BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Managing Your Flock › Outside play time?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Outside play time?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
My chickens are 6 weeks old, the temperature here in North Carolina is starting to reach the 80s. I want to take my girls outside but how do I keep them safe? Do I just let them in the back yard? I know there are many birds in this area. And if I let them out to play am I going to be chasing them around the yard to get them back inside?
post #2 of 3
At six weeks old in North Carolina this time of year, move them to the coop. They are ready. You don’t mention how cold the nights are but they are almost certainly past being ready for that too. I doubt you are seeing anything close to freezing. I’ve had chicks less than six weeks old spend the night in an unheated coop with the lows in the mid 20’s.

If you turn your chicks loose in the back yard you may or may not have problem catching them. If you have been handling them a lot and they come to you when you have food, it probably won’t be too bad, maybe even really easy. If they have not been handled a lot, yes, it could involve a lot of chasing. They are pretty quick, also fast, and can get in some hard to reach places.

I regularly let my 5 week olds range with the main flock in a large area enclosed by electric netting. There are plenty of hawks and even an eagle around. It hasn’t been a problem for me but some people have really bad problems with birds of prey. Any time they are outside they are at risk, but usually it is not nearly as bad as you imagine. If you are present you reduce that risk quite a bit but it will always be there. I don’t know your situation on how bad the risk really is or your risk tolerance, I can’t tell you what to do.

You might consider turning a baby play pen or something similar up-side-down and letting them play outside under that. We all have to find our own way,

Good luck!

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #3 of 3
We're in nc, triangle area. Absolutely your 6 week old chicks can go outside into the coop permanently. Many of use lock our chicks in the coop for the first week without letting them out. Food and water are in there, clean bedding, good ventilation, etc. It teaches them where home is. After that you could easily start letting them out in the afternoon and odds are darn good they will go in by nightfall. Once they all go into the coop at night, you can start letting them into their run or yard or what not all day long. That first week helps them embed the coop in their minds as their safe place smile.png
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Managing Your Flock
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Managing Your Flock › Outside play time?