1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

when can i move my buff orp chicks outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wildriverswolf90, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. wildriverswolf90

    wildriverswolf90 Chillin' With My Peeps

    7,488
    44
    243
    Aug 4, 2011
    polk county, NC
    Hi I'm new at raising chicks and have 8 buff orps. I live north carolina and the days have been high 80's and lo 90's and nites are in high 70. So I'm wondering when they could go in the coop? Again I'm new to all and any tips on anything would be a great help. Thanks in advance:D
     
  2. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    411
    10
    123
    Apr 27, 2011
    Kingsville, MD
    If your brooder temp is higher then your night temps, they can go outside. But wait until they are fully feathered in case of rain.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,945
    3,104
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    if your nights are in the high 70's and they are not in a draft, I'd go with 3 weeks old. Usually I'd say after 4 to 5 weeks when they are fully feathered out, but in those temperatures, 3 weeks is fine.

    1st week - 0 to 7 days old - 90 to 95 degrees.
    2nd week- 8 to 14 days old - 85 to 90 degrees.
    3rd week - 15 to 21 days old - 80 to 85 degrees
    4th week - 22 to 28 day sold - 75 to 80 degrees.

    I consider this chart very safe. They can usually handle cooler temperatures than this but with these numbers, you should have absolutely no problems.
     
  4. SqueakyRoseShalom

    SqueakyRoseShalom Chillin' With My Peeps

    111
    1
    101
    Mar 17, 2011
    If you are concerned about them being warm enough at night, you can always run an extension cord out to the coop and put a brooder lamp on at night until they are at least 4 weeks old. Be sure that the lamp is well secured because you don't want it to fall in the pine shavings and start a fire![​IMG] That would be sad and dangerous![​IMG] So how old are the chicks? Congrats, by the way, on becoming a chicken parent- it's the best!![​IMG]

    and [​IMG]
     
  5. wildriverswolf90

    wildriverswolf90 Chillin' With My Peeps

    7,488
    44
    243
    Aug 4, 2011
    polk county, NC
    Thank you all so much for ya'lls advice. My chicks are only 3 days old and I'm truly enjoying the parenting. The brooder I have'em in already seems to small (its a xlarge rubbermaid containe). But I will keep them in till they are 4 weeks!
     
  6. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    6,115
    65
    281
    Oct 18, 2009
    Connecticut
    Quote:Hi and welcome to BYC! You've gotten spot-on advice in reply to your question already. You are right that the Rubbermaid container is small for 8 chicks. For this week they should be fine but there's no way they should be kept in a pen that size for the next four weeks- they grow at an UNBELIEVABLE rate and you will not believe how big they are by four weeks! Take photos of them at various intervals each week and then go back and look in two months or so. It's amazing.

    Do you have an alternate brooder arrangement that you can come up with? I'd start thinking about one if not. Can they go into your coop?
     
  7. wildriverswolf90

    wildriverswolf90 Chillin' With My Peeps

    7,488
    44
    243
    Aug 4, 2011
    polk county, NC
    My coop is ready and I can run and secure a heat lamp out there but it has a large window. Do you have any ideas for alternate brooders? Or would my coop work if I covered the window to stop a draft? Also I have 1 roo in the bunch can he eat layer feed when older?
     
  8. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    6,115
    65
    281
    Oct 18, 2009
    Connecticut
    Quote:As long as it's warm enough for them inside the coop, I wouldn't worry about a draft. It's the cold drafts in cooler seasons that can be problematic for chicks.

    If you run a heat lamp to your coop PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE be sure to secure it in at LEAST two, if not three, different ways, so in case one fails the others will prevent it from causing a fire.

    I have very successfull used cardboard boxes for many, many batches of chicks. I start with a large box, line it with doggie piddle pads (b/c of the absorbent padding, if there's a water spill it will save the cardboard from being ruined). In the first week of the chicks' lives, I line the top of the doggie pads with paper towels (to avoid spraddle leg. Never use newspaper.) Then, I switch over to pine shavings on top of the piddle pads after the first week and change them as needed.

    When the chicks get bigger and need more space, I make them a "chicken condo" by putting two cardboard boxes together with duck tape and cutting out a "window" in between the two boxes (lining the window with duck tape so shavings don't get in between the two boxes) for them to be able to walk through. I usually leave the heat lamp on one end and the food/water on the other end of the condo. When they need more heat, they'll congregate near the lamp, when they don't, they won't. I like to put a little roost into the box as well so they can get practice for their big chick days. It should not be round though, they're not parakeets. [​IMG] Add more large cardboard condo rooms as needed.

    You will know when it's time to put something on top of the brooder to prevent them from flying or jumping out. I use window screening. You may never reach this age when you need to cover the brooder b/c they may be ready to live in your coop. I have used this system primarily in the dead of winter when it's too cold out even for 6-8 week old babies.

    It sounds like you should be good to go with your coop though, so if you can get them out there, that'd be ideal. They don't have to be confined to a box inside the coop (as long as they're the only chickens in there). Just put the heat lamp in one corner and they'll go there if they are cold.

    It's a good idea to keep chickens of any age confined to the inside of the coop for a week or two before letting them out into the run. This accomplishes two things: #1) it reinforces the expected location for roosting at night (so you don't find yourself having to chase them to go in at dusk) and #2) it familiarizes them with the location of the nesting boxes for future use. After a couple of weeks, they can go into the run for another week or two but don't let them free range yet. Again, it reinforces going into the coop at night. I always use this technique for new additions to the coop and it works amazingly well.

    Good luck and have fun with your new babies!
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,945
    3,104
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The window should be over their heads where the drafts should not be blowing directly on them. They will be sleeping in the floor for a few weeks. I have had brooder raised chicks start roosting at 5 to 6 weeks, but mine usually wait until they are 10 to 12 weeks old. Some people have reported waiting even longer, sometimes months longer. With 8, they can sleep in a bunch on the floor snuggled in the bedding and keep each other warm. So unless the open window is on floor level, it should not be a problem. It does need to be predator proof though. I covered mine with hardware cloth.

    If you can keep them in the house about a week, the coop should work great as a brooder since you have no older chickens. I strongly agree with securing the heat lamp. Throw that clamp away that comes with it so you are not even tempted to depend on it. Use something very strong and secure it a couple of different ways. All you need to do is to keep one area warm and don't worry about the rest. I keep my brooder in the coop and only heat one area. The far corners are often 20 to 30 degrees cooler. They play all over the brooder and only go back to the heat when they need to, which really is not all that often. They will find their own comfort zone.

    Interesting question on the Layer feed for the rooster. Many of us feed Layer and don't seem to have any bad effects. The only chickens that need the extra calcium in Layer are the hens that are actively laying eggs. But that extra calcium does not harm adult chickens. Their mature bodies can handle it. It is growing chicks that are in danger, with avian gout being the risk. Instead of Layer, some people feed Grower or Flock Raiser to their flocks with oyster shell on the side, partly because of worrying about what the extra calcium is doing to their non-laying part of the flock. A very standard way of feeding a flock with both chicks and laying hens is feeding Starter, Grower, or Flock Raiser with oyster shell on the side. Those that need it eat it and those that don't may experiment with it but don't eat enough to harm themselves. The Grower or Flock Raiser has all the nutrition they need, except for the excess calcium.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by