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when can they go in the run?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by krys2000, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. krys2000

    krys2000 In the Brooder

    MY chicks are nearly 6 weeks old and OMG, do they stink! I live in Colorado and the nights are still cool. We have our coop & run built, it's in an area of the yard that is relatively sheltered from our wind. Can I put them out there, at least during the day? Also, will they need nesting boxes right away? Thanks! [​IMG]

  2. Baymen Moe

    Baymen Moe Songster

    Jan 17, 2009
    Pembroke, Ma.
    At six weeks you can put them out if the temps are ok. You could even put them out there for good if you can have a heat source for them until they are done with it. I brooded my chicks in my coop and they were going outside the coop at 4-5 weeks if I remember correctly. My chicks did fine with night temps in the upper 30's to low 40's with a heat lamp.

    You do not need nest boxes until they are laying age although it won't do any harm in putting them in now.
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    At six weeks they are ready to be weaned off their heat lamp and be in their coop. The general rule of thumb says:

    90 to 95 the first week, reducing by 5 degrees a week (here's the part everybody seems to forget) until such time as you are down to 70 degrees, end of week 5, at which time chicks normally do not require supplemental heat.

    Properly weaned off their heat lamp six week old chicks can do just fine in a draft free coop; even with nighttime temps. in the 40s or so. Keep them in their coop for about a week without access to their run. That should be long enough to imprint the coop as home in their little brains and that's where they'll want to return each night.

    ETA: IMHO, heat lamps and coops don't mix. They are more of a risk than they are worth.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  4. NYRIR

    NYRIR Songster

    May 13, 2010
    Agreed...by this age they should be feathered enough to handle the temps...but if they are used to the heat..I would try to wean them down.My chicks go outside woithout a heat lamp by 6 weeks old.
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    At 6 weeks I'd definitely have them out in the run during the day as long as the daytime temps are around 70 degrees (I would think most folks in the US are having those daytime temps by now). At night, as long as their housing is secure and draft free, then I'd feel confident about them as long as the temps were around 50 degrees or higher (without a lamp). Of course that assumes that they've been acclimated a bit to cooler temps - not on the lamp or kept in a really warm area...
    I'd have my nest boxes up by the time they're 16 weeks or so just to give them time to accept them and explore them for a few weeks before they start laying...

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