When exactly can I move the chicks outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by New Chickadee, May 16, 2011.

  1. New Chickadee

    New Chickadee Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2011
    Ventura, CA
    From what I've read, the chicks/pullets can go outside once they've "feathered." But when is this? I've also read that the temp can be decreased by 5 degrees per week. So if our night time lows are in the upper 50s, does this mean the pullets need to be 9 weeks old in order to survive the night without a lamp? We don't have a source to supply electricity where the coop will be, so this would mean bringing them in every night for quite some time.

    And our coop will have a "ladder" to go into the run. At what age will the chicks learn to use this?

    I've reserved a buff orpington, a barred rock, a light brahma, and a silkie. Can't wait!!
     
  2. THathaway

    THathaway Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2011
    I wait until the chicks are eight weeks old to make sure they are feathered out and can deal with the cool nights. As far as your chicks using the ladder, they will have no problem getting used to it. In the brooder they will climb around on anything they can, sitting on top of the roost,feed and water containers. If you set something up for them in the brooder to get used to the ladder they will be fine when you move them into the coop. Have fun with the chicks, they don't stay small very long.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Since you don't have electric to the coop, you can wait until they are 6 weeks old. That said, 50s is NOT cold for a 6 week old bird. They have down and feathers and they buddy up for comfort. At week 5, limit their heat to night only, and make it a minimum amount. This acclimates them. We always move ours out to the barn at 5/6 weeks and our nights are colder than 50!!! They thrive. We've never lost a one. [​IMG]
     
  4. truebluexf

    truebluexf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2011
    Oh wow, nice to know! I was worried bc our lows are in the 60's, lol! Ours are 4 weeks and I'm hoping to get them out with the others in another week or so, they are almost feathered up! [​IMG]
     
  5. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2011
    West Coast USA
    Ours are in a large brooder outside with a heat lamp. They're currently 4 weeks old and tend to move away from the heat lamp during the day and sleep under it at night. We've been raising it each week to decrease the temperature and will remove the heat altogether at six weeks.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  6. New Chickadee

    New Chickadee Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2011
    Ventura, CA
    Thanks for all your responses! We now have our chickens. Unfortunately, the people we bought them from did not reserve the pullets as requested, so some of them are younger than planned. The youngest is currently 3 weeks, the oldest 6 weeks. If we put them outside all together, will the youngest do okay without a heat lamp and just cuddle up with the older ones? I can tell they're dying to get out of their box indoors! Thanks a bunch.
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    South Georgia
    With your nighttime temps I'd probably wait a week then put them out. You can always check on them that first night or two. Meanwhile, can you take them out during the day, at least for a short period?
     
  8. New Chickadee

    New Chickadee Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2011
    Ventura, CA
    We're finishing the coop/run today, so I plan on testing them outside tomorrow while I'm with them. Then they'll be on their own during the day outside but within a close coop/run system. Of course, we're in June gloom, so the day time temps are in the 60s, not much warmer than the nights.
     

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