When can I put them in a coop?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Jun 7, 2008
Central Massachusetts
I have six rhode island red chicks doing very well. They are almost a month old, perhaps three weeks, it's hard to tell (I bought them at a co-op and they were mailed there).

When can I finally move them outside to their coop and run? Granted, I am in MA and so far this June has been more like May or April but soon the jet stream will shift and we should be in the 80s.

Any help? 60 days is a long time.
Last edited:
At 3 weeks they need temps. of 80 to 85. By five weeks they can tolerate 70 to 75 degrees, sometimes even less if the coop is draft free.
If you can put a heat lamp out there for them, even with a temporary setup, they can go out now.
I put mine out at 3 weeks. They have their heat lamp and love it out there. I had to put the heat lamp on a timer some days, like on a 1/2 hour and off a 1/2 hour to keep it at around 80 for them.

I only let them out in the run when the grass/ground is dry and they've been out at 70 degrees in the sun and did great.

With the weather we've been having, I'm starting to think I picked the wrong year to get chicks!

Good luck!
60 days? I don't brood in the house, period. Get them outside.

OK, nighttime lows in Boston are about 70. At 4 weeks they should not even need heat. If you want to ease the transition and they are still under a light/heat in the house, turn it off for a night or two, then take them out. Meanwhile, take them out during the day for a while. If you are really nervous about it, run an extension cord to the coop and hang a light for a few days. Not necessarily a heat lamp; a 100w bulb should do it.

I hate to see these recommendations to brood indoors for 2 months. Poor things must be going nuts by then. Chickens are mini dinosaurs and survived all these ages without electricity just fine. A week or two in the winter, if you must, but really.... Especially in the summer, it makes no sense to me. There is nothing healthy for people or chickens about indoor brooding, IMHO.

An extension cord and a little common sense about drafts and warmth for a few weeks is all that is needed to raise them in a coop. Or better yet, a good broody. Mama hens raise chicks in winter and have them outdoors in below freezing temps in a few days. They return to mama, get warm, then go back to pecking around outdoors.

I have one chick who hatched today under a broody. It would not even stay under mama this afternoon. Too hot, I'm sure.
Last edited by a moderator:
I have four 6 week old RIR's and they have been outside for just about 3 weeks now - and loving every minute of it! I do run a heat lamp at night to keep them toasty but most of that is for my other younger chicks (three 3 - 4 week old EE's). I haven't been really concerned about the temps as much as the constant rain and raw weather we have been having. I know my little girls will do fine in the cool weather, I just want to make sure they stay dry!!! Get them outside!!! Good luck, keep us posted.
My chicks were brooded in my coop and are now aroung 5-6 weeks old. They have had no heat lamp for three nights now and are doing great. In fact the cool morning we had here a few days ago, low 40's, they dashed out of the coop as usual when I opened the pop door and stayed out.

Now, I have been worried about the rain issue a bit but I guess my chicks are smarter than I thought. They take cover in the coop during this crappy weather.

When it's time to shut things down at night the chicks tussle and wrestle for the best sleeping spot. I let them be for a while then when I check on them a while later they're all nestled together warm and safe and fast asleep.

Put them out, but provide the heat lamp if you want to, but I'd say only at night then transition them to no heat.

My birds are thriving. You should do fine.

I have a question about this also....I have a range of babies right now, from 3.5 weeks right upto new borns. Everyone is in the house for now.

When should I put them in the coop and how will my rooster and other hens react to the newbies? What is the safest way to introduce them together and how old should they be?
Just when I have a question, I arrive at the message board and discover that someone else had the same question. Thanks for asking - I think I'll let my girls stay outside tonight, if I can get them to figure out the ladder into the coop

Having them in the basement is getting very messy!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom