When Can Chicks Be Moved Outside in Phoenix?
It’s a good guess you have your new chicks in a box in the garage or shed and are watching them quickly outgrow their safe haven of comfort and warmth.
At about 6 weeks old they are becoming a handful, looking a bit crowded in their quarters, and you’ve had enough of keeping up with the mess. I understand your dilemma and have good news for you. We live in Phoenix! With mild winter temperatures, even at 6 weeks, your chicks will be fine outside with the right housing accommodations. However, first, you’ll want to lower the temperature in their brooder over the next few days to get them used to cooler temperatures.
A suitable coop for 6-week-old chicks is something that will protect them from wind and rain. If your coop is drafty, a large tarp will do wonders. Buy the highest-grade tarp you can find, or use two.
If there’s a cold snap, say below 50 degrees, simply cover the coop with a heavy blanket. Moving blankets from Harbor Freight work great and they’re only $8. The chicks will huddle together at night and keep each other warm.
Give them lots of shavings or hay in the coop, and provide a low-sided brooder box filled with shavings in the corner for them to sleep in. If they don’t use it, that’s okay too.
Prepare for the Phoenix Heat Now
While watching your chicks grow in the confinements of their coop, this is a good time to think about summer’s arrival and prepare for their outdoor environment. Keeping chickens in Phoenix is tough, keeping them in small confinement quite honestly… can be a death sentence.
June and July will no doubt reach 110 to 115 degrees. This means, your coop could easily exceed 120 degrees, even if it’s in the shade. It’s imperative to provide a play area where they can dig holes in the dirt to stay cool.
A play area can simply be a fenced area off the coop. Look for or create a shady spot preferably near a water source so it’s easy for you to access. This is important because there will be days when you’ll want to use a mister, or maybe flood them a spot to help them cool off.