Want to let chicks out but worried

hansolo

Songster
8 Years
Mar 7, 2011
179
27
136
Fremont, CA
I have three chicks about 25 days old. It is about 60F during the day here in Northern California.
I would really like to let the chicks out during the day. (We do on weekends and they love it!) But I am worried cats or eagles will get to them when not supervised.
I have chicken wire enclosure, about 3-4 feet tall, maybe if I add bird net on top, I can leave them out all day, from 8am-6pm?
 

hokankai

Songster
10 Years
May 18, 2010
2,735
92
246
SW WA
I would be very wary of leaving them out there unsupervised for an extended period of time. When mine were growing up I took them out for hour long stretches and they loved it, but the moment I went inside and left them a bit a hawk would make an appearance nearby and I'd have to put them away. They don't need extended periods of time outside, they'll be fine. I would much rather supervise them if you aren't going to have a completely predator proof pen for them to play in.
 

AKsmama

Songster
9 Years
Jun 20, 2010
921
9
121
South Carolina
I wouldn't. They still need some heat at this point. And chicken wire keeps chickens in, but doesn't keep things like dogs, raccoons, foxes, and coyotes out. Yes, those predators will come out in daytime, especially to get an easy snack.
 

hansolo

Songster
8 Years
Mar 7, 2011
179
27
136
Fremont, CA
Where we live is pretty urbanized but I still worry about cats/dogs.
I am thinking chicken wire + bird net on top, but not confident that will be predator proof. I am also thinking of some sort of shelter thing for them if it gets windy but I have to admit they are not that smart.
It is a shame to keep them in when it is warm and sunny outside. They love to eat grass seeds and they can catch earthworms on their own.
 

AKsmama

Songster
9 Years
Jun 20, 2010
921
9
121
South Carolina
But they'll have plenty of time for that when they are bigger and a tiny bit more able to fend for themselves.

Urbanization has absolutely nothing to do with whether you have raccoons, foxes, and coyotes.
 

benjoycei

Songster
10 Years
Mar 4, 2011
1,329
44
211
Wilmington
I lost 2 grown chickens to dogs. Maybe you should try to make a heavy, portable, pen, like one of those 'tractor' style things.
 

rarely bored

Songster
9 Years
Jan 22, 2011
749
4
113
Central California
Could you make a small chicken tractor?? I spent some time last week making a small chicken tractor for my little guys, and they love it! Mine was made with 'junk' that was floating around our place... 2x4 fencing material, 2 inch pvc pipes, chicken wire, old plywood from a dog house - figured the chickies would like the termites, old 2x4's, bailing twine, old tin roof.... it tain't beautiful, but it was free and it works!
 
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hansolo

Songster
8 Years
Mar 7, 2011
179
27
136
Fremont, CA
Would it be possible for you to post a picture for me?
I am not very handy but I want to figure something out.
Thanks!

Quote:
 

jenesis536

Songster
9 Years
Oct 3, 2010
602
3
121
CA
Too early for that long in my opinion. At 3 weeks old I put mine out on the lawn supervised with us or in a large cage enclosed with a pet pen around them when it is nice out (70 degrees) for 3-4 hours while we are cleaning the coop and pen and doing stuff around the house where we can check on them often and I still had the thermometer out there to make sure it wasn't too cold or breezy. They loved having outdoors time, but personally wouldn't leave them that long with a relatively unsecured environment (or even that long in general). Last weekend it was overcast and breezy, so I just left them in the cage for an hour while I cleaned up - but it was 65 or so... they are 4.5-6.5 weeks old. If you want to leave them out that long, I'd put them in a better protected area with a heat lamp they can go under if needed and some shavings down.
 

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