Brooding 2 week old chicks outside?


May 30, 2020
Hi all, I started my adventures into backyard chickens about 3 years ago with two gold orpingtons. This spring I decided to expand the flock, got 6 day old silkie chicks, bought another coop that would be big enough and set it up.

Turns out, keep 6 chicks vs 2 chicks inside is a bit different. I admit I'm getting a little selfish wanting to get them out of the house ASAP but do you think this would work?

I bought a big coop for them with an attached run that appears to me to be predator proof. There don't appear to be any real predators around (knock on wood) as I've had my other two chickens free range and don't close the coop at night unless it is extremely cold out. This would be mostly enclosed, I would attach two long pieces of cardboard on the back end of the coop so if it was windy they could escape the wind, and leave the front half open (but with the roof on) I can hang a heat lamp inside that I can turn on at night.

During the day it gets to be about 95 degrees and night time is in the high 60s. Do you think this would be an issue at all? If you do, I have no problem bringing them back inside the house. Also, I just had to break one of my gold orpingtons from her being so broody. She really seems to want to take care of them, when ever I bring one of them near she goes ballistic. I don't really have a good spot for her to do so, but I can make one, do you think it would be odd for a gold orpington to take care of 2.5 week old chicks?

What do you guys think? Any advice would be helpful!

Here is a link with pictures of everything:


Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
Holts Summit, Missouri
You are pushing envelope a little. So long as temperatures as you describe and dry, all is good. If temperature drops below 50 F and especially if wet, then bring them in. They will be much tougher by 5 weeks, but can still be at risk with a really heavy rain event or rapid changes to temperatures below freezing.


7 Years
Oct 27, 2014
I say, if the Orpington wants them, let her have them! That will solve all your issues. Just make sure they have a safe place to shelter in.

Speaking of which, just because you’ve never had a predator attack your open coop yet, doesn’t mean you never will. Best to close the door at night.


Scarborough Fair
6 Years
Jul 3, 2016
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Day time temps are high so that may be an issue - make sure that wherever the set up is, that there's ample shade available. They will still need heat at night, so having a thermometer inside the coop would be ideal to see when to switch it on (or you could swap to a heat plate/pad instead and simply leave it on).

Your orp may be able to mother the chicks but the chicks are a bit on the old side, so they may or may not take to her. You can try it if you want, if it works out, easier for you for sure. Mine's not remotely broody but seems mildly interested in my chicks, so they've been safe around her.


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