Chick Outings

JSossong

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 8, 2014
162
9
78
Western PA
Hey y'all! Was wondering at what point is it safe to let my girls experience the outdoors? They are 3 weeks old and have a lot of their feathers coming in. Right now its freezing outside but last weekend was beautiful (70 degrees) and we're expecting some nice weather soon. They're very eager to get out of their brooder and I'd love for them to get outside for a little outing.

Any comments and thoughts are appreciated!
Thanks!
 

foreverlearning

Songster
6 Years
Aug 4, 2013
2,421
326
198
I start at day 3. If the temps are good I leave them outside until they start slowing down (trying to sleep). If the temps are cooler but still not windy I put a heat lamp out there so they can warm up when needed. The most important thing to remember is they need access to grit when they start eating anything other then feed. They love grass and kale. They can't stay overnight outside without heat until they are fully feathered.
 

JSossong

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 8, 2014
162
9
78
Western PA
@foreverlearning So do you just put the whole brooder outside? I would like to have them roam around freely in the yard to explore with supervision, of course. Do you think I do that safely with them being this young?
 

mortie

Songster
5 Years
Feb 16, 2014
2,249
413
201
The Frozen Tundra
I made a ghetto pen for mine and started putting them in it around two and a half weeks or so when the temps finally hit 50 or so. They would hang out there for a couple of hours and then go back to the brooder inside to warm up. Didn't hurt them one bit and they really enjoyed it. Then it got into the high 50's when they were 3 weeks old and I left them out for several hours and they were fine. They are 4 weeks old now and yesterday it was in the 30's and a couple of them enjoyed a little outing checking out the new snow. They're not nearly as fragile as people think they are.
 

mortie

Songster
5 Years
Feb 16, 2014
2,249
413
201
The Frozen Tundra
Here is a picture of them in their little pen. I have 15 total but this was a little splinter group. It was probably about 35 degrees when this picture was taken.

 
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luv2bmomjen

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
51
9
69
Colorado
Wow so happy to see this post. I have been an over protective mother hen these first two weeks. I really wanted to take a few of my two week old chicks to my son's classroom at school but I was afraid they would get too cold. Sound to me like they would do just fine from what I'm reading. It's about 50 out today.
I have 6 chicks and I am BRAND new to chickens. Never been around them my whole life but I have fallen in love with everyone of mine.
 

JSossong

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 8, 2014
162
9
78
Western PA
@luv2bmomjen Haha same! Glad I'm not the only one out there thats overprotective. My parents and boyfriend keep making fun of me for it -saying "Justine, they're just chickens, not babies!" I guess I need to cut the cord, give my babies their space and not worry so much!

@mortie Thanks so much! Your post was very helpful. I like the idea of the little pen you built. It will make me relax and not be so uptight when I put them outside. I think i'll make something similar!
 

ShockValue

Songster
10 Years
Jan 10, 2010
730
112
178
West Sound, Washington
I built a pen, but made the mistake of using wire with too-large of mesh holes. Something startled them and a couple squeezed out.

I thought I was going to be chasing chickens all over the neighborhood, but instead they contentedly pecked around the outside of the pen for a while and then squeezed back through to be with their sisters and get a drink.

Now they're a little bigger and can't squeeze out anymore! :)
 

luv2bmomjen

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 16, 2014
51
9
69
Colorado
So should I go ahead and take all 6 of them to school? My son's class would LOVE it. They would be out of the brooder for about an hour. They are 17 days old.
 
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