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When can chicks go outside

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hello, I'm new here.  We got a dozen chicks from a local farmer and I asked him a bunch of questions but don't want to keep calling with every little thing.  Anyway, my babies are only 3 weeks old, but was wondering when can they go outside?  We have them in our basement with heat lamps on and florescent light during day and turn off the florescent at night (to mimic daylight).  When they do go out there is a chicken house and a very large coop.  Do we still need to keep a light out there in the house?
Thanks for your advice!

Here are a few of my babies.
http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h310/billie357/chicks.jpg

My family has 3 active boys, a wonderful husband, a dog, critters that my boys catch and chickens.
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My family has 3 active boys, a wonderful husband, a dog, critters that my boys catch and chickens.
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post #2 of 25

I would take them out for a short while as long as it is above 60 degrees or so.  Start with 15 mins then wait a day, and take them out again weather permitting, for 30 mins the next day.  They will let you know if they are cold, they will huddle and when I took my silkies out the first time they ran up to me after a while to go "back home"

                                    Hi, my name is Maria.  I have 2 dogs, a cat, and not enough chickens. 

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                                    Hi, my name is Maria.  I have 2 dogs, a cat, and not enough chickens. 

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post #3 of 25

Good question.
I've been taking mine outside since they were approx 3 weeks old. It has been warm.
Only, make sure your cage is covered. Don't learn from my mistake:
I put mine in a pen without a cover, I went inside to change the chicks cage paper..........and I hear the older rooster calling something fierce, I run outside to see a raven literraly ripping the head off one of my chicks! I felt horrible and sick. All the chicks were deathly affraid. I only lost 2, a third I brought back to health.
I didn't think the crows would do such a thing.

But, my chicks love going outside to theier bigger pen, they fly, search for bugs....I just wish I could keep them outside all the time like at night. They make such a mess inside the house. Soon enough it'll be warm enough and wishing for winter!

post #4 of 25

I just moved our 3 week old chicks outside, a few days ago. We've been in the 70 - 80's during the day, high 40's - 50's at night.

I fixed them an area under our post-brooder coop using the elevated area under the pb coop and two wire rabbit cages.

***Clickable thumbnails wink***

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a78/TnWren/th_P4235319.jpg


http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a78/TnWren/th_P4235325.jpg

I have a 25 watt red light bulb in the "coop" area for them, incase they get cold. The wire cages are where I put their feeder and waterer, for easy access for me.

Hope this is some help!

Dawn

Happily homesteading in Sharp County Arkansas
...I heard them bikers talkin' 'bout ridin' Hawgs and checkin' out Chicks...
Food Grade DE
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Happily homesteading in Sharp County Arkansas
...I heard them bikers talkin' 'bout ridin' Hawgs and checkin' out Chicks...
Food Grade DE
Reply
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

smile  Thanks so much for all the info.  To elaborate a little more, they do not need to have all their feathers is that right? Should I go ahead and use that mite killer dusting stuff in the coop and house?

My family has 3 active boys, a wonderful husband, a dog, critters that my boys catch and chickens.
Reply
My family has 3 active boys, a wonderful husband, a dog, critters that my boys catch and chickens.
Reply
post #6 of 25

A loongggggg time ago I had a wife that squawked alot, so I learned to
talk chicken...

So now I wait until the chicks ask to go out the I tell them I will
pick them up a 7pm

OK! I know that was really bad:th but I could not resist!lau

Orpingtons~~~Black~~~Blue~~~Lavender~~~White

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Orpingtons~~~Black~~~Blue~~~Lavender~~~White

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post #7 of 25

Hi,
I'm new to this site too. We just became the owners of 13 laying hens...all kinds! They are doing wonderfully in their new home. We intend to get a few more chicks to add to the flock. I too would like to know when the chicks can be introduced and put outside with  new sisters?
Chris:)jumpy

post #8 of 25

http://i299.photobucket.com/albums/mm289/thechickcrew/Family005-1.jpg

Welcome Barney, good to have you here on BYC.

I took my 5 week olds outside today for about a couple hours and they had a blast scratching at the ground and eating bugs. I would say though somewhere between 6 to 8 weeks is a good age for an overnighter.

Wife/Mother/Grandmother/Mini Farmer to 4 barking dogs, 7 spoiled Assorted Chickens, 1 White turkey, to many RingNeck Pheasants to count..........and lovin' every minute of it <3
Proud to be an American & an independant Fundamental Baptist....
A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.
http://thecoblerscorner.blogspot.com
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Wife/Mother/Grandmother/Mini Farmer to 4 barking dogs, 7 spoiled Assorted Chickens, 1 White turkey, to many RingNeck Pheasants to count..........and lovin' every minute of it <3
Proud to be an American & an independant Fundamental Baptist....
A woman's heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.
http://thecoblerscorner.blogspot.com
Reply
post #9 of 25

My chicks have been outside in their temporary coop (aka the harley shed) since day one.  At first we tried keeping the temp. at the 90 - 95 recommended with 2 heat lamps and a heater, but the chicks stayed as far away from the heat sources as they could; so we lowered the temp. to 85 and all was well.  Now at 2 1/2 weeks we keep them at 80 - 85 and we still never see them sitting under the heat lamps or huddling; except to sleep, which they seem to always do in 3 sets. 
If you can keep their coop at the appropriate temp. for their age, that is to say: 90 - 95 the first week, decreasing by 5 degrees a week, until it's down to 70 degrees and they shouldn't need supplemental heat, you can have them in their coop.  Mine will be moving to their permanent coop when they are 4 weeks old.  I'll be using the heat lamp(s) to keep the temp at 75 for a week and then watch their behavior to see if they still need it. 
I do have more chicks than you though, and I think body heat from their brothers and sisters counts too. 
I still don't watch the thermometer as much as I do my chicks behavior.  Huddling means they need more heat.  Staying as far as they can from the heat source means too hot. 
By the way, welcome to BYC.

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people. 

A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, runner ducks, call ducks, two geese that are my feathered children, and a crossbeak silkie X named Dragon. 

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If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people. 

A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, runner ducks, call ducks, two geese that are my feathered children, and a crossbeak silkie X named Dragon. 

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post #10 of 25

at that age you can take your chicks outside.as long as they are in a secure safe pen.an themn bring them back in in the evening.

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