4 week olds in the coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Buff-Island-Australorp, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. Buff-Island-Australorp

    Buff-Island-Australorp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    Bixby, OK
    Am I breaking the rules of raising chickens by letting my 4 week olds have full access to their coop and run?? The coop and run construction is complete, other than the elevated nest boxes and permenant roosts. The coop and run are both extemely secure.
    In the evening, I actually open the run door, and let them run around outside for a little while. (although they don't stray too far from the run door yet) They definately know where home is becasue any sudden moves, and they "high tail" back inside the run.
    When it's bed time, the red light comes on, and we make sure they have fresh food and water.
    Our temps here in Oklahoma have been very warm lately, and tonight the low is supposed to only drop to 68°. Even when it got down to 38° last week, I lowered the heat lamp and they all survived just fine.
    I just keep reading on here that most are keeping their chickens inside until at least 7-8 weeks old.

    Am I raising my chickens to be rebels by not sheltering them and keeping a closer eye on them? (they did find a cigarette butt this evening and chased each other around until they realized it was bad for them)
  2. dweej

    dweej Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 4, 2011
    Southwest MI
    I don't know the answer to your question but I have to tell you the cigarette butt thing made me LAUGH OUT LOUD! [​IMG]
  3. Mtn Margie

    Mtn Margie Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 7, 2010
    CO Rockies - 8600ft up
    Well, my little girls were out in the real world at 4 weeks as well. They were fully feathered out and have done very well with lows in the 30's and 20's. There have been just a couple of nights (very windy and like 18 degrees) that I put the heat lamp on for them, but it is very high so it just warms things up a little bit. Still had frozen water in the am though. They have shavings and also some grass hay to snuggle down into. Going on 6 weeks old now and still thriving and growing like weeds. Make sure there are no major drafts and they should be just fine if they are fully feathered out. Gotta watch those heat lamps, very dangerous, so the sooner you get rid of it the safer your little fuzzy butts will be. Good Luck little outlaws.
  4. Wildflower_VA

    Wildflower_VA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Going by your screen name, if you have Australorps, then they will be fine. They are very cold-hardy and mature (feather out) quicker than some breeds. My BA's have been in their coop and run since they were five weeks old, and with no heat lamp at all. They are healthy and happy. They just turned seven weeks old and are already professional compost turners and super foragers.
  5. Buff-Island-Australorp

    Buff-Island-Australorp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    Bixby, OK
    Yep, I've got 5 Australorps, 3 RIR's, and 1 Buff Orp. (all girls) My chicks actually stayed the first week in our house, second week in the barn that my coop and run are attached to, then the last 2 weeks in their permanent home.
    They seem happy. I threw some new, tilled up, non fertalized dirt and grass from my garden in to their run, and they have themselves a little "ho-down".
    It just seems from what I've read, that I was the only one letting my chickens do their own thing at such an early age. The weather this time of year is so unstable, I have been keeping a close eye on it daily, and make adjustments accordingly.
    I do know they don't care much for the wind, even on a warm day. The wind catches their feathers and actually blows them accross the run. (kinda funny, actually)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by