October’s Hatch, Brooder to Coop in Phoenix, How and When

Once again, my informative article on what age chicks can leave the *brooder. A week by week guide to help you transition your October hatched chicks from inside to the outdoor chicken coop… in Phoenix. 

Small Brooder with 20 2 day old chicks –>

It is a little different raising chicks in Arizona. October is the best time to raise chicks in Phoenix,  it’s much easier to keep chicks warm than it is trying to keep them cool.  High temps in the day are in the mid to high 80′s and nights in the high 50′s and low 60′s. My brooder area is an addition off the house without controlled temps. Therefore, 80′s outdoors means 90+ in the enclosed off the house structure. I use a red low wattage brooder lamp at night about 20 inches above brooder and only natural lighting during the day.

At 3.5 weeks I move them to the outside coop. They will be confined there with a 250 watt red brooder lamp 3-4ft above ground which is left on day and night. Half of the coop is unheated. Temps in late Oct. are usually in the 80′s and at night upper 50′s.

At 4 weeks I open the coop doors to the chicken yard offering them the choice to fly the coop so to speak. They will venture out briefly then run back to the coop. After about 4 days they brave the outside world. Brooder lamp is still left on. Every night the coop doors close and all chicks are huddled together under the lamp.  It is now the first part of November and temps. are in the mid to upper 70′s, lows around 55.

At 5-6 weeks the birds are fully feathered, heat lamp off around 10AM, and turned on around 3PM. I find this important because the brooder lamp lures them in the coop as dusk approaches – exactly where I want them to go every night… always.

At 7 weeks the temps are high in the mid 60′s and lows in the 40′s. No heat lamp. However, it is now that I introduce an LED light where I want them to sleep at night, and eventually lay their eggs. The birds go the the light, even though it provides no heat. I choose an LED source of light because the batteries last a really long time, up to a month. My nesting area requires a ladder ( I use a sturdy tree branch) and as long as there is a light up there they all adapted quite easily to the change.

At 8 weeks it is unlikely that your birds will require a heat source at night, especially if you have six or more birds. Pack the nest area with plenty of bedding (I use bermuda grass hay) to help insulate the chicks from the cold. In the event of a cold spell where temperatures drop to freezing, an ordinary 60 watt red bulb in one corner of the coop would be ideal.

For chicken keeping supplies & products visit my Good Chicken Keeping website. Thank you!

amy elizabeth, TBN Ranch

*A brooder is a heated container that has a temperature controlled area. It’s used to confine chicks until they are old enough to go outside.
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About tbnranch

amy elizabeth, writer, author. Lives in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert on a small hobby farm. Raises laying hens.
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8 Responses to October’s Hatch, Brooder to Coop in Phoenix, How and When

  1. Wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

    I have nominated you for The Blogger of The Year 2012 Award and there is a star over here should you like to accept 🙂
    http://nutsfortreasure.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/merry-christmas-its-award-time-lol-too-grab-your-star/

    Peace

    Eunice

  2. Very nice post Amy! Lots of detail. If someone screws up in AZ it sure ain’t gonna be your fault!

  3. shadowlilies says:

    Very helpful! Today I put a light in an upside down terra cotta pot in the chick’s coop. They are over 8 weeks old, but lately they have just been huddling together around the light, so I’m thinking they are cold. It has been in the 30s – 40s at night. Last night it was 19 degrees, so I think they may have needed it. But do you think they don’t need the heat from the bulb at all?

    • tbnranch says:

      Doesn’t hurt to offer it, they should have their feathers but sometimes the weather is still too cold if the flock is small. I think you did right… I would still give them a heat source in those temps.

  4. arnoldthearmadillo says:

    Interesting, thanks 🙂

    • tbnranch says:

      Hoped it would be helpful to someone! Thanks for the visit. 🙂

      • arnoldthearmadillo says:

        I used to keep a few chickens, ex battery hens, they did not lay too many eggs but they did seem to be very happy. I live in town now so no chickens is a good plan..

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