can new chicks have outside time?

ssporter

Hatching
11 Years
Sep 27, 2008
3
0
7
Hi, I'm new to chickens and got five chicks in the mail from MyPetChicken on Tuesday (they're 5 days old). They're doing great and seem really vigorous and have good appetites. I had them vaccinated for Marek's disease and they are eating medicated feed (Amprolium added). On nice warm days, when would it be ok to take them out on the lawn/dirt (untreated grass) for little supervised outings for say 30min? I put some dry leaves and sticks in their brooder today and they love to scratch and play around.
Thanks!
Stephanie
 

shelleyd2008

the bird is the word
11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
23,381
96
351
Adair Co., KY
My chicks get moved to their 'mamas' when they are about 2 days old (been lucky so far, all bator babies have hatched around the same time as a hen!). The mamas' tractors are on the ground, and I haven't had any get sick. I would think they would be fine. You could also make them a little pen, or get a cage, and leave them out there for a while. That's what I do with my 3-week-old guineas. As long as they aren't in direct sun, or have it set to where they could go in the sun when they got chilly, they would be fine!!
 

the simple life

Songster
11 Years
May 2, 2008
1,561
7
181
Weymouth, Massachusetts
I would bring them out for short periods of time and make sure they don't get cold.
Mine love to go out, but where they still rely on a heatlamp, and the weather is getting cold I wouldn't do it for more than a few minutes at a time and only if the ground isn't damp.
I would rather take them out a few times a day than keep them out too long and have them get chilled.
 

kinnip

Songster
11 Years
Feb 24, 2008
2,114
14
201
Carrollton, GA
I turned my month olds loose on my spring garden. They had a great time and I had trouble catching them. I'd like to have a better method of taking them outside at a young age.
 

ssporter

Hatching
11 Years
Sep 27, 2008
3
0
7
Thanks everyone for your responses...my chicks will have their first outing tomorrow, weather permitting...it's very exciting, for me at least!
Stephanie
 

MamaDragon

Songster
11 Years
Aug 4, 2008
258
2
131
Camden, AR
Get some of the 24 inch tall chicken wire fencing. Make a circle about 6 feet in diameter. It's high enough that they shouldn't be able to fly over it for awhile, and it's low enough for you to be able to reach / step over to collect the chicks when it's time to bring them back to the brooder.

After ours were ten days old, I did this for the three I'm hand-raising (now 7 weeks old, and still not fully feathered out), and will do it again on warm days for the batch hatching out this week. Once they started trying to fly over the fencing, they got moved to an outside brooder cage with a light. I'd let them out of the cage into an enclosed area of the run for the day, and then back into the cage about 4 pm.

Just remember to Never Turn Your Back ! on them, as chicks may be fast, but my yard cats and Chihuahuas are even faster.

You could also build a Mini-Tractor.... a 3 or four foot cube cage with no floor. More secure than my ring fence, and not really any more expensive (especially since here you have to buy a 25 ft. roll of fencing, even if you only need half or it).

Good Luck!

Kathy
 

sweetcorn

Songster
11 Years
Sep 2, 2008
180
1
111
Northern Indiana
MamaDragon said
Get some of the 24 inch tall chicken wire fencing. Make a circle about 6 feet in diameter. It's high enough that they shouldn't be able to fly over it for awhile, and it's low enough for you to be able to reach / step over to collect the chicks when it's time to bring them back to the brooder.

Thats exactly what we did with our wee ones, I bought a roll of 3 foot x 15 foot long welded wire and we set it up in a circle in the yard for them to play in, they loved it. Pull a lawn chair up and enjoy the show.
14 bucks at Tractor Supply. By about 4-5 weeks they would try to fly out though , so keep an eye on them.​
 
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