Keeping 5 week old "chicks" outside in summer

stinkyshermy

In the Brooder
Aug 13, 2016
15
0
12
San Diego
Oh hey, look at me, my first post with an absurdly common question.

I searched, but haven't quite found an answer for my climate.

Currently we have four, six week old chicks and one five week old chick. I live in San Diego where our daytime highs are mid 90s, and the night lows are in the mid sixties. During the day, we keep our chicks outside, then bring them in around 7:00pm.

Our coop has been a work in progress since we brought them home, and yesterday was the first day we had roosting bars in the hen house. When we went out to bring the chicks in, they did exactly what they should have, and they went from the run into their house, and they were all happily sitting on the bars.

They were livid when we took them off their bars to bring them in for the night.

Can we start thinking about letting them sleep outside? Or should I just bring them in earlier so they don't get any crazy ideas?
 

kajira

Crowing
Aug 6, 2016
6,139
1,686
346
Texas
Oh hey, look at me, my first post with an absurdly common question.

I searched, but haven't quite found an answer for my climate.

Currently we have four, six week old chicks and one five week old chick. I live in San Diego where our daytime highs are mid 90s, and the night lows are in the mid sixties. During the day, we keep our chicks outside, then bring them in around 7:00pm.

Our coop has been a work in progress since we brought them home, and yesterday was the first day we had roosting bars in the hen house. When we went out to bring the chicks in, they did exactly what they should have, and they went from the run into their house, and they were all happily sitting on the bars.

They were livid when we took them off their bars to bring them in for the night.

Can we start thinking about letting them sleep outside? Or should I just bring them in earlier so they don't get any crazy ideas?
This is a great question - I've only had adult chickens so far - but my batch is 2 weeks old, and I'm trying to figure out when to let them sleep outside. It rarely gets below 70 here right now, but it's so hot during the daytime, i'm more worried about the daytime temps if it reaches 100+
 

stinkyshermy

In the Brooder
Aug 13, 2016
15
0
12
San Diego
Right? Our hot days are coming, instead of them being behind us. Our coop is in the shade all day, so it makes things bearable. I actually end up spending a lot more time outside with them, because their area is the coolest spot in our house.
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,065
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Hey, SS! Welcome to BYC. Is there a reason why you don't want to let them sleep in the coop? If it is now predator proof, there is no reason why you couldn't let them move in. Do you have a secure run for them? Especially at this age, the most important thing is that they be in a predator proof environment. Little ones are extra tender and tasty, and prone to predation from land and air. So, if you can maintain safety, and reasonable temps (not too terribly hot) let them move in and work on their chicken skills!
 

stinkyshermy

In the Brooder
Aug 13, 2016
15
0
12
San Diego
Hey, SS! Welcome to BYC. Is there a reason why you don't want to let them sleep in the coop? If it is now predator proof, there is no reason why you couldn't let them move in. Do you have a secure run for them? Especially at this age, the most important thing is that they be in a predator proof environment. Little ones are extra tender and tasty, and prone to predation from land and air. So, if you can maintain safety, and reasonable temps (not too terribly hot) let them move in and work on their chicken skills!


The internet is my reason
tongue.png


It is predator proof, but I was worried that since the youngest is 5 weeks old, it was too cold for them to sleep outside. Everything I have read says that they should be older to be outside without a light.
 

kajira

Crowing
Aug 6, 2016
6,139
1,686
346
Texas
The internet is my reason
tongue.png


It is predator proof, but I was worried that since the youngest is 5 weeks old, it was too cold for them to sleep outside. Everything I have read says that they should be older to be outside without a light.
It it stays above 65, after 4-6 weeks, they theoretically should be okay. You could always put a heating pad in there, if you're worried instead of a light...
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,065
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
The internet is my reason
tongue.png


It is predator proof, but I was worried that since the youngest is 5 weeks old, it was too cold for them to sleep outside. Everything I have read says that they should be older to be outside without a light.
If they are fully feathered, they can handle what ever the weather dishes out to them, if you have worked at "hardening them off". Chicks are a lot like seedlings. They can't be thrust from the green house straight into the garden without a bit of acclimation time. Chicks are much hardier than we give them credit for. Mama takes her babies straight from the nest to the big outdoors when they are only a couple of days old. They run ragged chasing after her, in what ever the weather du jour happens to be. They duck under for intermittent warm up, but spend hours every day running around. This is why many of us are now using a heating pad to brood chicks because it more closely mimics a broody hen situation.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,087
581
Southern Oregon
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Let them stay out. Temps are warm enough this time of year, they're good to go.

I have chicks in with a broody hen that are only 3ish weeks old. Half the time they're not actually under momma at night, just cozied up next to her. Honestly, it's so hot I'm tempted to sleep outside myself
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BBQChicken

In the Brooder
May 14, 2016
30
3
14
Leave them out! Once my girls were fully feathered, I booted them outside. It was about 55 degrees at night. All 10 thrived. :)
 

RonC

Songster
7 Years
Feb 28, 2012
1,510
131
196
D/FW
My brooder is on my back porch. There were outside at two weeks old with a heat lamp in one corner. Made day trips to the coop/run till they balked at going back to the brooder at about four weeks. They have been in the coop since. Temps were about 65 at night and 85 daytime. I didn't think at 4 weeks they could get through a 2x4 inch hole but they could so had to add chicken wire around the bottom..
 

MANNA-PRO

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