When to let chiks out of brooder

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by nwe319, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. nwe319

    nwe319 In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2012
    North Carolina
    Hey guys I currently have 5 chicks that are 3 weeks and 1 day old, and I need to know when is it ok for me to let them stay outside in the coop (with no heat lamp) full time? I live in the Piedmont of NC and currently the temp is about 72 during the day and around 50 at night, however one day next week it is supposed to get down to 40...is it still too cold?

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    While they don't need a screaming hot lamp, they still need some supplemental help, especially at night. Chicks feathered out at 6-7 weeks are fully able to adjust to your climate. It won't be much longer.
  3. Aeropennchick

    Aeropennchick Songster

    Mar 20, 2012
    Southern PA
    I put mine out at a few days less than four weeks without a light. We are in southern PA. They were fully feathered except for their heads, and they have been fine. I have eight, and they snuggle together at night.

    Try putting them out! I put the hutch just outside the back door for the first night, so if it looked like they were cold, we could plug in the light. But we didn't have to.
  4. mommissan

    mommissan Songster

    Jul 4, 2011
    Well, it was a real nail-biter for me. I took away the heat lamp at 3-1/2 weeks and put my 4 red pullets and 2 bantams in the outdoor pen (equipped with just a small used resin doghouse) at 4 weeks. The first night was in the high 50's and they did great. On the third night, the temp dropped to a crisp 26 and they survived. This morning, it was 28 and they were out in the open air section frolicking and having a blast! They are only 4-1/2 weeks old.

    I'm not saying that this fits your scenario. Mine still have a teeny weeny bit of fuzzy stuff on them, but they really feathered out fast. They were a week old when I brought them home. I put them under a 40 watt bulb, about 10 inches above them. After a week I replaced that with a 25 watt bulb. After a few days of that, they didn't want to sit under it anymore, so I just got rid of the lamp. They sat in my basement at 55-60 for a few days until I got the pen ready.

    I spent too much time and energy last year obsessing about keeping the flock warm. IMO, they are much tougher than we give them credit for. Just get a feel for when they outgrow the need for artificial heat. If they don't sit under it, they don't need it. They certainly surprised me.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  5. I have 13 four week olds, and 2 that are around 6-8 weeks old. They are all outside in the coop with the big chickens. The smallest of the 4 week olds are in a rabbit hutch that I modified. The bigger ones are in a different hutch, and the two biggest ones (given to me by my sis in-law) are in a different hutch. The 4 week olds got to big to be in the same hutch. So far they are still okay with the open air coop. I have one heat lamp hanging from the roof which is low, and angled at all three hutches which all have legs. I would guess that the heat lamp is about 3-6 feet away from them, but they seem fine with it even if I leave it on day and night. The furthest hutch has the oldest chicks. (And they are all growing like weeds!) I'm theorizing that the heat has something to do with their growth rate. Long story short- as long as they don't get too hot, extra heat is fine for them for as long as you can stand to supply it.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012

  6. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    Aug 26, 2011
    I've heard that six weeks is about the right time for 50F at night. :)
  7. nwe319

    nwe319 In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2012
    North Carolina
    Thanks for all the help guys.
  8. fricknfricassee

    fricknfricassee In the Brooder

    Apr 16, 2012
    Mendocino county
    Thanks for the information on when to put the baby chicks out into the real world. We live in No. California and it has been crazy weather this year. It was 40 degrees this
    morning and I still have my 4 week old chicks in the shop in a cardboard box brooder with a heat lamp. Our coop is just about finished, and I am wanting to put them out
    in it within the next few days. I think maybe I should wait another week and hope that the weather warms up. I can put the light in the coop for them, anyway. I just am
    so happy that all of my chicks have lived that I ordered through the mail (Ideal Poultry) and at this point, don't want to lose even a single one of them to cold. I need to
    have a little more patience. I suppose you are right, they are more "hardy" than we give them credit for.
  9. Cocoa1212

    Cocoa1212 In the Brooder

    Feb 24, 2018
    I have 16 chicken and I put mine on the ground at 3 weeks old they will be fine

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