Keeping 5 week olds outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Blue_Myst, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2009
    In my inexperience with raising chicks, I thought, 'Oh, I'll keep them inside until they're eight weeks old, they should be ready to go outside by then!'

    I hadn't counted on the fact that they grow so darn fast! I mean, it's like they double in size weekly!

    Right now they are only five weeks, and almost outgrowing the huge brooder I bought for them just a small while ago! I let them outside when it's nice, but always bring them in after a few hours. They are Buff Orpingtons and Rhode Islands. Are they ready to live outside permanently at this age? It usually doesn't dip below 40 degrees at night now, and they definitely almost have all their feathers in. Another thing I'm concerned about is the wind speeds...they get up to ten to fifteen here, and the chicks don't seem to have a problem so far, but I thought I'd mention it.

    I know I'm probably being over cautious, but I just wanted to verify this beforehand. Thanks for any advice!
  2. Marion

    Marion Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    As long as they have shelter from that wind and a source for heat when it gets very cold they should be alright.
  3. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2009
    What is considered 'very cold' for them at this age? [​IMG]
  4. Marion

    Marion Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2007
    Wilmington, NC
    I live in NC and it has been near freezing and the winds have been 20+ mph on many days since I got these BR pullets, they have been in the coop with a heat lamp since they were a day old. By the time they were 5 weeks old the lamp was off unless I expected near freezing temps at night. They have done just fine. They go inside at night and are closed up but during the day they have free run of the 20X20 enclosure outside.
  5. kidd42

    kidd42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    Valley Springs, Ca.
    We started out with 22 chicks, at 4 weeks we gave 6 to a friend who moved them outside to a coop right away, they did have a heat lamp for heat at night. At 7 weeks we gave 6 to another friends and moved our 9 out to the coop, Friends have no source of heat in their coop and theirs are doing fine, even though we did dip down into the high 30's two nights in a row. I took the heat lamp out of our coop during the second low temp night, the girls were all in the corner of the coop (4x8) as far away from the heat as they could get. I figured that it was getting way too warm for them. They now huttle together on the perch and some in the straw on the floor at night, but seem happy.
  6. scrapnfool

    scrapnfool Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 23, 2009
    Rogersville, MO
    I completely understand the issue you're having. My "do nothing but eat and poop" machines are also getting huge. [​IMG] We increased their condo and I'm beginning to feel the crunch coming on again. [​IMG] So I'm tempted to put mine out next week. Mine will be 5 1/2 weeks then. Our only problem is that the coop and run aren't finished!! [​IMG]

    It seems to me that the temp issue in the brooder right now is supposed to be somewhere around 80, however, the "condo" is so large it has been interesting to see that generally they will hang out anywhere. The heat source doesn't seem to be an issue at all. I even removed the lamp we had on one side this last week. They seem to be doing great. I'm waiting for the sign that says "looking for new home". [​IMG] So I know that in my basement the temp is usually in the low 70's or even upper 60"s at night. I'm still not sure about the temp issue out in the coop. I know our weather here can get in the 40's and occassionally the 30's here right now. It just seems cold for them. Maybe I worry too much. [​IMG] I would love to have more thoughts on the same issue. I'll keep watching your thread.

    Have a great day!!
  7. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    My chicks were outside in below freezing temps at almost 5 weeks old. They had plenty of hay to waller in together and huddle under the heat lamp and did JUST fine.
  8. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Age for putting chicks outside?

    Chicken lungs are close to their backs. Chicks need a source of warmth until their backs are fully feathered, usually about 8 weeks. Cold lungs is a no no.
  9. CBee

    CBee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    I know there are many guidelines for raising chickens and such the 'right' way, but I raise my babies like farmers before me: keep them in the barn or basement until they are 2 weeks old, then stick 'em outside with the hens (if they are spring hatched, of course). Many of you probably don't agree with this method, but that is how thousands of farmers have done it for years, and they've pulled through just fine.

    I stuck mine outside at 6 weeks old-because they were winter hatched. The temps got below 40 at night, so I thought 'What the heck, I'll put their heat lamp on them at night,' because I felt bad for them all huddled together. But when I did, they didn't even acknowledge it. They ignored it altogether and just kept on doing what they were doing. So I say if you have protection from the wind and a roof over their heads, they'll be fine. [​IMG]

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