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introducing young chicks to the outdoors

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lablover, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At what age can you start letting the chicks on the ground to explore and peck around? (In a confined space and under a watchful eye of course!)
     
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  2. americanvalkyrie

    americanvalkyrie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's a combination of age versus temperature. Tiny chicks need an environment of 95 degrees or so, decreasing as they age. If it's 70 degrees or more, chicks that are a week or so old can go out. Just make sure to bring them in if they huddle together. They're not supposed to go outside to stay until they're fully feathered out at 6 weeks.

    However, I have some chicks that are 6-9 weeks old, and they're inside right now because we're having a cold snap. And when they do go out, it's in a covered run, and they still come inside at night. When the nights are in the low 50s, I'll have no problem letting them stay out.
     
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  3. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! Mine are around 2 weeks old. I know it will be awhile until I can leave them out, but what about small "play times" where they're allowed to be on the ground and get some energy out? Is there anything that they can catch from being on the ground health wise?
     
  4. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

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    No, no problems with them being out in the open, although there are certain plants poinsonous to chickens (they're not very common I don't think, and the chickens usually keep away from anything nasty-looking anyhow)
    It's good for the chicks to go out and have a bit of a stretch! Two weeks, we started leaving our chicks out in the coop for maybe half the day at a time, althuogh that was summer and this is Australia, so I don't think that counts. :lol:
    Watch them, if they look cold or huddling together, take them back in because they're too cold.
     
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  5. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, I'll be sure to keep them away from plants just to be safe. What if they eat grass? At what age can they start eating more than just chick feed?
     
  6. americanvalkyrie

    americanvalkyrie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They'll probably peck at the grass but won't eat much. And grass won't hurt them at all. I've found that it takes a few weeks for the foraging instinct to really kick in.
     
  7. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

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    Yep, grass isn't harmful at all, we actually put some grass into the brooder for them to play around with, they ate it all up. :lol: Outside they tend to go more for the dirt, where they can scratch and pick up insects.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  8. kstokes

    kstokes Out Of The Brooder

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    ours are two weeks today, and they've gone out for 15-20 mins at a time, mainly for photo shoots [​IMG] Once they stop playing and start slowing down, back inside they go!
     
  9. blueberrychickens

    blueberrychickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    babies that are raised by momma's are out scratching around from the start. Just keep an eye out for any signs they are getting cold, like distressed peeping & huddling. I'm sure they'll do just fine for a short romp in the grass!
     
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  10. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, everyone! Can't wait to get them out!
     

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