What age can I let my chicks outside to play?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Willow's Meadow, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. Willow's Meadow

    Willow's Meadow Songster

    Apr 16, 2010
    They are a week old. What age can I take them out to play a little? I know there to young now...but I'm just wondering. What age did you take your chicks outside for some fresh air?

  2. LadyBeartoothMamma

    LadyBeartoothMamma Chirping

    May 31, 2010
    Absarokee Montana
    Mine too are week old and I let them out yesterday to explore course i was out there and so were my two children but because my fence has holes in it I kinda sat next to them and blocked them lol and my daughter sat on the other side, so they still got to explore and check out things, they were in the shade and sun but no problems

    I let them out for about 5 minutes, they didnt want to come back in they were enjoying the sunbathing [​IMG]
  3. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    If the weather's nice, i put my chicks outside on day two.

    If the weather's warm like it is here (90-100 degrees), i would leave them out all day as long as they have shelter and are safe from bigger chickens and predators. It's healthier for them to be on the ground the sooner the better if possible.
  4. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Songster

    Aug 8, 2009
    Central N.S.
    I had mine out for a few minutes first when they were less than one week, but since then (they are 2 weeks now) it really hasn't been warm enough...
  5. Heathercp

    Heathercp Songster

    Jul 23, 2008
    Durham, NC
    Mine have been outside with their mom since they were about a week old. They're now two weeks old and free ranging with their mom when I'm around - I have to chase the cat away with the garden hose. The mom is something fierce when he gets too close to her chicks, but it's safer if I'm there to help her out. Once they're about 4 weeks the chicks are big enough that the cat loses interest.

    My next chicks will be outside from day one - or whenever the broody takes them out of the broody box, since it's set up in the outside run. As long as they're warm, dry and safe, I think you can let them out as soon as you'd like. I think of it like the kids who are never allowed to get dirty - they're the ones who're always getting sick in school. Everybody's immune system needs a bit of stimulation to get going. Just take it slow and see how they do. It should be good for them. Have fun watching!
  6. chickiyo

    chickiyo In the Brooder

    Jun 21, 2010
    I got my chicks at around a week old and the first thing I did was let them out to look for bugs and scratch around. They loved it! I think its best for the chicks to be out early (unless its too cold) because chicks get beneficial exercise and fresh air too. They also can hone their bug hunting skills. My chicks kill ants like nobody's business now:p! We let our chicks out two times a day, and they love it, they flop over and sunbath or look for worms. Just be sure to always have someone near them when they are out and to look out for hawks.
  7. Wes777

    Wes777 Hatching

    Jun 11, 2015
    Maybe I'm a little harsh but my chicks are born outside and they stay there their entire life. Mama chicken does everything for them. If she doesn't than I'll help the chicks out until they can take care of themselves but for the most part, my chicks never come inside.

  8. PowellAnimals

    PowellAnimals Chirping

    Jul 2, 2015
    Muncy, Pennsylvania
    Does everyone put them in a run outside or...? How do you stop them from all running in separate directions and getting lost? I would love to put my few day old ones outside but I am worried that they would get away and get hurt/lost. Great question Willow's Meadow as I was wondering the same thing!
  9. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Everyone does it differently. Some rig a small playpen for the chicks, then bring them back in to the brooder when they begin to get chilled. You'll want to transport them outdoors in a pet carrier and open the door of the crate and let them come out at their own speed. They will return to the carrier on their own when they've had enough exploring. ou won't have to worry about chasing them down.

    The way I do it is I raise my chicks right out in the run along side the adult flock. They had a heating pad cave brooder until they were four weeks old, then I moved them into their coop. They were mingling with the adult flock from the time they turned three weeks old, accessing the main run from their grow-pen through small portals in the fence/partitions.

    At around four weeks old, they were going out of the run and free ranging on their own, but they didn't just run outside and go nuts. Chicks, when left to explore the outdoors on their own, will be very reserved about it, testing the big world a few inches at a time, then a few more feet, then running back into the pen where it's familiar.

    It took my chicks about a week to venture more than a few feet from the run. Your chicks are not going to run off. The big world is a much too scary place for chicks to venture far from what is familiar to them.
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    X2 As azygous knows, I also brood my chicks outside in a pen within the run, using a Mama Heating Pad cave. It wasn't warm outside either - temps were in the teens and twenties. But they spent most of their time, even as teeny little chicks, running around their pen rather than under their cave. They just popped under it on occasion for a quick warmup or a nap. They watched everything the adults did, and by 2 weeks were exploring outside in the great outdoors with them. Like azygous said, they didn't venture very far from the propped open door to their pen at first, then they stuck close to the run when they did go out. By 4 weeks they were evicted from the brooder to make way for the next batch, and totally integrated with the Bigs. They are big kids now - the Littles (1st and 2nd batches of chicks a week apart) are 17 and 18 weeks old and the Tinys (3rd batch) are 13 weeks old. Never had stronger, healthier chicks! Oh, and got my first egg from one of the Littles yesterday!

    They are tougher than we give them credit for, but you do have to be sensible. Keep an eye out for any critters who might fancy a chick for dinner. But you shouldn't have too much trouble with them running off - they just aren't that brave at first.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015

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