Can I Bring My Chicks Outside for A While Yet?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Laurajean, May 16, 2010.

  1. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    My chicks are 12 days old. They seem a little bored, I thought it might be fun to bring them out onto the grass in a open-bottomed wire play pen (formerly used for my guinea pig). I would do this on a sunny nice day, which right now ranges from mid 60's-mid 70's where I am, but it is typically breezy.

    I am not worried about predators, them being unattended, etc, because I am planning to literally sit next to them in a lawn chair. I just thought they might like the sun and would maybe get a kick out of the grass.

    Is it too soon? Would they be chilly?

    Also, I haven't bought grit yet since they've only eaten chick starter so far. Should I have grit if they play in the grass in case they eat it? Or will they just get that from the ground? (I have a skimpy lawn so there's plenty of sandy patches throughout the grass).

  2. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    They should be fine to go outside for a little while as long as you do it during the day while it's warm. They shouldn't need any grit b/c they'll be able to pick up some sand/dirt while they peck around.
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    I think 12 days is a bit early. They still need temps of 85F or so at that age. What you can do is bring in a clod of dirt and grass for them to play with. Offer some grit anyway, they may or may not go for it, but time to learn!
  4. fastpat

    fastpat Chillin' With My Peeps

    In my opinion, 12 days is VERY early to take chicks outside with those temps. Yes, I know that hens take chicks out even earlier, but they usually know how to take care of them, including keeping them warm enough. 12 day old chicks need 85ºF warmth in their brooder, so I'd say that you'd need at least an 80ºF day to take them out, unless you want them to only have a 15-20 minute outing.
  5. Dingleberry

    Dingleberry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2010
    they may get too cold too quickly we took ours out at 30 days for 15 minutes. they couldn't do the cold after that long..
  6. fastpat

    fastpat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I'm not surprised. Mine are seven weeks old now and have never been outside. Soon, though.
  7. snowflake

    snowflake Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Belding Michigan
    Mine have been outside since 5 weeks we put the light on at night and very cold days but open the coop door so they can go out if they want. at 7 weeks they are all standing at the door to go out by 6AM when I leave for work. to day we let them run with the adult hens and are doing fine. they stay close to the tractor and are in and out of the cope. they seem to be having a good time. lots of supervision. I will close them into the tractor soon as it is almost 7PM and I close the coop door after they all go in for the night. I have 25 chicks in a 4x4 coop and haven't used the heat lamp for at least a week. ....If it is warm I don't think it will hurt them at all. I was much more protective with our first set of hens [​IMG]
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I agree, to a point. The OP said it's "typically breezy", the breeze concerns me more than the temps.
    To the OP - If you do it, try to pick a day when the wind is calm. You'll have to watch over them like the mama hen would. If they are moving around, making quiet peeping noises, then they're fine. If they start to huddle and begin to peep loudly, it means they are chilled and need to go back under their heat lamp.
    I don't believe in keeping chicks under their heat lamp for an extended period of time. Mama hen has them out from day one, always ready to take them back under her ultra-warm wings and body if they show signs of chilling. Just MHO.
  9. Laurajean

    Laurajean Slightly Touched

    Apr 2, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Oh, I only meant for a maybe 15-20 minutes, I certainly didn't mean for long. I guess I should have been more clear, sorry. I just meant bring them out, sit in a chair and watch them peck at the grass, smell the fresh air, and then bring them back in. And yes, like Gritsar noticed, it is typically breezy here, I mentioned that deliberately to inquire if it would be too chilly, but of course I only had a few minutes in mind. I do plan to choose as warm and calm of a day as possible.

    Can I still get some more advice about the grit? Will they need it if in grass for a short while, or can they just peck at the sand?

    I'm also curious how the chicks know to gather grit, store bought or on the ground. Is it instinct, or do you need to show them like we do with water when they're first born?
  10. OCD

    OCD Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 19, 2010
    Bay Area
    Mine are about 3 weeks old (april 21st) and I leave them out during the day, until it cools down in the late afternoon. They love it. The sun keeps them warm enough. I also have a small dog crate in the pen in case they do get cold, they can go in there. They never have. My chicks are doing GREAT!!!!!

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