Need advice...going outside for the first time?

ButchGood

Songster
Mar 14, 2012
779
88
138
Central Texas
Howdy. Ours are about 3 weeks old and for the last week, as long as it was over 70, we've been taking them out to a pen we made for a hour or so. Made the pen big enough for the wife and girls to get in and put a tote on its side with shavings in it. When they start getting tired or chilled they crawl up on ya or go into the tote and huddle up. Play times over.

Us too. At 2 weeks old they started outside. At 3 weeks they are staying outside all day long. 10 to 12 hours of fresh air and sunshine. Im in central Texas so temps have been optimal for the little ones. The way I see it. If the weather is nice, Id put them out at 4 days old. They are happier and friendlier now than they have ever been.
I have a little wooden crate they can go into. They go in and rest about 10 minutes every hour or so. After the little rest period they are tearing it up again.
 
Last edited:

marlo1968

Songster
Mar 31, 2012
375
10
108
Lorenzo, TX
I got my 5 Araucana chicks from the store on March 18, some still had the little egg cracking part on their beak, so I assume they were only 2-3 days old. So I am guessing they are right around 3 weeks now. I have put them outside in their trough home ( I am using a large horse trough with hay in it for their brooder box, and a heat lamp) a couple of times using window screens for a lid, they fly really well, and an attempt to make sure a hawk or cat doesn't see them as dessert. The trough is kept in the heated shop and they have a heat lamp on 24/7. Today I have them in a large wire dog kennel turned upside down with the plastic base tied on as a roof for shade, their kennel is inside the big girls coop. Today is the second day of this, I read that it would be best to introduce them to the big girls for a while before allowing them to actually be with the big girls. I tried to let one of my friendlier hens inside the kennel with the babies, not such a good idea, while she didn't do any damage, she did begin to peck at one of the babies after a couple of minutes. So she was exhiled.

I have a some questions:

1) At what age can I consider it safe to fully intergrate them to the flock?
2) At what night time temprature is it safe for them to be without the heat lamp (I live in western Colorado, mountains)?
3) And should I put something in the trough to for them to perch/roost on?

Thanks for your help in advance
 

shannonruedger

In the Brooder
Apr 2, 2012
24
0
22
Constantine Mi
I also am waiting for a warm windless day here in michigan to take my girls outside for their first outing. I feel like they will do great after the initial huddleing from something new. I found crooning to them calms them down. as never having chicks I am not sure what noise the momma would make so I am lol winging it (no punn intended)
 

laul28

Chirping
Jan 28, 2012
15
2
74
My chicks did fine and it was about 50 degrees when I woke at 5am. Of coarse I went out at 1am to check on them also. It has been about 48 all day today and they have mostly stayed inside where the heat lamp is, except for an occasional run out and then back in. They seem to be happy with their new system and I hope I can sleep a little sounder tonight.
 

RonC

Songster
Feb 28, 2012
1,510
129
196
D/FW
Mine spent there first night out in the coop last night too. It's been about 55-60 at night here and they are about fully feathered at 5 weeks. They wanted to come in to the brooder but it was time. Had to put a light in the coop and they quited down. I went to check on them a couple of times myself.
 

laul28

Chirping
Jan 28, 2012
15
2
74
Night two of the chicks being outside. Although I didn't go check on them in the middle of the night, I did wake up a few times thinking of them. I got up at 4:30am and saw the temperture had dropped 17 degrees from the previous morning to 33 degrees. I immediately went out to check on the girls. The were either on the perch or under the light. To my relief all seemed cozy. I opened the door so they could come and go in the bigger kennel. They did venture out and then would go back in. This afternoon it warmed up, so they spent more time out. but when they got tired they would all end up back under the heat lamp. Makes it nice, because I don't have to chase them to put them back in, they go in on their own. :)
 

Ourfamilyflock

Chirping
Mar 19, 2012
122
6
83
Central Oregon
Hoping to get our 3 week olds out this weekend. Been rough weather here in Central Oregon, but supposed to have sun this weekend, gonna let the 4 girls wander in the garden patch and see what they can find. Kind of nervous about the birds in the area, we have quite a few large birds of prey in the are, but there is a flock of wild quail who frequent our neighborhood about 50 to 60, and figure if they wander around safely the chicks should be ok with us near by. If we see any hawks or owls coming in for a closer look though, we will get them inside. Coop and run not ready yet. Hopefully soon.
 

twinzmom

Chirping
Feb 22, 2012
245
3
81
Saugerties NY
Funny story....Had my neighbor that isn't a relative come over yesterday, while we were working on the run, asking about the possiblity of us having a rooster. I told her I wanted all hens but was pretty sure 1 of the chicks was a rooster. She stood there and told me she didn't want to here any "cock-a-doodle-dooing" from the rooster....I just looked at her because while she is telling me this her dog is in her yard Barking the entire time. I didnt want a rosster either but now that I have one I am not sure I can do anything about his crowing. I guess they don't hear too good if they don't notice their dog's noise.
 

ThatChick

In the Brooder
Mar 10, 2012
91
1
38
New Jersey
I had the chicks out this past week in Upper 40 and 50 degree weather, they didn't mind at all, in fact they loved it. They're nearly 4 weeks old now and have a lot of feathers. I was reluctant to let them out in the cooler weather but they enjoy it.
 

RonC

Songster
Feb 28, 2012
1,510
129
196
D/FW
I've been putting the girls up in their coop the last few nights. Last night with a little coaching they went in on their own. About 3 hours later the dog started barking crazily. We had a visitor of some sort last night. Went out the door and heard something hit the ground on the opposite side behind the coop hit the ground. Never got a look at the culprit, no tracks this morning. I've only seen one 'possum around lately. I've never seen any 'coons after living here for 25 years. Girls are all ok. Guess the coop is predator proof. Need to do some work on the run to put more distance between them and the critters. And the next time I see that 'possum me and Mr.Marlin are going to have a serious talk with him.
 
Top Bottom