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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Steve P, Mar 1, 2015.
How old before you let your chicks out of the coop to venture out in the run?
How old are your chickens right now?
It depends on:
size of the bird!
and if they have a broody mother or are venturing out solo!
If they have a broody mother, she basically decides on when the babies go outside. I can count on a good broody to know. That being said, I usually keep broody and babies in a delivery area/ nursery by themselves around 4 to 6 weeks..... And if I move them back with the regular flock. I watch very carefully to make sure the other mothers do not get jealous/peck on the babies. We do believe in lots of fresh air and exercise to make a health bird, so even the brooders are generally kept on our screened back porch!
No broody mother, Might let them out around 3 weeks for a walk about if weather is nice and sunny and no cold and wet and how their feathering is coming in. if they are bantam, I wait until 4 to 6 weeks. We are in the South so there are more temperate days than not, but it is not an exact science hope this helps. Have a blessed day.
How old are your chickens right now?
I don't have them yet. I'm going to be building everything as soon as our snow is gone. Then I will be picking them up from a local hatchery. When I raised meat birds I kept them inside until feathers turn to white was wondering if it's the same for layers
They will be solo. I don't have them yet won't be getting them from hatchery until late April early May. I have to build everything yet and have to wait for our snow to melt. I have raised meat chickens before and waited until their feathers went from yellow to white. Was wondering if it's the same for layers
Well I would at least wait until they are old enough to lay eggs (which is around 4 1/2 to 5 months old.) The reason I wait for them to able to lay eggs, is so that when you do let them out, they know to go into the coop to lay the eggs. Otherwise, they will go lay the eggs in a "secret nest."
Ah..... then yes, wait for snow to melt and for them to have permanent feathers and for the shelter to be sufficiently free from drafts, rain, etc. We use mobile chicken tractors for most of our housing but there are always areas to get away from the wind/rain/ etc and though we do not use the "coop" set up we do cover extensively for adults if we hit a cold spell here...
I'll be getting my next batch of chicks from a May 11 hatch. By May 25, I'll be taking them out to the run and placing them in their grow-out safe play pen as long as it's in the 70s. I introduce all my baby chicks to the flock when they're just two weeks old as long as the weather's warm. They're protected from drafts, and from the adults, but everyone begins getting accustomed to being part of the flock.
I take them out in a pet crate and leave the crate handy for them to go back into if they feel chilled or lose their confidence. When I see them spending more time in the crate than running around exploring, I know it's time for them to go back into the brooder and back under the heat lamp.
I continue to let them have daily visits to the run, and on really warm days, they may even get a taste of the great outdoors, under strict supervision, of course, and the adults are penned up. But by the time the chicks are a month old, I open pop holes into the main run, and the chicks begin to experience the pecking order. The grow-out pen has multiple pop holes into it, and there are pop holes in all of the partitions in the run so the chicks are never without an escape wherever they happen to find themselves. They get really good at outrunning the adults, and it's a hoot to watch them zipping around the run at warp speed one step ahead of pursuing adults. By the time they're six weeks old, I move them into their coop which is attached to the grow-out pen. I used to integrate chicks in with the adults but found it's so much easier when the chicks have their own coop. I just recently moved the last batch of chicks out of there and into the adult coop. Of course, those are now 20 months old, and they all took to the change extremely well.
So, to sum up, you can start letting the chicks out of the brooder around two weeks of age to explore any time the temperature is mild and there are no cold breezes. Just watch for them to act chilled and then get them back indoors.
Thanks for the info