When to transfer chicks to coop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RitzHomestead, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. RitzHomestead

    RitzHomestead Chirping

    Feb 19, 2015
    Marble Hill, GA
    I was thinking that I would transfer them the first week of April they will be 7 weeks old at this point and I live in Georgia. Temps should be close to 70 during the day and low 40's at night. Should I put in a heat lamp in the coop? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Most folks heat wean their chicks before installing them in their outdoor coop, so no heat is required at that time. Unless they aren't completely feathered out and they would be exposed to freezing temps, you shouldn't need heat in the coop for them.

    To heat wean, simply decrease the amount of time each day they have the heat lamp on. You can begin by turning it off during the day when it's in the 70s, and maybe use a 100 watt bulb at night, shaded by a dark cloth. Darkening their nights will help to prepare them for darkness in the brooder so they won't be afraid of it.
  3. RitzHomestead

    RitzHomestead Chirping

    Feb 19, 2015
    Marble Hill, GA
    Awesome! Thanks!
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:
    They need to be pretty warm(~85F on the brooder floor right under the lamp) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker integration to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder. I do think it's a good idea to use a thermometer on the floor of the brooder to check the temps, especially when new at brooding, later i still use it but more out of curiosity than need.

    The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:
    If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.
    If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.
    If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!

    The lamp is best at one end of the brooder with food/water at the other cooler end of the brooder, so they can get away from the heat or be under it as needed. Wattage of 'heat' bulb depends on size of brooder and ambient temperature of room brooder is in. Regular incandescent bulbs can be used, you might not need a 'heat bulb'. You can get red colored incandescent bulbs at a reptile supply source. A dimmer extension cord is an excellent way to adjust the output of the bulb to change the heat without changing the height of the lamp.

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