3 wk olds - how to take outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tygab, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. tygab

    tygab Songster

    Mar 14, 2008
    MA/NH border
    this weekend it's gonna be real hot around here, and I would like to introduce the chicks to the outside world at some point (unless it's too hot). But run is non-existent as of yet... soon, sigh.

    In fact I have no way to enclose them, that I can think of, to give them outdoor access. At least without buying something which I don't really want to do...

    Does anyone have recommendations? If I take them out will they run/fly off? Will I have to chase them around to try and get them to come back? I would of course stay close by to prevent any pred issues.

    Or should I just leave them in the brooder?

    Also, when I open the top to ours (hw cloth stapled to a wood board which hangs over the side), one has figured out how to fly up and perch, and I am sure the others will follow soon. Is this ok? they are in an enclosed room but I worry they will fly down to the other side then get themselves (or me) all panicked as they flap around trying to get back in.

    I wish I knew a little more about their growing stages.....
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Well, I can't address the outside issue. I'd be afraid to let them run around without some sort of simple enclosure.

    But, last year we got our chicks in March and didn't have their coop ready until June 1st! They actually lived in the living room until May when we moved them to the basement (they were in two very large boxes taped together).

    While they lived upstairs they would fly up to the top of the box and watch TV with us at night. Or, they would walk across the couch and sit on my lap as I sat reading or watching TV.

    The bigger issue of them walking around the house (at least to me) was the poop they tend to leave behind. I kept our couch covered with bathtowels when we opened their box top so they could get out.
  3. jdr250

    jdr250 In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2008
    In fact I have no way to enclose them, that I can think of, to give them outdoor access. At least without buying something which I don't really want to do...

    Maybe you could go and buy a roll of chicken wire and make them a small circle to play in, and it wouldn't cost any extra if you are going to make your run out of chicken wire anyway, this way you'll already have it.

    I would guess the answer to whether they would run or fly off would depend on how big your yard is and whether it's fenced or not.

    Good luck, I am new at this too​
  4. wannabechickraiser

    wannabechickraiser In the Brooder

    May 28, 2008
    I have 10 2 week old Australops and our run is completed enclosed with hardware wire. We also live on the MA/NH border in Groveland. We have fox, coyotes, hawks and dogs around and I didn't want to lose any. We had them out for the first time two days ago and we had to pick them up to get them back into the coop. If we didn't have the run enclosed, it sure would have been a lot harder to get them back. Where do you live?
  5. bangor777

    bangor777 Songster

    May 4, 2008
    First of all put a screen or something over the brooder box, I just use a big window screen and lay it on top, they never attempt to fly out with something even just laying over the brooder. As soon as I take it off they all flutter up though!

    As far as taking them outside, I put mine in a picnic hamper, walk out and settle down with a lawn chair and a book. They LOVE going outside, they never run off, they just stay together in a group and peck and scratch. When its time to go in I gather them up and put them back in the basket....my RIR would always be the last to be 'caught', as they grew it became more comical, but they didn't run off, just run in circles to avoid me swooping down on them:D

    Take them out, they'll love it. mine go out everyday, unless its really cold and raining.
  6. tygab

    tygab Songster

    Mar 14, 2008
    MA/NH border
    am in pepperell and can walk to the nh line from my house. definitely pretty rural w/the number of (take your pick) horses, atvs, free roaming dogs, etc...

    I like the idea of using future run material, that would probably do it. I guess they wouldn't knock it over and I'll be there if they do...

    bangor777 how old were yours when you started taking the field trips? the brooder is covered at all times, except when I am feeding/watering/cleaning/and I admit visiting!

    I can't wait to see them outdoors. I think they are ready (in as much as I understand chicken, this is what they seem to be saying to me [​IMG])
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  7. pixiechick

    pixiechick Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Jonesborough, TN
    I just carried my brooder box outside and set the chicks out in my flower beds. I was afraid of what my husband might have put on his lawn. They loved it and stayed right there catching ants and dustbathing. I never went very far though. We've got hawks, coons, probably even baby raptors running around. When it was time to go in, I picked them up and put'em back in the box.[​IMG]
  8. kelliepulido

    kelliepulido Songster

    Mar 18, 2008
    st.john's mi
    I took mine out at a couple days old when it was warm I also put them in a kiddy swimming pool w/straw and they loved it being in the sun.Mine never strayed far at that age.My babies are 4wks.old sat.they have been out in the coop for 2wk.s they have just started walking up the ladder to the outside run they are venturing down the other side now.
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    All I can add to what the others have said is to tell you my experience. I am in the same boat as you, since neither our coop or the run is finished. My SO is dealing with a shoulder injury and I have limited use of my arms, not to mention the heat wave. [​IMG]
    My chicks are 8 weeks old. I have been taking them outside since they were 3 weeks old. For weeks 3, 4, and 5 it was only on nice days. Now it's any day that it isn't raining. Our yard is fenced. We have absolutely no chemicals on the yard anywhere. We do have an maniacal, psychopathic outside cat that temporarily becomes an indoor cat during the chick's outings. I used to make my dog stay inside as well, but now that the chicks are older, they're used to her and she to them. I DO keep her on a leash the whole time. My goat could care less about the chicks and they ignore him. I carry the chicks outside, turn them loose in the front yard, then I pull up a lawn chair and babysit. They're flock animals and they pretty much stay close to each other. I do have one chick whose name is Luna, but I call her dimwit. She's so busy being an airhead she doesn't realize when the other chicks have wandered away from her. Then she screams bloody murder when she realizes they're gone. They have a favorite spot under my very large hibiscus bush that's where they go to rest. Five weeks of taking them out and they have yet to venture away from the front yard. For some reason, I think it's because it's the spot where I first set them down on their very first day out, they have designated the corner where the house meets the screened porch as their safe zone. If something spooks them they all run to that corner.
    Catching them was a little tricker. I would basically just shoo them all to their corner and start picking em up 2 at a time and carry them back to their pen. Lately it's become easier. Their pen is on the screened porch, so I just prop the door open and herd them towards it. They hop back in their pen by themselves. I gotta tell ya, one day I actually had help getting them back in from a pair of buzzards. They saw the buzzards flying overhead and were more than happy to get back in their pen.
    Edited for spelling, which is apparently something I can't do when using my SO's *&%#!%%$! laptop.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2008
  10. bangor777

    bangor777 Songster

    May 4, 2008
    I've been taking mine outside since 1 1/2 weeks, even the tiny ones (less than a week) get brief field trips while I change out their litter.

    have fun! They become whole new birds when they go out..running, chest bumping, jumping. So cute! their personalities really shine through in the open air!

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