How many weeks to brood?

I agree, 4 weeks is a little young. I just let mine spend their first night outside last night...they're 6.5 weeks old. I'm sure your weather is much colder than here I would at least keep a heat lamp on them, if not keep them in the house for a couple weeks.
Four weeks is too young !! I am a relative newbie here but I have studied a lot of threads. One thing you must be very sure of is
that your babies have fully feathered out. A chicken's lungs are close to their backs. So they must be fully feathered on their backs
or could easily catch a cold... We live in the Shore area and it's just too unpredictable this time of year.

Our babies are 7 1/2 weeks old. We keep them in our spare bedroom in a Chicken Hutch. We shut off the red infrared heat lamp yesterday
for the first time. Because of them we have kept our house at 72 degrees, they did just fine, actually without the light they slept much
better than before, all night.

This is our first set of babies and we are being understandably careful. Yes it is a hassle having them inside all this time, and yes I clean up a lot of messes, but we don't want to lose a single one of them. We have learned that next time we have babies we will wait until it is warmer to get them. Say early Spring so when they can go out we will have warm weather for them, and we are getting a larger insulated coop with wiring for heat lamps.

Wait and take best care of them. You will be rewarded for your patience.
Find out what temp they've been kept at. If they've been living in an environment that's 70 degrees and the vast majority of your days are at least 70 degrees then they can probably go out. If not, I wouldn't do it.

Of course, if your coop has electric you can put in a heat lamp for them, but I wouldn't do this if you're in danger of another freeze-thaw cycle as it could be too much for their them.
Thank you all for the replies. We had 8 inches of snow this past Monday. A couple of days later it was minus 5 degrees.
It got to a high of 30. Right now it is 61. The weather is very unpredictable and it will be a while before we get 70 degrees.

I have 22 chicks hatched Feb 14. They are in a pack'N'play
in my bath room. I have a heat lamp sitting on a wire grate laid across half the pen. There is cardboard lining the bottom and hardware cloth on the cardboard. I change the cardboard daily & scrape the hardware cloth. Food & water are changed/replenished at least twice a day. Many times 3 or more.

I started them in a rubbermaid storage tub. That had solid walls & really held the heat. The PNP has 2 mesh sides. They seem to be comfortable. No loud peeping, no huddling together. It is time to find larger quarters. But not outside.
It has seemed to me that we don't need to keep them under the brooder so long. I brought some 2 wk old chicks home a year ago & kept them inside without a brooder for about a week then put them outside without heat &mps they were fine. Temps were getting into the 50's at night.

I just put my 3.5 wk old chicks outside during the day starting yesterday (temps in 60's). They had been without the lamp inside for a week. I did bring them in at night after they settled down to sleep & put them back out early.
depends the say start at 90 degrees and go down 5 each week untill 70. That4 about a month. if it is warm outside and they are feathered then it should be fine.

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