Going outside

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kychick15, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. kychick15

    kychick15 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 6 baby chicks that are currently in my kitchen. They are a little over a month old and they have alot of their adult feathers. It's starting to warm up here in KY and it looks like we won't have any super cold day at least in the next 10 days. When is a good time to start putting them outside. I have never gotten then this early before.
     
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  2. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    Are they off heat in the house? Is there an empty, secure coop ready for them? Chicks can be outside at any age but they need supplemental warmth until fully feathered and more predator protection than an adult requires.
     
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  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Two weeks ago you could have started taking them out for romps outdoors to start acclimatizing them to cooler temps. they should be off heat now during the day, and very soon at night, too - this week, in fact, turn off the heat.

    I bet you're getting pretty sick of all the dust and dander floating around in your kitchen. Lucky for you, your chicks are ready and willing to start their adaptation to life outdoors where chickens and you will be happiest.

    Start on a day when it's nice and there isn't any cool breeze. Make sure they have shade as well as sun. Watch them for signs of chilling and bring them back inside if they start huddling. I'd use a pet crate to carry them outdoors, and leave it with them. They will hold back inside at first until the first brave chick discovers the new world and leaves the safety of the crate. They will return to the crate if they get chilled and that will be your signal to bring them in.

    Increase the amount of time they spend outdoors over a week. By the end of the week, you can move them into their coop with no heat.
     
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  4. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I put mine out in a brooder in my coop after they're about 2-3 days old. I have a heat lamp for them which I raise periodically as they grow their feathers. When they're fully feathered, which is generally by 6 weeks, I remove the heat lamp completely. I'm sure those numbers vary a little depending on your climate, but I'd think by 4 weeks you're almost there but should probably leave a heat source for them until about 6 weeks.
     
  5. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    A plastic pet carrier is a terrific idea for transport and a place they can return when startled or chilly. If you don't have one, I bet a cardboard box with a door cut in the side would work, too.
     
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  6. kychick15

    kychick15 Out Of The Brooder

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    They are not 100% off the heat lamp in the house but I have been turning it off here and there. There is a coop outside but there is a full grown hen in it.
     
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  7. lilmidtown

    lilmidtown Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]I'm in upstate my do you think this is ok just put them outside today its still cold here
     
  8. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    @kychick15

    I'd start with the supervised outings, then. What is the plan for the hen? Are you thinking she stays and the littles join her or ??? If she's staying, take your crate or box or whatever you'd like to use out to her area and start getting them acquainted. I'd be sure to make the doorway small enough that they can get in their box easily but she cannot follow. If it's going OK, get them weaned from heat and familiarized for a week or two and then move them in. She may not roll out the welcome mat and you may find her too aggressive after being alone. Sometimes it's easier to re-home than integrate.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
  9. kychick15

    kychick15 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh she is staying for sure!! I believe she thinks she is a dog or something, she follows me every where if she is out of the coop. So I have to find a way for them to all live together. She's a pretty chill bird.
     
  10. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    How predator proof is the building? A snake could definitely get in there as could rodents attracted to the feed.

    My other thought is that they can fly to the top of the gate and end up on the wrong side of it. Is there anything on the other side to worry about?
     

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