Chicks outgrowing brooder, Can they go outside?

Katy L

In the Brooder
Oct 30, 2020
13
38
41
Hi! We have 12 chicks in a 100gal tub as a brooder. They’ve done great but it is abundantly clear that they have outgrown it now. We live in Central Florida area so I know we’re the warmest of the states but I am still concerned as the temps are all over the place. Some nights get down to 32 and some are 60. This time of year is annoyingly inconsistent. The girls are 7+ weeks old now and appear to be fully feathered. I’m thinking they would be fine but I would like a a little boost of confidence in this venture.
Secondly, we have a neighbor with one too many roosters, they are in our yard all day every day. Will this be an issue? They then lead other chickens over as well. He doesn’t have much control over it and I don’t know that there is much we can do. I don’t know if they’ll bother the girls and when we let them free range what will occur. Any insight is so appreciated!! Thank you! I’ll post a pic of them so y’all can see their feathers.
 

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BlueBaby

Chicken math has me!
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Mar 21, 2016
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Maricopa, AZ. (near Phoenix)
Yes, yours are fully feathered enough to be able to handle it. I'm over here in Arizona, and I put mine out when they were 4 1/2 week's old. If they do happen to get a bit chilled at night, they will cuddle together to stay warm. All 10 of mine have been out there now for a little over 2 week's and are active and doing fine.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,055
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Southeast Louisiana
The girls are 7+ weeks old now and appear to be fully feathered.

Where will they be housed outside? Will they be set free to free range or will they be contained? I've had 5-1/2 week old chicks go through nights in the mid 20's Fahrenheit so yours can go out. Mine were in a coop that had great ventilation up high and good breeze protection down low where they were. In your climate those are ready to go outside but you may want a little protection. But if they are free to choose they will probably find a well protected form weather place to sleep.

I don’t know if they’ll bother the girls and when we let them free range what will occur.

Again, how will they be housed? Will they be able to see the other chickens when they are over? When will you let them out to free range? What age?

You don't get guarantees with chickens and behaviors. About anything can happen. No matter what any of us say someone has had a different experience. But I can tell you what I would expect to happen. Until your girls reach a certain level of maturity, usually about when they start to lay, they will probably avoid the other chickens since they are older. A mature rooster should not bother pullets until they are ready to lay. So for a while there should not be much if any interaction.

Once your pullets start laying the roosters will start mating them. The flocks could easily merge during the day. Your pullets might follow the other flock to where they normally sleep or they may continue to sleep where they are used to sleeping. Maybe some of yours follow the others home? Maybe some of them follow yours home. There are a lot of unknowns here but I would expect them to eventually become one flock, at least during the day and quite possibly at night.
 

Katy L

In the Brooder
Oct 30, 2020
13
38
41
We have feral chickens here as well, and the roosters will steal your girls if you let them. Mine only "free range" under supervision. 😊
Ohhhh nooooooo!! That stinks! I don’t know what to do! I wanted to free range them but I don’t want to have to deal with that! I wish he would get his crap together. Everyday his Roos and chickens are over here all day. Bah
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,857
35,783
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WA, Pac NW
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Ohhhh nooooooo!! That stinks! I don’t know what to do! I wanted to free range them but I don’t want to have to deal with that! I wish he would get his crap together. Everyday his Roos and chickens are over here all day. Bah

His chickens shouldn't be on your property and vice versa. What are your laws as far as livestock - fence in or fence out? Really only a fence will keep the two groups apart.
 

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