Letting Young Ones Outside

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by FourthEgg, Aug 16, 2013.

  1. FourthEgg

    FourthEgg Hatching

    I have 26 ten-week old chicks on chick crumble and they really want to get out and explore. Is it wise to release them into a fenced area to scavenge for grubs and seeds and such? I don't want them to mature too fast. If it is not a good idea, then at what stage should I release them into the open? I intend to transition them to "developer" in about 4 or five weeks time.

  2. Veer67

    Veer67 Songster

    I have 4 four week old chicks and I let them outside supervised everyday when it's sunny. I started letting them out after becoming 1 week though I limit the timing when they are younger ( 3 days old-2 weeks old) because they get chilly fast, though now that they are older and have grown out most of their body and wing feathers I let them out for a few hours ( sometimes when I can't watch them I let my silkie baby sit them).
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2013
  3. dwalters

    dwalters Chirping

    Jul 23, 2013
    Southern Michigan
    Mine are three weeks and have been enjoying going out and playing in the sun. Ten wks is plenty old enough. Mine are usually moved outside by that age
  4. GD91

    GD91 Songster

    Aug 1, 2013

    I started letting mine outside supervised for a few minutes a day from when they were 2 days old. They are 2 weeks tomorrow & on a sunny day now spend an average of 2 hours outside, then they come in for a bit, get warmed up under their lamp & they are off again out the door for another hour or 2.
  5. FourthEgg

    FourthEgg Hatching

    Thank you all for such prompt and helpful responses. All the books and advice I have been given are strict about diet until the hens are mature enough to start laying and I have no idea what they might find in and on the ground. So I shall start letting them out today and if there are any problems I shall know who to complain to! [​IMG]
  6. FourthEgg

    FourthEgg Hatching

    Next question. Having opened the hitherto sealed pop-door, how to persuade the 26 chickens to actually come out?

    They take turns peering cautiously at the Wide World but only after several hours will one venture to actually step onto the ground and she won't stay out for long. I tried to build them a really nice chickeny coop but didn't expect them to like it quite so much. There're 26 of them in 32 square feet so they are constantly treading on each other's toes and complaining about being pushed. If I lift them out they complain bitterly and climb back in. Even with their water and feed outside in their usual dispensers, they prefer to be hungry and thirsty to venturing into the very handsome and safe enclosure.

    Any suggestions?
  7. stlcards

    stlcards In the Brooder

    Jul 15, 2013
    Mine are the same way. I have 3 birds in a 12x8 coop, but they don't come out into their 24x8 run without me hassling them. When they're in the coop they're usually touching each other. Who knows, I think they're just goofy.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013

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