I really want to move my chicks outside - advice needed

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Agee, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Agee

    Agee New Egg

    Mar 28, 2009
    Hey there highly intelligent and knowledgeable chicken folks!

    This is my first post here (so glad I found this site!) and my first experience raising chickens from teeny peeps. We have layers, but we've always bought them at about 8 weeks old or older. We love our hens!

    Right now I have 10 3.5 week old chickens living in one of our bathtubs and I would love to move them outside as soon as possible, but obviously I want to keep them alive! We can probably keep them inside about another week, but they are getting really big and despite much effort keeping the space clean they are really stinking up our house.

    They will be moved to a large dog kennel (minus the dogs, of course) outside. We will reinforce the chain link with chicken wire so there's less possibility of them squeezing out, and we're building them a little shelter which we can outfit with their heat lamp since our nights are still fairly cool (we live in central NC and we'll probably have nights about 50 degrees for a while yet).

    These are chickens intended for meat, if that makes any difference.

    So - here're my questions: how soon is WAY too soon for them to be put outside? Will they know to go under the light if they're cold? Should I just suck it up and keep them inside until they're fully feathered?

    Thanks so much!

  2. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Hi Agee [​IMG] !

    If you can insure their safety and provide a shelter with a heat lamp (all of which is sounds like you are setting up) I see no reason they can't go out now. We put our chicks in the coop when they were two weeks old. I watched them at dusk to see where they preferred to sleep (all huddled in a lump) and hung the heat lamp in that area - they had plenty of room to get from under it if they got too warm. They survived just fine.
  3. jason britton

    jason britton Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 4, 2009
    i would have them outside today they will get under the light if they get cold i think they would be fine i have 40 chicks in my barn with just a light and they are fine they are about 2 weeks old
  4. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    I raised my chicks outside all winter long in an unheated coop. They were hatched and raised by broodies, so they had their mama hen to dive under if they were cold, but it really amazed me how little time they spent under their mamas during the day. I think as long as you have a heat source available to them in one area of the pen that you will be fine, even in this weather.
  5. ChickBond 007

    ChickBond 007 Licensed to Cull

    Feb 26, 2009
    Madison County, Iowa
    Quote:I don't know how long it takes for weather to move across the states, but the midwest is currently being hit with some rather nasty weather. We are back down to 30 degrees and snow here in Iowa after weeks of 60-70 degrees and sun with nighttime lows of 40ish. You may want to wait until this passes through.
  6. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2008
    My chicks went in the pen immediately - no birds in the house this year. I have heat lamps and they've weathered temps below freezing - way below freezing. They're all fine. [​IMG]
  7. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    MIne have been inside their outdoor brooder with a heat lamp for two days and they are doing great..
  8. jonesgirl

    jonesgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2009
    Chicks are strong little buggers, I keep mine outside all day.. I still bring them in at dusk because I need to build another coop... The hens don't want to give up their living quatres :]

    I would leave them outside, not so sure if it got down to freezing temps a night, but if you have a light you should be fine!
  9. FrenchHen

    FrenchHen Chicken Ambassador

    Jan 26, 2009
    Bagshot Row
    Mine are outside [​IMG]
    No more stinky brooder! I have mine in a moveable tractor so they're being pastured while fertilizing my grass. I do have a lamp on them, and the tractor is covered in with a tarp to keep rain and breezes out.
    They're probably 4-5 weeks old.

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