When Should I Move to the Coop?

JSossong

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 8, 2014
162
9
78
Western PA
My chicks are about 4 weeks old and growing fast! For now they're still in their brooder and I've been putting them outside during the day in a "playpen" when it's nice out. They're getting so big so fast and starting to really outgrow their brooder. Coop construction should be done in about a week (hopefully).

My question is, at what point can I make the transition from the brooder to the coop? It's still getting pretty cold around here at night and the coop will have insulation in it. I'm just scared it may still be too cold at night for them. They all are growing feathers and beefing up quite a bit as well.

Thoughts or advice?
Thanks!
xx
 

gardengirl4288

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 11, 2014
84
5
33
My plan is to keep the girls (same age) out during the day and still bring them into their brooder overnight where I can keep them warm enough since it is in the 40s at night here
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
29,713
20,011
917
St. Louis, MO
There will hopefully be electric in the coop which you'll need to keep water thawed in winter or for light.

Unless it's well below freezing, mine go outside as soon as they come out of the hatcher. Real cold, they get a hover brooder. Cool, they get a ceramic heat emitter. A broody hen doesn't heat the building, she provides a warm spot.







 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
9 Years
Oct 16, 2010
7,098
2,843
406
NEK, VT
Mine go outside at 4 weeks. The last four days inside they are without heat. A week prior to that the heat lamp is turned off days.

By that age they are well feathered and acclimated to no additional heat. Our temps here are frost a few nights a week and normally mid 30's in morning. Have no problems putting 4 week old birds outside with that.
 

JSossong

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 8, 2014
162
9
78
Western PA
@Egghead_Jr & @ChickenCanoe Thanks for the advice! I suppose as soon as the coop is finished I'll put them in then.

I've been reading on BYC that people do some sort of "coop training"- keeping the birds closed in the coop for a few days so they know where they should be. What do you guys do as far as that goes? Is this something I need to do?
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
29,713
20,011
917
St. Louis, MO
They need to sleep somewhere for a few nights so they know where a safe place to sleep is. Otherwise they'll just hop up on anything to sleep(a bush, a pickup truck, etc.) They don't know what a coop is until they sleep there. After they're locked in a couple days, then confined to a pen of some sort for a couple days to orient themselves with their surroundings so they can find their way home.
These are good reasons to put them out as chicks. By the time they start to venture afield, they'll come home at night.
 
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