When to put chicks outside in coop in winter?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by greytmommy, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. greytmommy

    greytmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2011
    ok, we let a broody OEGB hatch an egg. The egg hatched right before Halloween. So the chick is about 8 weeks old now.

    chick is doing VERY well, feathered out fast (it is a mutt of Banty Cochin and LF EE). We are pretty sure chick is a rooster. We would like to keep him (even though we already have a rooster).

    We want/need to move chick and mama outside b/c our cage is getting too small fast b/c the chick is SO big! We have had some pretty cold nights out here, but we do have a heater lamp set up to use in the coop at night when it is REALLY cold (freezing or below).

    The coop is VERY large and we currently only have 7 chickens out there (2 are bantys).

    so my questions are: is 8wks getting old enough to move the chick outside?

    and: any suggestions on how to introduce the OEGB and chick into the flock and what extra precautions I need to take since the chick is a roo? (we free range, have a large coop and no real competition for resources, so they roo's can keep thier distance...).

    Thanks!
     
  2. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Saratoga County, NY
    Quote:8 weeks is plenty. I had 8 weekers outside in single digit temps last year and they did fine. You really do not need a heat lamp - we got down to -25 last year and didn't use one.

    When I introduce chickens, I have a large dog wire cage that I set in the coop with food and water and new chickens. Give them a bit to acclimate. I doubt the roo thing will matter too much at this age! After a bit, you can let them all out to free range together which will minimize problems.. at least that's what I do. I've actually just plopped chickens in at night also, but that was when they were all the same size. I'm more cautious with chicks. Next time you might want to let the broody and chick stay with or near the flock - then there's no integration problems.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  3. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Amen. At 8 weeks he/she is feathered. Put him outside, in a cage in the coop for 3-5 days and let it be a chicken. Get rid of the heat. They don't need it and actually you could be harming it/them.
     
  4. greytmommy

    greytmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well, mama chicken wasn't part of the flock yet, hence why they were separated to begin with.

    I have a dog crate (that is what they are in now) but it isn't all wire.....i know....i am cheap. [​IMG]

    ok, so if you don't use a heat lamp in ur coop, how do you keep you waterer from freezing? That is the ONLY reason we put it in. We have a big metal waterer and it was frezing up....
     
  5. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Quote:I use heated dog bowls. $10-$15 at Walmart. Most even shut off themselves when not cold enough to freeze.
     
  6. greytmommy

    greytmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    do you place ur big chicken waterer IN the dog bowl? Or are you using an open dog bowl in PLACE of ur chicken waterer?
     
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well, I'll disagree to a certain extent. If they're both used to house temps., and you stick them out into freezing weather with no weaning period, that could be rough on them (even the adult - especially a bantam with smaller body mass)....going straight from 70 degrees down to 30. Now, 70 to 50 isn't that drastic a change, but if you're getting frigid temps. I'd take a week or so to let them adapt. I'd use at least a 60W bulb for a week or two at night time. As for your water, you can buy a heated base, a heated dog water bowl, you can make your own heated base (the cookie tin or clay pot heaters that have a light bulb inside), or you can hang a bulb over the waterer. Lots of choices.
    Personally, other than folks not observing sensible safety measures, I see nothing wrong with providing a small heat source (for water or birds) in a coop.
     
  8. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use a cookie tin heater that I made myself a few weeks back. Just buy a large round metal cookie tin, a cheap extension cord you can cut the end off, and a light socket. You can google cookie tin heater here on BYC to see lots of pictures of the set up. It is enclosed and you can still use your own water fount--just place it on top of the cookie tin. Works great. Everything has been freezing here, and the water isn't! [​IMG]
     
  9. greytmommy

    greytmommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    that makes sense with acclimating the chickens to the cold weather. It is only 36 rigt now at 10am.....

    our heater is a small one, that hangs RIGHT over the waterer in a big coop. I don't think it is providing a lot of heat in our large coop (8ft long, 4ft wide and 6ft tall....).

    we will probably put the crate outside today. I think they are ready, and we will be s happy for them to be outside. I think they will like the free ranging better too. [​IMG]
     
  10. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Sorry, didn't mean to offend. Just came off the thread where the old timers tell it how it is and I hadn't acclimated myself to the politically correctness arena lol!

    I also apologize to the original poster who uses a bulb to keep the water unfrozen.

    I bought stock tank heaters and use them for my chickens, hogs and dogs. Works for me just like the light does over the water.

    As for the argument of stressing the chickens going from 70 to 30..... I don't agree with you. I am NOT saying you are wrong, just in my experience, I have done it with no problems. Let me rephrase. I put out some 3 week olds, and lost a couple, but not sure it was due to cold. A 6-8 week old chick is fine.

    That said, this is the internet and this is just my opinion for whatever that is worth.
     

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