when can baby chicks be set in grass for short spurts?


In the Brooder
12 Years
Nov 1, 2007
Corydon, IN
my babies are a little over two weeks old now. We are keeping them in a cage brooder with a heat lamp in our garage. The lamp goes off during day and back on at night. I let them out of the cage while still in the garage during the evening when I'm home to let them run around and to play with them. My question is, is it to early for me to take the whole cage out and set it in the grass to let them have fun pecking and scratching and nibbling at greens? I would superivse these outings of course!

Second question is when can I stop having the heat lamp on at night? I worry about these little gals so much -- I'm always afraid I'm going to do the wrong thing and make one ill!
Chicks raised by a hen go out onto grass and dirt on their first day out of the nest. It's fine.

Turn off the heat lamp when the ambient night time temp is about the same as the heat you're supposed to be providing them according to the "drop temp 5 degrees per week" formula. Either that, or when you notice they don't want it anymore at night (they perch as far away from the heat lamp as possible).
I could be totally wrong on this but.....I just got my first batch of chicks and they were outside when they were a week old. Temp was close to 40 C outside. Dont think I would put them out today its 15C. They enjoyed the grass, sun and digging their feet. Not sure if it was the right thing to do but they seemed to react so happy to spread their wings, I think it benefited them.
Its warm enough here so I put mine out at 9 days old. I used the heat lamp for the first few nights and then only turned it on right before dark so it would be warm in the coop and turned it off when it was time for them to go to roost. They are 3 1/2 wks old now and doing great. They love being outside; much more for them to do. You can always just put them out in a little pen to see how they do and take them back in if you are concerned...
Thanks for all of your suggestions! I'm going to take them out and give them grass access as soon as I get home from work tonight! I can't wait.

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