How soon till outside...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Grog, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. Grog

    Grog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2011
    Hey this usually isnt a problem for me, but with it being cold(I live in Pa). What is the soonest you all think I can get away with putting them outside. The nights are around freezing and we dont heat the coops. the oldest chicks are about 6 weeks, the youngest about 3. I ask because they are picking on each other a bit. I had to separate a few to treat injuries from haveing neck feathers ripped out then picked at till they were raw.

    I cant give them any more room inside. ATM they are in a 6'X4' enclosure. there are 20 in there. any help is great.

    As I said usually this isnt an issue because we do this in spring/early summer so temp isnt really a conscern.
  2. themenagerie

    themenagerie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2011
    I'm in Massachusetts, so probably comparable to your weather, if not a bit colder. I could not stand the smell of them in my house any longer, so I put my five week olds out about two weeks ago. They are in a wire dog kennel within the chicken pen during the day and a smaller kennel within the coop at night. I have not used any heat. They've done just fine. I think as long as yours are feathered out, they will do fine too.
  3. DancingHen

    DancingHen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    Central Oregon Coast
    With freezing temps and no heat in the coop I would wait until they are fully feathered to put them outside....usually 6 to 8 weeks old. Have you tried giving them things to pick at other than each other? Try giving them raw broccoli heads, suet blocks, melon rinds or other things to pick at to keep them busy. Just remember to give them a little grit if you give them raw veggies and stuff. You can mix their chick crumbles with gelatin, let it set in a tupperware or other container, then dump it out in the shape of a block and let them have it to pick on. Good luck.
  4. jmtcmkb

    jmtcmkb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2011
    New Hampshire
    I live in NH- mine are 6 weeks on Monday, I put them out last Wednesday- they have a heat source an ecoglow, but they are not using it, in fact they sleep all together near it but not close enough to get heat from it. They seem fine. I let them out in the run today and they had a blast, and go back in I am assuming to get out of the wind. Our low temp last night was 27* water was frozen chicks were fine.

    Good luck
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  5. Grog

    Grog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2011
    I scatter bird seed in the bedding so the have stuff to find. I think some of the picking is that as soon as they see something differend( a white feather growing on a black bird) they pick untill its gone. Then when the bleeding begins they have to pick the red spot. My current treatment for this is to grab the hurt one, spray with blue coat, keep separate till night time and put them back. I just want them to be OK so I am eager to get them out for free rangeish. The grow out pen is 25'X25'. The coop(sleep area) is small about 10'X4', but this is a sleep area not LIVING space.

    Just read a new answer to my post when i posted this... mabey i will put them out for day trips and bring them in at night.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2011
  6. Hunter0704

    Hunter0704 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2011
    Wentzville, MO
    On BYC I have read that one should allow 1 1/2 - 2 sq. ft per bird.....that would be a minimum of 24 sq. ft. Perhaps a larger coop is due in short order to give them more room?
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I put mine out in the grow-out pen at five weeks, where there is no heat. The nights were regularly down in the 40's but at 5-1/2 weeks, the low was 24 F. They did fine. But, the grow-out pen has great ventilation up high but no drafts or breezes down where they are. I'm convinced that makes a big difference. Also, they were raised in a big brooder in the coop, where I kept one area heated but the far corners cooled down to ambient. They were already acclimated. I had 14, so there are enough of them to generate some heat themselves.

    The 3 week olds are not old enough yet to go without heat in those temperatures, but the 6 week olds should be, if the coop is well ventilated and draft free. It would help for them to have some nice bedding to snuggle down in too. If yours are starting to do damage to each other, I don't see you have much choice, just see that the coop is well ventilated but draft free. If it is not, you are likely to have problems no matter what their age.
  8. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Put the oldest half out permanently and then the younger ones out during the day and put the younger half in at night. That will stop the over crowding issue and give the smaller kids a chance to fully feather out. Start weaning them off the heat for sure over the next 2 weeks. [​IMG]
  9. Grog

    Grog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2011
    I just pulled the big heater from the brood pen, they still have a ceramic heater, but the basement is over 60F anyway. I was just worried that it might be too cold to put them out. And I just checked the weather it will be like mid 50's to low 60's for the high and high 30's mid 40's for the lows. So tomorrow I will put the older ones out perm. They all get the DLM so plenty of bedding I just need to turn the coop 90 degrees and the draft will be taken care of too.

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