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Baby chicks, when can they go outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mjws82011, Dec 28, 2013.

  1. mjws82011

    mjws82011 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 2, 2013
    Rhode Island
    I have 2 chicks that are 4 weeks old and I am wondering when they can go outside, one is just about fully feathered and the other one still has a little ways to go. [​IMG]

    I suspect the bigger one is a roo.
     
  2. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2012
    Kansas
    They should be fine. I've had chicks younger and less-feathered than that happily frollicking outdoors even in temperatures that didn't get above freezing. The important thing is that they have the ability to get warm again once they're chilled, so if they have access to the outdoors, there should be a heat source in their shelter until they have fully feathered out. Also, make sure they know how to navigate the ramp to go in and out before you leave them to fend for themselves.

    I had a broody to help keep the babies warm, so they were ready to go out and explore when they were only a few days old.
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    Now there is ice and snow, and the babies haven't shown any desire to go back inside for longer than they have to to get warm again.
    [​IMG]

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  3. mjws82011

    mjws82011 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 2, 2013
    Rhode Island
    Thank you. I actually have other hens and a roo outside now so the other thing is when to introduce them, it is about 40 degrees today and I have a red lamp, heated waterer hooked up to a thermocube that turns on at 35 degrees and turns off when its above 45 degrees so they can definitely get warm if they need to.
     
  4. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2012
    Kansas
    Whenever we need to introduce new chicks, we put them in a separate enclosure inside of the coop/run so that the adults can get used to seeing them for a few weeks. We raise them there from day one, and it makes the transition much easier. I'm not sure how to go about it if the grownups haven't seen the babies at all yet, because they could easily kill the newbies at this age.
     
  5. mjws82011

    mjws82011 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 2, 2013
    Rhode Island
    Yea I took them outside and there were three adult people out there to intervene if need be, the roo was not having them at all but the hens could of cared less, time for the roo to find a new home possibly LOL I have 17 pure ameraucana eggs in an incubator right now we will most likely keep a roo and 6-8 hens out of that depending what hatches so I have to get rid of the roo anyway.
     
  6. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2012
    Kansas
    Our head rooster is a bit hostile towards the younger chickens as well. He's just trying to assert his dominance as alpha to the new arrivals, but we have had to take measures so that the newbies have someplace safe to go where they can eat and socialize without him trying to push them around. Once they fully mature, he is happy to accept them into his flock, hen and rooster alike, so it'a transition we tolerate.

    The biggest problem with integrating youngsters is that the adults may not intend them any harm, but they can kill a chick out of innocent curiosity. I love that we got broody hens this fall, because they helped the integration progress much faster than it otherwise could have. Whenever a curious or wayward adult wandered too close to the babies, the mama hen put them quickly in their place, and they soon learned to respect not only her, but the chicks in her care. For this reason alone, we are able to have our 6-week-old chicks mixed with the rest of the flock of adults unsupervised.

    The thing that blows my mind is that one of our bantam cochin roosters has been mingling with the broodies and chicks, and seems to be as interested in caring for the babies as the hens are. It's quite a sight!
     

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