2 week old chicks outside in the run

SteveP612

Chirping
10 Years
Jun 2, 2009
31
0
90
Coleman Michigan
Would it be ok to let my chicks out into the run? They will be 2 weeks old tomorrow. The temp where I am at is suppose to be in the mid to upper 70's. This is my first bunch of chics so this is all new to me. If it is to early when woudl be the right time. Thanks for any and all info..
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,682
15,686
777
Southeast Louisiana
I'd wait until they are at least four weeks old before I let them out to the run during the day. They should be mostly feathered out and, if you are dropping the temperature 5 degrees a week, you are almost there on the temperature.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
535
448
South Georgia
Are the chicks in the coop or in your house?

If they are in the coop and can go back to the heat, no reason not to let them have the choice during the warm part of the day. They may not go out at first, but they will when they are ready.
 
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Chickenmaven

Songster
10 Years
Feb 6, 2009
2,064
12
181
Michigan
Quote:Oh, ddawn, come on up & visit Michigan. There is no warm part of the day.
We are just trading out parkas for our coats.


Keep those babies near a lamp until they are feathered - like 5 weeks!!!!
 

Opa

Opa-wan Chickenobi
12 Years
May 11, 2008
9,573
463
336
Howell Michigan
At hatch chicks should be under a heat lamp and the temperature at 95 degrees. You should drop the temperature 5 degrees each week. It will take 5 weeks to get down to 70 degrees. 2 weeks is much to young to take outside.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
535
448
South Georgia
Quote:Oh, ddawn, come on up & visit Michigan. There is no warm part of the day.
We are just trading out parkas for our coats.


Keep those babies near a lamp until they are feathered - like 5 weeks!!!!

Remember we live in a mobile society. I spent my first 30 years in/near Chicago, and many summers on lakes in Michigan. I remember our first A/C, a great relief in the dining room, and one I would have loved if it had done any good in my bedroom.

Mama hens take 4 or 5 day old chicks outdoors in below freezing temps. I have seen it. The chicks return to mama for warmth when needed, but spend a surprising amount of time scratching and pecking. That is why I asked if they were in a coop; I don't brood indoors. If they can return to heat and shelter when they wish, they will be fine going out on sunny days. They know what they need better than we do.

I certainly never wore a coat in June.

I checked a map. Coleman, MI is probably not more than 100 miles north of Chicago, that's maybe 5 degrees, and they are east of the lake, so maybe wetter but probably not colder.
 
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Alyssandra

In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 22, 2009
68
0
39
snohomish, WA
Also where you meaning all day or just for a short visit outside? I am fairly new at chicks but I don't see any reason not to take them out for a short field trip to the run if you are watching them for signs that they are to cold. Again I am new to this so I am just saying what I understand from reading other posts.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
535
448
South Georgia
Quote:I was talking about allowing them to make the choice. I was guessing that the OP already had them in a coop, because she talked about letting them out into a run. In that scenario, I would simply let them choose. I do not brood indoors. I would not close them in a coop because I thought they needed heat that they might not want, even for a brief period. They can figure that out. That was my point.

There is certainly no reason not to take them out for a field trip, even if you are brooding them indoors. You can watch them for signs they are cold, as you said. You can put a cardboard box, or 5 gallon bucket, or anything similar, nearby, so they have a place to run to, if they feel chilled -- or become afraid of the passing shadow of a bird, or whatever. You can offer enough food and water for a short period outdoors, usually simply enough, unless you have an awful lot of chicks.

I feel there are a lot of pecking and aggression problems that occur in these indoor and warm brooders that could be avoided entirely by allowing them access to the outdoors at this time of year. They are scavengers and peckers by nature, and we have not bred that out of them, thankfully. Even if they spend only an hour or two outdoors, and run back into a box for warmth every little while, I think this opportunity can make a big difference. There is a good reason we jokingly refer to them as dinosaurs. They did not grow up with brooder lights in the wild, and they are not really much removed from their wild state, genetically. Yes, we can cause a lot more to survive with a little care, but I also feel they still need the opportunity to "spread their wings."
 
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SteveP612

Chirping
10 Years
Jun 2, 2009
31
0
90
Coleman Michigan
Quote:Yes they are in the coop. I have been keeping it right around 80 degrees in there for them. The last couple of days I have been turning the lights off for most of the day because the coop has been staying at 80 by itself. I have even been opening the windows so that they get a breeze every now and then. I was wonder if they could go out because watching them yesterday with the lights off and windows open they are not huddling up like they are cold. I wouldnt be letting them out when I wasnt out side to watch them. Dont have the top of the run covered with wire yet. Thanks for all the replies.
 

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