When to Coop the Babies?


In the Brooder
May 22, 2015
Rhode Island
Our little peepers are only about a week old today (they hatched in my classroom in the incubator sometime over the last weekend) and hubby and I are researching different coops and things to gather for when they're ready to leave the brooder box. We're moving into summer in New England, but although it's been pretty warm during the day nights are still colder.... How old should these little guys be before they move outside? We were also thinking of visiting different coop companies to see what they offer... Hubby is actually really into his new surprise "daughters" and thinks that he wants to get an insulated coop with all sorts of good things for the cold New England winter... How much time do we have before we need to think about this??

For reference, we have two Dominiques and two Rhode Island Reds... a week old today (or tomorrow). So far they are loving their box!


In the Brooder
Apr 12, 2015
Sumter, SC
I'm in the south, so I can't speak to insulating a coop - mine has small gaps on purpose to allow for better ventilation.

I would suggest being ready to move your chicks to the coop when the night time temps consistently stay in the 60s or if your chicks are fully feathered out. Usually chicks are feathered around 6 to 8 weeks.

I'm not sure what kind of brooder you're using, but if they outgrow it before they are feathered or it warms up (they will get big FAST) you could put them in the coop earlier but can add a heat lamp during the evening to keep them warm for a few weeks. Just make sure that the lamp is secured well and away from anything that could catch fire.

Have fun with your little ones and good luck!!


Apr 25, 2015
An insulated coop is worthless unless your going to heat your coop. Go with uninsulated, and lots of ventillation openings-more than you think necessary. Chickens are very cold hardy in general, your RIRs are for sure. They can tolerate below freezing temps just fine, they cant do below freezing and high humidity though hence the need for alot of ventillation. The chickens themselves are part of what makes the coop humid.

As far as when to move them out, generally its knce they are fully feathered which can be around 5-8 weeks. If your using a heat lamp you need to slowly ween them off of it by a few degrees a week


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
Colorado Rockies
Why not go over to the "coops" forum and see all the different approaches people have had to coop design? You'll get more ideas there than just skipping around the internet. You will be able to learn from others' mistakes and experiences with coops of various designs.

Also, have you read the "Mama heating pad for the brooder" thread on this forum? I'm using this system for the first time and my chicks have been outside in the below freezing temps from day one and they're thriving like nobody's business! These little guys of mine have never experienced the sweltering confines of a brooder box! They act like they own the world in their grow-out pen of almost 100 square feet with their little "cave" sitting in the middle of the sand run.

You can see their "cave" in the lower right hand corner of this pic. I can sit in their "brooder" and play with my babies. It's a great system!


Mar 17, 2015
Woodlawn Virginia
Most chickens handle the cold much better than the heat that said you should build your own coop most of the premade coops are poorly made by people that don't really know what a chicken needs it's also alot of fun you can find some good ideas on the coop and run forum good luck

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