Reasons for Tossing Out Your Indoor Brooder and Start Raising Your Chicks Outdoors

Fabulous and inspiring article! I love the concept of not terrifying the chicks with hands coming down from above.

One thing that might help for things like this (both for articles and comments) is for people to mention their average last frost date. That helps everyone put things in perspective, when talking about outdoor conditions and activities.

I have my very first batch of 32 chicks coming from Cackle Hatchery at the beginning of April (25 CX, 7 Dark Brahmas). My average last frost date in the northern Shenandoah Valley is April 22. With both a heat blanket brooder and a 250w heat lamp, I was going to raise them in the barn, inside a doubled cardboard "Chick Corral" (just a strip of cardboard). I'm going to experiment with it this weekend, but I might run an extension cord out to the coop, and see if I can maintain a stable temperature in there. If I can, the chicks will have a warm brooder that is open on one side, where they can venture out and see the world outside the coop (but still behind hardware cloth). They will also naturally explore the coop as they get bigger and the days get warmer. When they are really comfortable in the coop, I'll hook up the door, so they can go out.

In the meantime, the mess the chicks make will just be the start of the DLM in the coop.
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Thank you very much for sharing your experiences!
Excelent writing, enjoyable yo read , beautiful photos, valuable learning tool.
I do not have chickens yet...I am still reading, learning, and making decisions about how I want to do things. This method just seems so "right". My background is in dogs....and I work very hard at getting pups out into the world on "field trips" expose them to tons of new places, people, sounds, underfootings, and experiences. I firmly believe this results in a calm, confident dog who takes new things in stride. So the ideas presented here make perfect sense! This is a much more natural way....and the benefits are obvious. I'm convinced and I thank you for this has changed my thinking and my future chicks will benefit.
I have 17 eggs in the incubator now. This is my first time hatching my eggs without a broody. It’s December and very cold here. The eggs should hatch on Christmas Day. I hope I can put a chick panic pen in the hen pen. I’d love to have them acclimate quickly. I’ve got some thinking to do. Thank you!
I've successfully raised and integrated two batches of chicks and can't thank you enough for giving me confidence! I've been referring this article to many new members and can't believe I haven't reviewed your article yet. This has been a life saver!
All makes sense really and kind of obvious once someone points it out :)
Taking what you've identified here and I will do what I can in my own rearing.
Thanks for sharing this knowledge.
It’s my first time with chicks and I felt like acclimating them to the coop sooner than later would be the right thing to do. Thank you for sharing your ideas and previous experiences.
Great article. My chicks are 7 weeks old, have been outside alongside the big chicken pen, and also inside part of coop alongside the big chickens. I moved them outside at 3 weeks, before that they were in a dog pen, a big one! Only in the box for a week. But really going to try no box, and table high pen next time. GREAT idea to raise tame birds! Thank you!!!!
So much "common" sense! Thanks for all the pics and information. Very valuable.
I've been embracing this concept since I read this! GOOD JOB! :ya
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These are great ideas, laid out well, with helpful pics too. Very good article!
I LOVE Everything about this article! Well written, packed with amazing and useful info. I’m brooding outdoors, too
I was already planning on trying this this year. You provided great photos and information to cement my plan.

Thank you.
Great article!!!
I was pleased to read this article to actually know there is a solution in integrating chicks in a existing flock. I have tried the "The no panic" method and it is basically a lifesaver. In most cases, the chicks decide to start living with the older hens by their own conscience when they are ready.
Thank you Azygous.
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To me, this is hands down the best way to raise chicks so they are friendly when they mature.
Reducing stress on all the animals we choose to include in our lives is just plain good husbandry that is often overlooked. We typically make decisions about how we are going to do things that work to reduce OUR stress, not theirs. Sometimes that extra effort up front reduces all our stress.
This is such a well written, informative article that reads easily because of well thought out formatting and photos. Just wonderful!
Thank you so much!
After reading your article, I’m going to move my 4-week olds out to the pen today, with the panic room, of course. You truly taught me a lot with all of your detail & pics. Thank you very much.
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