4 wk chicks distressed by the outdoors?

MountainGoat

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 28, 2014
33
1
26
East Tennessee
I've been trying to get my chicks used to being outside by taking them out for a few minutes and increasing the time every day. I always wait until the temperature is warm and move them to a chicken wired pen in the yard to watch them. However, every time I bring them out they act traumatized and get loose stool and just hunker down and act like they're sleeping. I can't get them interested in food, water, worms (which they usually love) or anything. I always end up bringing them in after ten minutes or so because it makes me nervous. What am I doing wrong?
 

lightchick

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 3, 2014
4,586
308
306
Minnesota
I think you just need to give them a little more time outside. Try keeping them outside 20 minutes and then 25 minutes the next time and just slowly bring the time outside up.
 

red horse ranch

Crowing
6 Years
Jan 24, 2014
2,130
2,302
362
Buffalo Wyoming
I've been trying to get my chicks used to being outside by taking them out for a few minutes and increasing the time every day. I always wait until the temperature is warm and move them to a chicken wired pen in the yard to watch them. However, every time I bring them out they act traumatized and get loose stool and just hunker down and act like they're sleeping. I can't get them interested in food, water, worms (which they usually love) or anything. I always end up bringing them in after ten minutes or so because it makes me nervous. What am I doing wrong?
It's a BIG SCARY WORLD OUT THERE!


Can you put a cover over a part of the fenced in area so they don't feel so exposed. Or a pet carrier or box that they can feel safe in. It does take a while before they get up their nerve to explore. But I bet in another week they will be lovin' it!
 

lightchick

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 3, 2014
4,586
308
306
Minnesota
It's a BIG SCARY WORLD OUT THERE!


Can you put a cover over a part of the fenced in area so they don't feel so exposed. Or a pet carrier or box that they can feel safe in. It does take a while before they get up their nerve to explore. But I bet in another week they will be lovin' it!
Oh yeah, I forgot to add that they need some shelter.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,898
581
Southern Oregon
Agree with the big scary world. They just need more time. Put them out and leave them for a good hour, or more. At 4 weeks they can handle whatever temp it is outside for several hours. Baby chicks are very aware they're the bottom of the food chain, and they don't have a momma to show them what to do, so it takes a while for them to get comfortable and start exploring.
 

MountainGoat

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 28, 2014
33
1
26
East Tennessee
Thanks everybody! It's a big scary world out there being a newbie, too. I wait until the temps are as warm/slightly warmer than the brooder outside, so I think that part's ok. I guess I'm a serious worrywart, but I hate to think what'll happen if I don't panic and investigate every little thing.
 

red horse ranch

Crowing
6 Years
Jan 24, 2014
2,130
2,302
362
Buffalo Wyoming
Thanks everybody! It's a big scary world out there being a newbie, too. I wait until the temps are as warm/slightly warmer than the brooder outside, so I think that part's ok. I guess I'm a serious worrywart, but I hate to think what'll happen if I don't panic and investigate every little thing.
Been there, done that!
 

hollilynn

Songster
6 Years
Sep 16, 2013
71
3
101
I had my chicks out last weekend, when it was approx. 70 degrees. I sat with them in the grass in a temporary enclosure and they were jumping all over me cause they were insecure;) they started exploring after a few minutes and seemed to really enjoy it. Maybe get inside your run with them and see if they calm down.
 

MountainGoat

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 28, 2014
33
1
26
East Tennessee
Ok - I took them out Sunday when it was actually pretty hot. Put them under a tree and stuck a box on its side in there and a big tree stump. They were so happy the whole day I was sad to bring them back in. What a change from the other times! Glad to have the reassurance from y'all so I could stop worrying about it.
 
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