Can 7 weeks old chicks go out in the rain?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Petra Pancake, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    We've got rainy weather forecast for the next few days.Temperatures are around 45 - 55 degrees. As I unfortunately had to keep my 7 weeks old chicks and their mother locked in the coop today bec. of my work schedule, I really want to let them out tomorrow and the day after. I saw in some other posts that chickens don't mind getting wet and often don't go back into the coop when it rains and that it doesn't really harm them. Does that apply to 7 weeks old chicks as well? Or should I keep them locked up to be on the safe side? The problem is that I'm away at work for most of the day, so I have to decide in the morning before I leave if I open the coop door to let them into the run or leave it locked until evening. No way to change half-way through and no way to check if they are getting themselves soaked in the rain or not.
     
  2. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    If your run is secure why not just open the door between them and let them decide if they want to be in or out? I keep my pop door into the run open 24/7 and they go in and out at will, even when we are out of town for a few days.
     
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  3. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, as other posters said in other threads, sometimes chickens will just hang out in the rain and not go inside on their own, even if they can. I'm just worried that the relatively young chicks might do that and get themselves harmed (soaked) and get a cold.
     
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In your case, the young chicks are with their mother. I would think that they could get warmed by mom if necessary. Even without mom, if they are by themselves and fully feathered they should be alright in those temperatures. It takes a real downpour to penetrate to the skin and most are smart enough to go to shelter in those cases.
     
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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Are the chicks and their mom fully integrated into flock, moving freely between coop and run without being denied access by other flock members??
    Is there a place to securely shelter from the weather out in the run, just in case?
     
  6. Petra Pancake

    Petra Pancake Chillin' With My Peeps

    The chicks with their mom are not yet fully integrated in the flock - but the mom is already dominating the flock. She just boots my "old" hens roughly out of the way when she wants to go anywhere and her chicks trail along. There is a kind of half-sheltered place in the run where part of the coop roof hangs over and the wall is propped up with extra boards but I don't think they use that space much. I had them out today - when I came home from work, mother hen with the chicks was happily scratching around outside in a slight drizzle - they didn't seem all that wet and seemed to be having a good time. Maybe my worries were unfounded. If it's not totally pouring tomorrow, I'll let them out again.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Might be good to rig something for shelter in a downpour...just in case.
     
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  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    They've got mama...that's like having a portable, heated barn at all times. No worries. I've let chicks younger than that get out and free range in temps such as those, rain or not, and they do fine.
     
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