Should I put the babies outside?


10 Years
May 5, 2009
So my 5 week old chicks are out in the coop now with the 1 year olds. They were visible but separated at first and then supervised, then let free. Except for the occasional "putting you in your place" they pretty much leave each other alone.

So first, except for the occasional taste, I'm almost positive the young ones are not eating the layer pellets, and I know the big ones are not eating the chick starter (it's partially blocked off and they won't go into that area). Is it o.k. for the little ones to have a few bites here and there, or should I somehow block them off from it?

And secondly, whenever I go out to check on them and refill their chick starter, or just to say hello (which of course is quite often
), they are always inside the coop, not in the run. Should I put them outside in the run? It seems though when I do this they just end up back inside anyway, I guess they just like hanging out inside. They will stay out if I stay out with them, but when I leave, they go in. Should I just let them be where they want, or should I shut them outside for a little while?

Thanks in advance.
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Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
Is it o.k. for the little ones to have a few bites here and there, or should I somehow block them off from it?

A few layer pellets won't hurt them. I'm not sure how you would block them off from the chicks anyway. Having a separate feeding area to give the chicks a chance to get away from the older birds and avoid feeding competition is a good thing.

Should I put them outside in the run?

They'll find their way outside when they are ready. Partly, they may be avoiding the big birds and partly they are probably most comfortable with what they know. I'd leave them alone, but continue to visit and help them get comfortable with outside.

Good luck.


10 Years
Apr 28, 2009
I agree, a few bites are fine... and they are probably inside a lot because they are still nervous about the older birds... they'll go outside when they're ready


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia
A few bites of layer won't hurt the little ones, as long as they mostly eat the starter, or forage.

They will probably go out more when they are more used to the setup. Chickens are scared of everything and take some time adjusting to new digs. Just let them figure it out. They might prefer the shade of the coop at midday, too.

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