Thinking about letting the babies out for the first time this weekend, but I have a question...


In the Brooder
Sep 28, 2015
Southeast Ohio
Hello, I have been keeping chickens for about 9 years. But am always learning, so I ask this question of you more experienced
keepers of the chicken.

I have 14 8 week old Barred Rocks that I have been keeping inside my brooder and now my older chicken house. Before I moved
them out to the chicken house I completely cleaned the inside, removing the litter and washing with bleach.

I have raked all of the outside debris in the run that I can. Also, the old chickens that once inhabited this area have been
moved to the new chicken coop/run. So they have not been in that area for 3 to 4 weeks.

I fill you in to all of the above to ask this question. It is going to be close to 70 this weekend and I would like to let the babies outsidee for the first time and am wondering if it is safe for them to roam around the old run. I am mainly worried about coccidia still alive in the ground. I have not witnessed any of my older girls with any signs of this or other diseases. But I am worried about them being able to contract something since they have not been vaccinated or fed medicated feed.

Am I being over protective or should it be all right. Thanks in advance for all replies/input.
I am thinking it would be just fine! My birds love to be outside, and I think it is healthier for them. Really if you want them to meld with the laying flock, you want them exposed to those germs to get some immunity built up.

Mrs K
I was thinking the same thing but it's just scary letting those babies out into the "real world" for the first time.

Sometimes, a little knowledge of what can go wrong makes us hesitant.
Thanks for the reply
I dig up a clump of dirt, grass, roots and all, and drop it into the brooder the day new chicks go in there. It exposes them in a smaller dose to what they're going to face out there and gives their immunities a kick start. They climb all over that dirt clod, digging in it and finding bits of grit and other goodies, it keeps them entertained, and as the dirt ball gets scratched to smithereens they scratch and dust bathe in it. When I put them out to live in the run the next day, they have a blast and immediately being to act like miniature chickens. Many others do the same - toss a clod of what will be in their coop/run when they go out to live. I raise my chicks outdoors in the pen on the ground that all of the other chickens use, and between that and the dirt clumps I've never had an issue.
I also give mine clumps of sod, but I do it for a few weeks before putting them in the big birds run. I've never had troubles either. I would avoid any really wet ground. I always get mine outside as soon as possible and I think they are stronger for it.
Your chicks have been well cared for and they are healthy with healthy immune systems. Be confident that they will be able to handle any exposure to natural pathogens in the soil. I'm sure you will notice any symptoms if they do contract coccidiosis, and it's a simple matter to do a round of Corid should that happen.

Your chicks are ready for the big world!
Thanks again for your replies to my concerns. My chicks have been out a little over the last 3 or 4 days and so far so good. They are curious but scared. They would come out for a little bit, get scared and run back in. Funny to watch.
I am a little over protective of my babies.

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