When to turn off heat lamp and go outside.

DouglasBeale

In the Brooder
Oct 30, 2018
3
1
14
Norfolk, Connecticut
I've had my chicks about six weeks now living in a 4x4 pen with a heat lamp in one corner, They live inside the sunroom at the back of our house. Sometimes we open the door for fresh air, but they never go outside. I think they might be fully feathered, and some are showing signs of the comb growing.

It's getting crowded with the 12 of them and I'm wondering if they can go outside now. I've built a beautiful chicken coop- it should be done wednesday or thursday. And I'll start working on the run in the next week or so.

Could they go outside this week? Could I stop using the heat lamp all the time (now it's still on 24/7)?

I do have that thermostat/plug thing and will use the lamp at all times when the temp drops below 32 degrees once they move to the coop. It will turn off at 45 degrees I think.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,245
19,997
857
Southeast Louisiana
I don't know what temperatures you are seeing in your sun room but I've had chicks younger than yours go through nights in the mid 20's Fahrenheit with no supplemental heat. I can't imagine any conditions in your sun room where you need that light on at any time, let alone 24/7.
 

wyoDreamer

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 10, 2010
5,367
9,176
531
NE Wisconsin
Since you still have them on heat, try them for a while without the lamp while still in the sunroom - for at least a few days & nights.. If you take them from a brooder kept at 80 degrees and plop them outside in an unheated coop you are asking for trouble. They need to get acclimated to life without a heat lamp. Once outside and used to cooler weather, they really don't need heat.

OR better yet, move them outside to the coop with the heat lamp and slowly reduce the heat.

My chickens are out in the barn without heat even at -30 degrees (northern WI winters). My coop needs more ventilation, but they are fine as long as they can roost away from the drafts and stay dry. Even the 2 hens that insist on sleeping next to the window have been fine so far.
 

SunriseChickers

Songster
Nov 12, 2018
232
434
156
Ohio
They are definitely old enough to go out. At one month I left the heat lamp off at day, and on only at night, but since it is November you might want it to stay on. At almost three months, mine were permanently moved outside. I let them explore a bit outside when they were around 2 weeks, and they would hang out in their mini outdoor playpen with me for about 1/2 hour. When they were all one month I let them spend about half the day in their outside mini pen where I could see them from inside. About 1 month and 1-2 weeks they were allowed to stay out for the whole way and were brought back to the brooder well before dark.
 

DouglasBeale

In the Brooder
Oct 30, 2018
3
1
14
Norfolk, Connecticut
They are definitely old enough to go out. At one month I left the heat lamp off at day, and on only at night, but since it is November you might want it to stay on. At almost three months, mine were permanently moved outside. I let them explore a bit outside when they were around 2 weeks, and they would hang out in their mini outdoor playpen with me for about 1/2 hour. When they were all one month I let them spend about half the day in their outside mini pen where I could see them from inside. About 1 month and 1-2 weeks they were allowed to stay out for the whole way and were brought back to the brooder well before dark.


Thanks! Yesterday was a little cold and windy, but we let them outside for a while in a garden I had a small fence around. They seemed to enjoy it. I should have let them out today, but I didn't have time. I will keep letting them out to acclimate. They seem to be doing very well. Just spoiled, like everyone else here no matter how many legs.
 

Rick&Chris

Songster
Aug 15, 2018
369
445
161
Southeast PA (Bucks County)
Mine are now 9 weeks old. They’ve been in the coop with the heat lamp (as needed) since they were around 4 weeks with access to the outside pen. Recently it’s been fair (40-50F) for a few days so the lamp has been off (it scares me).

I left it off the last couple of nights and it got down to the high 20s (outside) and low 30s in the coop. They were completely fine this morning and itching to go out into the pen. Although it sounds like it is cold, being drafted free and enclosed in the coop is actually quite comfortable ... for them.

I’m also a new and nervous chick momma. This group is amazing and will calm your fears.

Enjoy your adventure!!
 

starri33

Crowing
Feb 28, 2016
1,404
4,094
407
Golden Valley AZ
You've really served to reassure me, right now the babies are only a week old, they've started getting their wing feathers, I won't consider moving them out till they are at least 4 weeks, but then I seriously have to look at doing it as I have another batch hatching..lol, they are currently residing in my guest room, the first group hung out in the garage, but hubby's remodeling out there. So far this year, temps have gotten down in the high 20's/low 30's, Sunday (Dec 2, 2018) it's suppose to be at freezing,
 

Rick&Chris

Songster
Aug 15, 2018
369
445
161
Southeast PA (Bucks County)
You've really served to reassure me, right now the babies are only a week old, they've started getting their wing feathers, I won't consider moving them out till they are at least 4 weeks, but then I seriously have to look at doing it as I have another batch hatching..lol, they are currently residing in my guest room, the first group hung out in the garage, but hubby's remodeling out there. So far this year, temps have gotten down in the high 20's/low 30's, Sunday (Dec 2, 2018) it's suppose to be at freezing,

At 4 weeks, you’ll definitely need a heat source. Maybe try a momma heating pad (MHP) - but start that inside so they understand how to use it. At 4 weeks mine had no clue and sat on top, not under.
 

MANNA-PRO

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