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When to move 11 week old chickens outside?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by waddles99, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When is appropriate to move my 11 week old chicks outside to the big coop? The chicks are already fully feathered and are getting pretty big for the brooder, so I would like to move them out as soon as possible. There are 10 of them. I don't think aggression with the other chickens will be an issue since there are so many of them, and they are almost as big as the other chickens. My only worry is really the cold. It is starting to get cold here(Northern New Jersey). We are experiencing temperatures down into the 30's at night. I don't want to over rush them into the big coop, but I also want to get them out of the brooder and get outside in the fresh air.
     
  2. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi! Is the brooder inside where it's still warm at night? You have not been using a heat source for them? I suggest moving the brooder to the coop, or another safe draft free secure spot for a week or so to let them acclimate to the overnight temps while knowing they can huddle together and aren't being stressed or bullied bu the rest of the flock. Best of luck!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, the brooder is inside the barn with a heat lamp on them. I could turn it off to let them get accustomed to the cold. The barn is still probably warmer than the coop is at night, plus they have an enclosed brooder that can keep the heat in.
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, you need to acclimate them to the weather. 11 week old chicks don't need heat but you shouldn't take a bird from 90F brooder then toss outside when it's 30F. Some sort of acclimation period is needed.
     
  5. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alright, thanks. Do you suggest raising the heat lamp a little bit each day or completely turning the heat lamp off?
     
  6. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's good then. I'd shut off the heat source and possibly cover half the brooder at night for a few days, then uncover it. Also, when you do introduce them, I strongly suggest creating a panic room with feed and H2O, and plenty of extra feeders and waterers for the first few days. Please keep us posted!
     
  7. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'd raise it high for a couple nights if it's that cold and if they've been kept really warm.
     
  8. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alright thanks for your help! I am going to try and ease them into it as slowly as possible. I think this coming week is going to be a little bit warmer so thats going to be good!
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I'd be surprised if they are even 'using' the heat at that age, unless they can't get away from it.....
    ....and be more concerned with how to integrate them with the existing flock
     
  10. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, I think they're fine going in with the existing flock. I introduced a new chicken about a month ago simply by dropping her into the pen. They picked at her and chased her for a little bit at first but then learned to accept her. I think the same goes for these chickens, except they have more of them to disperse the aggression
     

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