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When can I put my chicks outside!!!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

So I was wondering at what age can I put my chicks in a coop outside!!

27 goats. 10 horses. 3 red silkies. 3 blue silkies. 2 Japanese bantams. 1 Dominique. 1 white leghorn. 6 coturnix quail. 5 red golden pheasants. 1 cat. 1 english bulldog.
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27 goats. 10 horses. 3 red silkies. 3 blue silkies. 2 Japanese bantams. 1 Dominique. 1 white leghorn. 6 coturnix quail. 5 red golden pheasants. 1 cat. 1 english bulldog.
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post #2 of 12

I think that would depend on where you live and what breeds you have.  I have a brooder in the shade under a gazebo out on our deck, and I put my chicks in there the day I get them when it's not cold/rainy/snowy.   I put my WFBS chicks in an A-frame coop (the rest of the flock cannot get to them) when they were 2 weeks old.  They're a month old now and growing like crazy!

You will get lots of different answers to this question, as I have one friend who just thinks I'm the most horrible chickeneer for not keeping them in the house until they are a minimum of 7 to 8 weeks.  I contend, however, that my chickens are healthier because they are exposed to dirt at an earlier age & I have only lost 2 chickens to an illness (1 to Marek's and 1 to fowlpox) late last year.  All the chickens we've lost this year have been due to injury or were just weak little chickies to begin with.   She has lost 5 chickens this year to Marek's, so I contend it's better to expose them earlier and help them build their own immune systems and develop resistance to diseases.

The healthiest, most robust chickens I have are the ones that were hatched outside by broodies and have never even been indoors.

Living in the Sierras, raising chickens, groovin' on alpacas, growing food, loving my fabulous husband, and closer than ever to living my ideal dream!

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Living in the Sierras, raising chickens, groovin' on alpacas, growing food, loving my fabulous husband, and closer than ever to living my ideal dream!

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post #3 of 12

Most chickens are fully feathered around 6 weeks old, and it is also at this time they can handle temps in the 70s (and usually don't need their heat lamp anymore- depending on weather).
I turned my little flock out around 6-7 weeks of age.  But I raised them in the early spring, so wanted to make sure the weather would be warm enough for them.
Others with more experience might have another opinion due to that fact that we are in mid-summer.
Good luck.

"I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road and not have their motives questioned"
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"I dream of a world where chickens can cross the road and not have their motives questioned"
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post #4 of 12

I put my RIR's outside when they were 7 weeks old it was in the 80's during the day and 70's at night. They had all of their feathers and were getting to big to be inside so had to make the big move outside.

3 Rhode Island Reds, 1 Red Laced Cornish, 1 Leghorn, and 1 unknown! 

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3 Rhode Island Reds, 1 Red Laced Cornish, 1 Leghorn, and 1 unknown! 

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post #5 of 12

I just put my girls outside in their coop today - they're just 2 weeks old but growing very fast.  They were running out of room in their brooder and the temps outside now are good - last week it was in the 100s but today it was in the 80s.  If it gets hot again, I'll just turn on the fan I have out there for them.  I still have a heat lamp on out there if they need it or they can move into the cooler area of the coop.  I won't open it up to the run yet...probably not until the weekend.  I've read varying opinions on this - in my opinion, my coop isn't any different from owners that brood their chickens outside or in their warm garages.

We're all learning along the way smile

post #6 of 12

i had a surprise hatching, under my deck, 2 weeks ago. the first time i knew they were here, i saw momma hen and 14 biddies in the yard. SURPRISE!!! she kept going back under the deck with the little flock, until saturday night, when she went in the henhouse with others at dusk, and flew up on the roost. [ i let them all out in the mornings ]  i waited until just about dark, picked the peepers up, and sit them on a lower perch, where they stayed all night. they jumped up there by themselves last night, but  a $%&*@# chicken snake got in, and ate one of my peepers, but,, he won't eat any more... soooo,, what i'm telling you is that this batch hatched out, and have stayed out for 2 weeks, since hatching. now,, i'm positive most around this site have forgotten more about chickens than i will ever know,,, but,,, i'm old [ 67 ] and was raised in rural mississippi, and we always had momma hens and flocks running around the barnyard/henhouse in those days when i was just a lad. i don't 'spect heat lamps were even around in those days, the chicks would get under the wings of the hen, and make it just fine all night. except, in your case, you might not have a mother hen, and that would be another situation. as an exreriment, i gave 1/2 of the biddies to a neighbor last week, to raise in a quail pen not being used. in a few months, we will compare notes on yard raised, and pen raised.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Ok!! Well I moved them out!! They are 3 1/2 weeks and it is burning up here so I figured they would be fine!! Haha!!

27 goats. 10 horses. 3 red silkies. 3 blue silkies. 2 Japanese bantams. 1 Dominique. 1 white leghorn. 6 coturnix quail. 5 red golden pheasants. 1 cat. 1 english bulldog.
Reply
27 goats. 10 horses. 3 red silkies. 3 blue silkies. 2 Japanese bantams. 1 Dominique. 1 white leghorn. 6 coturnix quail. 5 red golden pheasants. 1 cat. 1 english bulldog.
Reply
post #8 of 12

I put mine out at 3.5 weeks.  They did great.  They were already TOO BIG for their brooder inside, and since it has been 90's every day and high 70's at night, i figure there's no problem (I did have a heat lamp on for the first two weeks).  My worry was snakes and rats, as these can get into even very secure coops, and harm young birds.  All went well though!  Best of luck!

post #9 of 12

I put mine out at 8 weeks if temp during day is above 70 consistantly and put a light on them at night if drops below 70

post #10 of 12

Both of my batches went straight to the coop their brooder bin was there used supplimental heat at night but it was 90+ in the daytime 70 at night. When they were 2 weeks took them out of the bin straight in the coop. This coop was built for them so they had no competition for anything. That was also when I opened their pop door let them out in their run where it was cooler than the coop. They have done fabulous. Both batches I have gotten went to their coops upon arrival they both had brooder bins to start but about 2- 3 weeks they were out. The 1st batch had to have supplimental heat at night but they came in April. Both batches on the ground beginning week 2 learning their way around their runs. They have been really healthy no problems so far.  You will find differing opinions about everything on here you have to use common sense & figure out what is going to work for you. I may have been lucky. But I have been blessed no doubt. big_smile

Mom to 3 pommies , 1 spitz, about 25 chickens.I also have a understanding signifcant other of 11 years.
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Mom to 3 pommies , 1 spitz, about 25 chickens.I also have a understanding signifcant other of 11 years.
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