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Putting Chicks outside? What do you all think?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Ramsdale, May 12, 2010.

  1. Ramsdale

    Ramsdale In the Brooder

    May 8, 2010
    West Michigan
    Now I know that it is still pretty chilly outside these days (frost two nights in a row last weekend, but a forecast of warm, more typical weather ahead) and that in my area the temps are still out of whack but the rest of the human flock want the chicks out of the house! I am trying my best to keep them in but I am fighting an uphill battle!

    Currently they are nice and cozy in a closed room with temps in the house hitting 70's(I find it uncomfortably hot in the house), with a heat lamp at night but that is getting turned off lately... actually getting too hot for the the chicks. The chicks are store purchased, so we are assuming they are two weeks going on to three? Totally not positive on ages... mixed breeds but they all have wing feathers and growing in their tail feathers.

    I am having an argument now that they need to get used to the cooler temps because they will be going outside soon. I am hoping they are still in agreement to move to the garage where they can have the heat lamp at night to keep warm when it gets chilly. There is no electricity to the coop for me to run a heat lamp. So I am guessing that the garage is the best go between.

    So my question is...
    How young is too young for outside living? or What temps are okay for the following conditions? They have a big well built coop that gets sun throughout the day, not drafty at all. There is a total of 11 chicks and two ducklings for body heat to keep each other warm.

    I've seen most say to wait for feathers, are we talking about fully and completely feathered? Or they have their wing feathers and starting with the rest.

    The garage runs about the same temps as outside but they will have a heat lamp there?

    I'm rambling with info now.... just want to make sure that I am correctly fighting to keep them in the house just a little bit longer! I don't want to lose any of my babies!

  2. fastpat

    fastpat Songster

    Since you're still having some frost days, I'd not put chicks out in an unheated coop before 8-10 weeks of age. How old are your chicks now?
  3. ChksontheRun

    ChksontheRun Songster

    Mar 18, 2010
    Central Virginia
    You will see lots of opinions all in the 4-7 week range for putting them outside. Personally, the dust got to me, and the chickens needed more space than the kiddie pool could afford them. I moved mine outside at 5 weeks. (but I had 2 that were 3 weeks that a friend gave us). All of the 5 week olds had all of their feathers with the exception of down on their necks and under their wings. I did run an extension cord out to the coop so that I can put on the heat lamp at night and all 15 of them still stay under the light at night. Last 2 nights were in the 30s and all did just fine, including the younger ones. I did notice they bunched up to keep each other warm on the coldest nights. No runny noses, no sneezing. All is well

    I think the garage would be a good go-between till they can go outside so that they can have the warmth of the light if they want it.
  4. Mrs. Mucket

    Mrs. Mucket Songster

    May 3, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I came on to post the same question! Ramsdale, tell me if I am hijacking and I'll move this [​IMG] Our nights are above 40 degrees now. My 17 chicks are five and six weeks old and outgrowing their brooder pen in the barn. I'd like to move them outside to a tractor and could put one or two heat lamps on the tractor.

    So I guess my questions are minimum temperatures and ages of chicks to live outdoors?
  5. Ramsdale

    Ramsdale In the Brooder

    May 8, 2010
    West Michigan
    Glad to know others are wondering the same thing!

    The coop is too far away for me to run an extension cord out there, otherwise I would think about that!

    Looks like the garage is going to be a compromise with the heat lamp... and I will be making some calls about wiring up that coop. Everyone could be happy if there was an outlet put in there!~

    I pretty sure that they are around 2/3 weeks at this point... they ney sayer in me calls them 2 weeks... they all have their wing feathers and their tail feathers are definitely growing in! They are growing up so fast! *sniffle*
  6. LyonFuzz

    LyonFuzz Songster

    Apr 28, 2008
    South Lyon, Michigan
    My 2 week olds are outside, but they are with their momma:) They are doing just fine with her, but I can't imagine leaving them out there on their own. They would freeze for sure.

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