Whether to put chicks outside now or not

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Leisa1968, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. Leisa1968

    Leisa1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    My chicks are now 8 weeks old. I have 6 girls all Bantams, different types, 2 white crested polish, 1 Silver sebrite, 1 Golden sebrite, one Barred Rock, and the other one I don't know yet. My problem is that I have kept them inside up to now except occasionally warm days I put them out in their coop. I tried to put them out the other night and they would not go into the hen house. They just piled up in the front corner of the coop chirping loudly until I couldn't stand it anymore (worried about them) and brought them back inside. Have I RUINED my chicks? It is now getting down to 30 or so degrees at night and I have put so much work into keeping them healthy and alive... should I just keep them in for the winter? Or is that a BAD thing? I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!?!?[​IMG]
  2. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    Once they are fully feathered I understand they can go outside. However since they haven't been used to cold temps, I would think they need to be slowly adjusted. Do you have electricity to your coop so that you could put a securely fastened heat lamp in there? As for them going in the coop, I have to physically put mine in for the first few nights until they learn it's their new home. Some people actually lock them in the coop for a couple of days. I've never tried doing peeps this time of year so maybe someone with more experience will way in.
  3. Winisk

    Winisk Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 13, 2010
    I have a five week old single chick at home now. Nights are dipping below freezing here. Last year I had a broody hen hatch one out in the beginning of November and she took care of it all winter with -20 C nights. This new chick of mine however has no buddies or mom so I am actively transitioning it to coop life before winter sets in. It spends all day in a seperated part of the coop with the other birds. It has windows so the sun warms it up during the day. Come night, I do bring it inside and will do so until it is more fully grown and hopefully will be integrated with the other birds to huddle with. My experience is you should be preparing them for the cold with time spent outdoors as much as possible. Keeping them indoors all winter is not an option for me.
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would put them in their coop with a roost tomorrow AM when the sun is up and lock them in there for 1 week (with food and water.) If it is teribbly cold at night, put a heat lamp or lightbulb overhead creating a warm circle they can gather in if they are cold, but can stay out of if not. After a week I would let them outside during the day, and stop the heatlamp at night. They should go into their coop at dusk to their roosts. If theyy don't, lock them in for a few more days to know where home is.
  5. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2011
    They will be fine...

    No Heat

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=591826 Post #7.

    Put them out, leave them out, no heat. 30 degrees to a chicken is like a warm 75 degree day to you. No heat.

    Oh ya, I forgot to say - no heat.

    And one more thing... no heat.

    I think I may have forgotten... no heat.

    And just to make things perfectly clear, don't provide any auxiliary heat, all that work will go to the compost pile. You have done great so far, don't mess it all up now.

    Put them in, close the door, and walk away. Do not return till morning. Grab a bottle of wine, your favorite cuddly person, watch a movie and forget about them. They will be just fine, I assure you.

    Did I tell you no heat??? If not, no heat.


    Really, all joking aside, they are feathered right now and could survive in a tree in a driving snow storm at -20f without a car in the world. If they were brought up in the wild, they would, and be much more healthy and adjusted for it. Don't fool with mother nature, she knows what she is doing.

    And be sure not to add any heat. [​IMG]

    Edit - And if they did have a car, they would not turn on the heat, they would probably open the windows, and pop the roof open. And then they would poop on your seat just to let you know who they think is boss.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  6. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

    Jun 24, 2011
    King George, VA
    My Coop
    Quote:So just so I am clear on this... it's no heat right? [​IMG]
  7. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    Mine did the same thing, they put up a big ruckus when I first put them out in the big coop. I brought them back inside and slowly introduced to the coop. I'm sure they will be fine, they're a little scared. They'll get use to the coop in no time.
  8. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I raised mine in the coop right after they hatched. I provided a red heat lamp. It was in March I beleive. Still cold at night. At 4 weeks I turned off the lamp. Here they are . They did fine. I hatched 30 biddy's.[​IMG][​IMG]
  9. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

    Jun 3, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    I have four 8-week olds that have been out in the coop for two weeks now. That means they went outside at the age of 6 weeks. They're doing great and love being out of the brooder. Our weather has gotten into the 30s - not as cold as where you are. And mine are not bantams. :) Good luck.
  10. Leisa1968

    Leisa1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2011
    Asheville, NC
    Thanks for all the advice. I just have to face it..... they are growing up and have to be on their own![​IMG] Thanks, I'm gonna try but I may be asking more questions. (My first chicks)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by