Putting my chicks outside..a few questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Enchanted, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. Enchanted

    Enchanted In the Brooder

    Feb 3, 2013
    Alliance, NC
    My girls (12 of them) are going to be four weeks old on friday 3/22. I would like to put them out in their coop then. Warm during the day and colder at night, but thinking of putting the heat lamp in there at night. A friend who has chickens for years say I should lock them in the coop for four days and only feed them at 'dinnertime' so they know to go back in the coop. My concern with that is at 4 weeks of age they are still growing like weeds and dont think I should restrict them food at this young age. Or do I lock them in there with unlimited food as they have had and when they are allowed to go outside into the run then just feed at dinnertime? What to do?

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I definitely wouldn't restrict feed. I think it's a bad idea for any age chicken. They won't overeat, except maybe treats.
    When the crop is empty they're hungry so if feed is restricted they will gorge and that can cause crop problems.
    There has been some research about feeding times but the only way I would restrict feed is if they are free ranging on pristine pasture in warm weather.
    Locking them in is a good idea so they know where to sleep. When you open the door, make sure they have some confinement so they can orient themselves to surroundings.
    And yes give them a lamp at night if it's below say 70.

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