How Soon Can Chicks Go Outside Coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by PJCluck, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. PJCluck

    PJCluck Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 17, 2010
    Living Free in NH
    I have finished the coop here in eastern Massachusetts - it's pretty large and my 16 4-week-old chicks love it. I am beginning work on the run now. I will have two side-by-side runs so I can alternate 2-3 months each. The runs will be predator-proof (owls, hawks, fisher cats, coons, coyotes, probably skunks) - steel 2x4 fencing, roofed with same fencing, 4-foot apron, 1/2-inch hardware cloth from ground up 3 feet on all sides, two small, red lightbulbs eyeballs-width-apart on coop wall, plus me and my .22 rifle.

    How old should the chicks be before they go outside into the protected run? I have no other chickens - just these 16 4-week-olds. It's 60 at night here, 90 in the day.

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. Indiana hens

    Indiana hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2008
    Pendleton, Indiana
    Some momma hens take their chicks out the 1st couple days. The chicks can tuck under her if they get cold. Illiminate the hen and u need a brooder temp for them to go outside. Once they get feathers they are usually pretty hardy this time of year. Daytime let em out.
  3. pennie1

    pennie1 Redneck Silkie

    Aug 17, 2009
    If the temps are steady 80 - 90, they can go outside for sure. If they have a run where they can go inside at will, keep a light on in their and give them their choice.
  4. SonRise Silkies

    SonRise Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2010
    Hi! I see Pennie 1 has gotten here all ready with great suggestion. If they can go in and out at will they should be fine.
    It's surprising how smart they are even at a very, very, young age.
    Keep a light on in the house part, and if you can I'd keep the feed and water in there also.
    The outside will just be a "play" area and they will go in and out as they feel like it.
    PS....they do MUCH better when allowed out to exercise and "play" The more room they have, the faster they grow, [it seems]
  5. Keri78

    Keri78 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 17, 2009
    SonRise said it! [​IMG]
    PS. If your outside temp is 85-90plus degrees...they won't need the lamp turned on.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  6. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
  7. PJCluck

    PJCluck Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 17, 2010
    Living Free in NH
    My house is in woods, the coop is just off the driveway but the run will be in the woods behind it. I do not think I could ever consider free-ranging here, so that's why I am building the run to be quite large. It's going to cost a fortune in fencing, but who's counting... I can't stop here!
  8. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    I am glad I made my run large, and predator-proof. It's under the roof of a three-side horse loafing barn.

    Update: Found one adult Buff Orpington dead this morning from the trauma -Must have been internal inuries. [​IMG]
  9. ktown55

    ktown55 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 24, 2009
    East Tenn..
    I Have Six Dominiquer Chicks,At Three Weeks Old,,I'd Love To Put Them Out NOW !!!! There So Darn Big For Three Weeks, But Next Week, There Out Side For Sure....It Been In The Upper 80's to Upper 90's Here. And As Low As the 70's At Night....But Anyway there goin out....[​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    Ours were moved to the coop mid May at 6 wks with a heat lamp 24hrs a day, but they had the choice of going into the run and they did. They were almost fully feathered.

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