When to move chicks out

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Ahavati, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. Ahavati

    Ahavati Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 12, 2016
    Woodville, TX
    I have 4 week old babies, nicely feathered out. We live in TX. Generally in the 60s-70s daytime and 40s-50s in the night. We do have a couple days of 29 degree nights coming up. I am ready for them to move to the coop due to smell, mess, and making me stuffy. They have been off heat for a week as they are in my living room and it's been 65-72 in the house. I observed them not sleeping or using the heat provided, so I removed it. I observe them all day and they are doing wonderfully, not cold or anything.

    That said, would they be ready to move outside already? After the 2 day cold front? I am probably going to let them in the coop during the days and then bring them in at night for a bit. BUT will probably observe how they do.

    I am a firm believer in treating the as a mam hen would. They were raised with a heating cave, temps were not exact and dropped exactly 5 degrees each week. I watched carefully and adjusted it to where I felt they needed it. I don't feel like a mam hen would drop her temp 5 degrees each week. They just dart in and out from under as needed. I mean there are mama hens raising them out in snow and they are fine...others born in coops colder than mine.

    So I want to hear from others that either never keep them inside or move them at this age...or earlier. I personally feel they will be fine, BUT there is that little voice that questions every so often. Maybe because it's a big change.

    @blooie - any advice?? I love your posts, they are a wealth of info and experience.
     
  2. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    If they are feathered out they will be fine by this weekend. I'm just east of you so I know the next couple nights are going to be unusually cold for us. But it's supposed to be back in the 70's soon. It won't be much different than getting new chicks in March. Decent days and chilly nights. As long as they have a coop that's not drafty, they should be good. If you are really worried, build a little cave with hay bales they can get inside of. How many chicks do you have? I assume you were saying all of them are 4 weeks old and not that you have 4 chicks that are a week old.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Show a current picture depicting how their feathers actually look. I tend to be a little more discerning as to what feathered out is. Sometimes it is not just about where they are in the progression of feather development, rather you need to consider the actual coverage and quality of the feathers.

    Also, how many chicks? You got to watch out for piling when moved to a new location on a cold night when they are still roosting on the ground.
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Go ahead and move them out on the morning following on the heels of this latest cold front. Include their MHP, but you'll only be turning it on for the first couple nights at the lowest setting, then off on the third night, and after that, they probably won't use it. But leave it in the coop as long as they want to sleep under it.

    At your moderate temps, your chicks will do splendidly. Just make sure they are protected from cold drafts and direct wind if they go outside in the run.
     
  5. Ahavati

    Ahavati Out Of The Brooder

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    Woodville, TX
    We have 15, 4 week babies. We have 11, 1 week babies but they will stay in their brooder tub until about this time. However, I am going to do outdoor brooding with additional chicks. Depending on how the weather stays, I may move the others our in a week or so with their MHP in the in-coop brooder.

    15 chicks. This was taken last night. They have been off heat since 3 weeks.

    [​IMG]




    The 4 weekers aren't on the MHP anymore, they haven't for a week. It is in with my 1 weekers currently. Do you think I should add heat back for a couple nights? I planned to make them a type of cave, unheated but with lots of straw and such to sleep in should they want.

    I am glad you posted, I read your article about brooding outdoors and it confirms everything I feel! I *feel* as though they will do fine out there. But this little voice bugs in the back of my head. We have the coop all draft free and as predator proof as I can get it. We'll be doing the run next week. It's a huge coop (re-do of a building on the property) so they have plenty of space in there for the week!
     
  6. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Longville, La
    Did y'all end up using the greenhouse as a coop? I remember a few weeks ago that was your plan but never saw the end result.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Feathering looks good. Look at what they are to be roosting in. Keep them away from edges of pen so your are less likely to post in the predator forum later. Look into making so they do not pile up on each other on that first night as they try to stay warm. Your chicks are in that majic window where they can sufficate brood mates on the bottom. It does not have to be below freezing for that to happen. Parties not experienced with larger broods do not have experience with such a problem.
     
  8. Ahavati

    Ahavati Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes! I will post pictures to that thread in a bit! It turned out great!


    I did include a tub filled with straw and a heating plate just to be safe. They've been out there during the day, I was going to bring them in for the night depending on how they did during the day. They have been running around the inside all over scratching and pecking. They were resting in a corner by the box a bit earlier. I didn't see any crowding but I will be checking on them quite a few times tonight because that's just me.

    They have a solid coop. I have hardware cloth skirting the entire thing. I've made sure every hole has been covered and every bit of hardware cloth on the ventilation is super secure. They're run will get buil this week so that isn't up yet. I'll get pictures of the inside in case there are any suggestions. Thanks!
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    The huddle box you have planned for the four-week olds sounds perfect. The temperatures your chicks will be dealing with are well within their abilities to cope, and quite easily.

    It's only natural for you to have concerns. It's our job after all.
     
  10. Ahavati

    Ahavati Out Of The Brooder

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    Woodville, TX
    This is the top, we have 1/4" HC with the U-shaped staples and screws with washers all over it. Probably overkill but I'd rather be safer than sorry.

    [​IMG]

    Happy babies eating, drinking, checking it all out.

    [​IMG]

    From the door looking in. We are making an in-coop brooder under the nest boxes there. In the spring, we'll replace the roof with something else.

    [​IMG]

    From the back. Ventilation up top covered in 1/4" HC. Also have covered windows under those for the summer. Will be adding more windows to the back in the springtime.

    [​IMG]

    This is the outside. Covered in T-111 plywood siding. And my Beagle who was worried as her chicks were out there. She was whining as she heard them, opened the door and she sniffed them out and was happy. Guess she thought they should be in the house.


    [​IMG]
     

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