Can my chicks go outside!?! Please help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by introvertedhen, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. Yes

    4 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. No!

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. introvertedhen

    introvertedhen New Egg

    6
    0
    6
    Apr 30, 2017
    Lothian MD
    Hello!
    I have 3 golden comets that are now 6 weeks old. They are currently living in the brooder in our garage but have not had any supplemental heat for the past 2 weeks. Today it is 68 fahrenheit outside right now, so would it be warm enough to let my chicks go outside and into the coop for a few hours? They will still sleep in the brooder at night, but I wanted to let them outside for a bit. We have a safe and secure coop that is already built and ready for them, I'm just not sure if they're too young too go outside. Thanks.
     
  2. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Stuck back in the 40s Premium Member

    11,370
    2,453
    396
    Mar 3, 2015
    Virginia
    Its perfectly fine for them to go out!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. The Golden Egg5

    The Golden Egg5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    738
    370
    151
    Nov 5, 2016
    Boone, North Carolina
    I think they will be ok! Mine are 5 weeks and spend the day outside and are going out permanently next week!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. introvertedhen

    introvertedhen New Egg

    6
    0
    6
    Apr 30, 2017
    Lothian MD
    Thank you! At what age do you recommend letting them stay outside all the time, instead of just during the day? This is my first time raising chicks even though I have had chickens for 5 years.
     
  5. introvertedhen

    introvertedhen New Egg

    6
    0
    6
    Apr 30, 2017
    Lothian MD
    I appreciate the help! [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  6. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,672
    894
    226
    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    I am putting my 6 chicks who are now 4 weeks old out tomorrow, permanently. We will have low temps in the 40's, but after reading several threads on the subject, I am confident they will be fine. It seems many put them out at 4 weeks. Take a look at this thread:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1162578/moving-chicks-to-the-coop
    PS edit...I am putting them out in the coop, not in the run. Access to run will be later and only on nice days. Their coop is big and roomy and has their huddle box that they are already used to.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  7. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    191
    79
    76
    Mar 11, 2017
    I think I speak for many first time chicken owners when I say we all worry about this! I was told my chicks should be fine outside, and they were not :( What I learned is this. They may be fully feathered, but they are still babies. They can get stressed by the new environment and the cold. However, your weather sounds lovely. I think as long as it stays above freezing they should be fine. Also as a gentler transition (depending on your weather), prepare heat of some sort in their coop. My 8 week olds are back in the house because it was not supposed to be above freezing (day or night) for like 3 days in a row and got down in the single digits, even with a heat lamp, this was a bit much. I'm dealing with respiratory infection in my flock due to the huge temp fluctuations and stress. The next phase is that they can spend time in their coop with the heat lamp, locked up. They get more space than in my house, but more heat and less draft than if they are free to roam their fenced pen. Also it takes some longer than others to figure out the ramp/pop hole and going in and out of the fenced yard to the coop, so they don't instinctively go back into their coop if they are cold, I found mine will huddle together outside in the wind, but haven't learned to run back up the ramp and go in. So mine go out, supervised in their fenced yard, for short periods of time when I feel it is warm enough, then locked back in their coop with access to the heat lamp. I have two different height perches plus the floor, so they can choose how close or far they want to be from the heat. I only plan on running the heat lamp when it will be below freezing until they are full grown.

    Also watch your chicks! Take them outside and they will love it, but they will tell you if it's too much or too cold. Mine will scratch and peck and roll in the dirt, but after some time when they get cold, they stop and will sit still, fluffed up, and eventually all huddle together, that's when I know they need to go back in.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. TeeMom

    TeeMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    184
    112
    116
    Jul 26, 2016
    Kansas
    I have a broody hen that hatched out 4 chicks over a month ago. Obviously they've been outside with her since day 1 and she has been their only heat source. They are now 5 1/2 weeks old and feathered, but momma booted them over a week ago. They are now roosting and free ranging on their own. Granted, your babies haven't been acclimated to the outdoors and any change in environment is stressful, so care needs to be taken, but they should do fine. We are in Kansas where the weather is bipolar, so they have had days in the 80's and nights below freezing. It is currently a very soggy 46°. We also have ducklings in the coop now using only a heating pad brooder and they are thriving. Good luck! After a bit of adjustment they will love the great outdoors!
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. BIggoMamma

    BIggoMamma Out Of The Brooder

    113
    14
    49
    Mar 6, 2017
    yes if they have feathers keep them in at night.
     
  10. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Stuck back in the 40s Premium Member

    11,370
    2,453
    396
    Mar 3, 2015
    Virginia
    Once they are fully feathered they stay out there for good in my coop :). Mine were little younger then 5 weeks when the went out permanently
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by