I have been seriously considering buying chickens but right now I am doing my homework. If I am understanding correctly it takes about 4 weeks before chicks are old enough to leave the brooder. The meat birds I am looking to buy are Cornish Rock and according to Ideal they are ready to slaughter in 4 to 5 weeks. Do meat birds ever get a chance to leave the brooder before slaughter? When can you put them outside? BTW great site, I am learning a lot.