going outside?

FunnyFarmJess

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 19, 2013
6
0
9
Alright I've had my chicks for some weeks now, I've been slowly taking away the heat lamp. When is it ok to take them outside? it gets into the 40's overnight, is it too cold? They have most of their feathers. They actually have been "flying" out of their tote, and hopping about my floors, I'm having to clean up their droppings about every 2 hours.. I'm really hoping they can go outside soon.
Thanks for helping!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,082
19,499
857
Southeast Louisiana
Mine go outside Day 1. My brooder is in the coop. My wife would leave me (or more likely kick me out) if I tried to brood chicks in the house with the dust, smell, and noise. Lots of people brood in garages or other outbuildings, not in the house. If you can provide heat, they can go outside regardless of the temperature.

As far as when can they go outside in the conditions you describe without heat? I’ve put 5 week olds in an unheated grow-out coop with good draft protection when the overnight lows were in the mid 40’s. I’ve had 5-1/2 week olds in that same grow-out coop when the overnight lows hit the mid 20’s Fahrenheit.
 

SobbaChickens

Songster
6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
642
49
128
Kansas
My chicks lived inside for 2wks and have been outside for 1wk now. Last night was suppose to drop into the low 30s so I gave them their 250 watt bulb, I went to check on them this morning and they were happily doing chicken things. Tonight is suppose to get even colder with the chance of 5in of snow, that will be the real test I guess. I just adjust the heat lamp depending on the day, I have a 125 watt and 250 one. They should be a little over 3wks old and sometimes they act like the 125 watt is even too much for them.


Katie
 

WalkingOnSunshine

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
516
328
Ohio
Our brooder is in our unheated, drafty barn, so I guess you could say our chicks are outside from day one, too. I had exactly ONE batch of chicks in my house (my first batch, of course) and I'll never do that again. Since then, I've had chicks brooded in that barn in a freak spring chill, had a broody hen hatch her first chicks March 1 in a blizzard... I've decided that baby chicks are a lot hardier than people give them credit for, and don't even take the brooder temperature any more. I just watch the chicks, and move the light as needed. In weather like we have currently, that means raising the light very high during the 80 degree days, and lowering it for the 40 degree nights. But my chicks just hatched yesterday, the little cuties.
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Having chicks raised by broody hens definitely changed my mind, as I saw her take them out into the snow to forage, and all of her babies did just fine.

If they're fully feathered except for their heads, they'll be fine. Heck, my broody hen just left her chicks to their own devices the beginning of this week, and they're five weeks old. Guess she wanted to start sleeping in the hen house, and the chicks didn't follow her, so she left them and went to roost. I got to round them up and put them in the hen house for the night.
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If they have all their feathers, and you've been slowly weaning them from the light, then I would expect they'll be fine as long as they have a sheltered place to coop up at night.
 

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