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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mystery Peepers, May 5, 2009.
My chicks are about 4-5 weeks old. Can I put them in a out door coop this weekend?
you should be able to if it's fairly warm or if you put a heat lamp in the coop... they probably aren't fully feathered yet and so won't be able to insulate their body heat as well as a full grown chicken.
It's been about 65-75 here during the day and about 50-60 at night. Is that warm enough for them without using a heat lamp?
"here" meaning tennessee
with temps in the 50's at night, I would still use a heat lamp at night for a little bit.
I just got my chicks and I am shooting for the 4 - 6 week time frame for the move to the big coop! By then it will be June in MA and should be plenty warm to support them outside. If I see a cold night coming, I will throw the heat lamp in there to keep them toasty for the evening.
My 5 wk old chicks have been out in the big coop for the last week. I've had a light out there, but they've opted for the opposite corner from there to spend their nights. Though I've blocked the wind, this coop is very well ventilated. Its been in the 50'60's at nite. They are fully feathered, however. I'll be putting my banties out in another week.
We put our chicks out in the coop at 3 weeks old and they've done fine. We do have the heatlamp in there at night but they're out foraging during the day. They seem so happy to be out instead of cooped up in a brooder! Our temps have been running what you mentioned.
I will tell you something - they should have heat until fully feathered. However, we moved this weekend and have not made a brooder for the babes yet (only 4) so they are in a rabbit cage in the hen house (with no door) and no heat. I have been worried sick about they every night. No trouble. The hens pile up in front of the cage at night!!!! I have never seen anything like it! I do NOT recommend putting them in the coop yet - you need to wait until they are fully feathered. Do you have other chickens?
The thing about heat/no heat is that a chick will feather in much, much faster if they NEED the feathers. I raised hatchery chicks in the house last year and it took 7 weeks for them to feather in. (Not a fan of brooding indoors - smell/dust ) This winter, I let the broody raise her chicks in my unheated barn and they were completely feathered in at 3 weeks!!!! As day-olds they were out playing/running around all day with occasional tuck-ins under mama hen (in 17 deg temps) and slept under mama hen when it would fall to nearly 0. So I think we coddle them too much....
However you need to gradually wean yours. They can't go from 80-90 deg brooder to even a 70 deg coop without some adjustment or you'll shock their systems.
I really have to agree with this last comment. My chicks were in an intermediate brooder during the 3rd-4th week and had an outdoor area about 7 ft circumference outside. The feathered in very quickly. There was no adaptation needed for them. I've had chickens for approx 30 years and don't put them in harms way unnecessarily. They aren't feeling harmed in their coop....at all! I won't hesitate to put the next set in with them in their time.