooder (which is located inside the coop.) One has already flown out of the brooder and freaked out cause she was all alone. I am concerned they will start doing this when I'm not around to help them, as sometimes I don't check on them for quite a few hours. Are they too young for me to just get the rest of the coop ready for them and let them out of brooder now? ....the coop is about 8x8 in size. The coop also has tall ramps that lead up to the nesting boxes and large perches. Is it safe enough for them yet?
     
  2. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I put mine out at 4 weeks, and it was a lot cooler then, lows in the 60's, but they had stopped sleeping under their light at 3 weeks.. I think yours will be fine, what kind are they?
     
  3. bbecca

    bbecca Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @SueT here's 6 of the 7 girls [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG]
    They are buff orpingtons and Plymouth barred rocks. They sleep off to the side of the light for the past week already. In fact I haven't seen them huddled under the light at all for a while now. Temps here are hot during day of 70-80 but cools down to low 50's at night. I'd still leave a red heat lamp on for them inside coop incase they need it....
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Bbecca, I’ve seen two-week-old chicks fly up two feet and horizontal three feet. From watching it was obvious they could have gone a lot further if they wanted to. They were different breeds than yours but the same general size breeds. You do not have to worry about them falling. They may not even use those ramps, thy may just fly up or down.

    I don’t know what your brooder looks like but the only reason I can think of to stop you from just opening the brooder door and walking away is if you have older chickens and you are worried about integration. If you don’t have older chickens, I can’t think of any reason to keep them locked up.

    They have been in that brooder for a while so it is home. Sometimes chickens are afraid of change. It’s possible every one of them could be out of the brooder and in the coop within a few minutes of you opening that door. It’s possible it could take a couple of days before they build up the courage to leave the safety of the brooder. Both are normal reactions. Just open the door and walk away. They will manage. Of course, there is nothing wrong with checking on them occasionally, or maybe regularly.

    I have no idea where they will sleep at night. They may go back into the brooder, especially if it is on the coop floor. They may go somewhere else to sleep, especially if the brooder is elevated. Until they start roosting at night, mine tend to like to sleep in lower spots. But yours could be different. About the only thing consistent with chicken behavior is that they are inconsistent. Each brood is unique and may not follow the rules.

    There is nothing wrong with leaving that lamp on for a while. If they need the heat, they’ll go to it. If they don’t they may not. It’s possible, maybe even probable, that they will continue to sleep where they always have as long as you don’t remove the brooder. There is no magic age to remove the heat source. One summer in temperatures a lot warmer than yours I turned the daytime heat off at 2 days, the overnight heat off at 5 days. Their body language told me they did not need the heat. In winter I sometimes leave the heat on until 5 weeks. Even with overnight lows at or below freezing mine don’t need it after that. My brooder is 3’ x 6’ and is also in the coop.

    From my experience and what you have described, you are good to go.
     
  5. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Those are good photos! Very cute. They are already getting cold hardy, but you could watch and see if they need the light for another couple weeks as their feathers grow in. It seems funny you call 70 to 80 hot. We have 90-100 here! Our TV weatherman actually said this morning we will be having a 'big cool down' and it will be in the 80's this week!
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Bbecca doesn't tell us where she is. Modifying your profile to show a general location can help our understanding on questions like this.

    SueT, I’m looking forward to that temporary cooldown. Since you provide a location I can tell you are in my general area. Whenever I go outside to do much of anything in the garden or just general stuff I change into work clothes. It’s been so hot and humid I go through two to three work shirts a day, they are soaking wet in no time. I just rinse them out at the end of the day and hang them on a line to dry. Saves a lot of laundry. I rinsed three shirts and a pair of socks last night.

    Several decades ago I spent a year in London. They had a heat wave that summer, it got up into the upper 80’s for a few weeks. With their normal heavy clothing and the way the houses are built people were dying from that heat, mainly the elderly that were weak to start with and were pretty much trapped in those hot houses that just would not cool down. Their houses were built to conserve heat, not cool down. Warm woolen clothing was common. There is more to handling the heat that just the temperatures. It’s what you are used to and how you live. Those 80’s or maybe even upper 70’s sound deliciously cool to me right now but to some people they can be pretty warm. But to chickens they should be very comfortable.
     
  7. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Right, Ridgerunner, about the muggy heat....changing clothes, also frequent showers. We live north of Joplin. Waiting for that big cool down...
     

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