Is 3 weeks old too young to put outside with heat?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Lisa202, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. Lisa202

    Lisa202 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2010
    Long Island NY
    I have the master coop and run for the big chickens and next to it I have a small coop with attached run. I use this little coop for chicken jail/hospital/nursery.

    I put my 3 week old silkies out there this weekend with heat. They were getting so big, so quick, that I just wanted to get them out of the box I had them in. Heat wise they are fine. They have the Brinsea Eco Glow brooder that they had when they were in the livingroom for the first 3 weeks. But I was wondering if this is ok. They seem to be afraid to venture out of the coop part and into the run part. They have problems going up and down the ramp, but that's not what's stopping them. They just like to stay in one of the 2 nest boxes and seem afraid to leave. When I check in on them from time to time, they are never under the brooder for extra heat, they are just huddled together. I put them under there, but they walk out from under it every time. When they were in the livingroom, they didn't stay under it much except for at night. So I'm guessing that they'll seek out the heat when needed. When I put them in the run part, they kind of play around a little, but end up huddling in the corner of it until I physically have to help them back up the ramp into the enclosed coop part that has the heat and food/water. They seem to not know what or how to use the ramp and are too afraid to even go near it.

    It's the age that I'm worried about. They seem so young to be outside. But then my broody hatched 2 chicks the same time these silkies were born and they are so much more advanced. They already live with the older flock, free range (with mommy of course) they take dust baths, they jump up on the high roosts and ladders and eat everything...meanwhile the little silkies are afraid of their own shadows and don't even know what to do with a wax worm. (My DH says that I should eat one to show them how to do it. [​IMG])

    It's weird, I treat the 2 sets of chicks totally different based on their upbringing and I'm just wondering if I'm being a little too quick with the silkies b/c I feel completely at ease with the broody's chicks.

    Am I expecting too much from the silkie chicks, or is this ok to put them outside already.
  2. Lurkeygirl2011

    Lurkeygirl2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2011
    I just put a bunch of hatchery chicks outside that are 3wks and they seem to be doing fine. They venture in and outside with no problems, and I see them scratching and pecking at the ground and eating grass.
    Last year I put the chicks outside even earlier, but I waited to open up the door to the outside. When I did open the door it took them almost a full day to actually go outside, they would walk to the door and look and run back inside.
    Maybe the change is just a shock to their system. You could try closing the door to the outside and let them get used to the inside first.
  3. kagedgoddess

    kagedgoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2009
    My silkies are 2 mos old and they dont want to leave the coop either. Even though the rest of the bunch do all day long. ... Wait. Theyre 3 mos. Theyre fine, theyre just being silkies. Just keep trying to bribe/ coax them out.
  4. hennypenny99

    hennypenny99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    Hugo, Ok
    I have two silkies and 8 or so more in my incubator. I wanted silkies because of their sweet and loving temperment but my silkies seem alot like your babies. They are very skittish and afraid of everything - including me [​IMG]

    I hold them, pet them, talk to them, etc but they think I am the devil! I am hoping my incubated babies will be more outgoing than these two. Don't get me wrong, I love them. They are adorable but not they're not too entertaining. Mine are 3 weeks old too and haven't moved from their brooder yet. I am building them their own little condo seperate from my laying full size chickens.

    Maybe silkies are just overly timid and will need time to adjust to their new surroundings. I would try what someone else suggested - let them get used to the new pen before opening the door to outside. Good Luck.
  5. Lisa202

    Lisa202 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2010
    Long Island NY
    thanks for all your replies!

    I think that they just may be "being silkies" too. I have to say that they are way friendlier than my other chickens and I have bantam EE's and brahmas. These little guys are easy to pick up, whereas I could never catch the others when they were young. But then I had a much bigger brooder, so they had ample room to run. They are now 30 weeks old and I still can't pick them up.

    So ok, as long as I'm not doing a bad thing by putting out into a coop at this age. It'll probably just take them longer to adjust.
  6. suzeqf

    suzeqf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    I have all my chicks in my hubbys shop and the only heat they have is what they get from their lamps which have 100 watt bulbs now since they are 3-7 weeks old and since it's not getting below 50 at night now they seem to like the cooler temps

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