How to Build a Grow-Out Coop for Baby Chicks

Sometimes you raise day-old chicks and everything works out perfectly with the weather. By the time the chicks are old enough to go outside, the weather is just right. Sometimes, fate isn't in your favor and your babies must spend more time indoors in your garage or basement and you need something bigger to contain them. Here's a quick and easy brooder idea that can double as a grow-out coop until young chicks are big enough to join the rest of the flock.

We used scrap wood to build our grow-out coop and decided to keep it as a hospital coop in the future.

Pin the image below to save this information for later. 

The total coop measures about 4' x 4'. We made a functional door with hinges and lined it with metal hardware cloth. The top is made of a scrap of plywood and 2"x 4" pieces of wood The side supports are 4" x 4" pieces leftover from deck construction. The floor is also made of scrap plywood. We lined the walls with plastic chicken mesh and brown paper to keep the heat and wood chip bedding in and our indoor cats out. When the grow-out coop moved outside, we replaced the plastic mesh with metal hardware cloth and the paper with wood to make it predator-proof. We also added a small window and placed the coop inside a predator-proof run so the chickens were protected at all times.

When Can Baby Chicks Go Outside

Baby chicks aren't able to regulate their body temperature so you must provide heat for them. For their first week of life, the brooder temperature should be kept at 95 degrees. From there, you can decrease the temperature five degrees each week.

The best time to live outside full-time is around nine to 10 weeks. Chicks should be fully feathered so they can regulate their own body temperature. The outdoor temperature should be no lower than 50 degrees because young chickens don’t have a lot of body mass. If you have colder weather, you'll still need to provide young chickens with supplemental heat, especially at at night. 

Don't be in a rush to move your chicks outside. Be sure to make the move gradual with longer and longer visits outside to acclimate them before the final move.  

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...