when can baby chicks go outside

chickenmama109

Crowing
Mar 5, 2017
3,565
4,741
497
texas
hi!! i am just windering how old a chick can be to live outside, how to get them use to outside and how cold it can be when they go outside. thanks
 

IamRainey

Crowing
Aug 22, 2017
2,849
11,746
496
Los Angeles (Woodland Hills); gardening zone 9B
I think that depends very much on what your climate and weather is like and what facilities you have for them outside.

My chicks went to live in their kennel in my SoCal run when they were 3 weeks old. Prior to that they had been living under Mama Heating Pad where it was never warmer than high 80˚s. And by 3wo they were really only sleeping under it at night.

In my part of SoCal it's consistently in the mid-70˚s by April so I felt OK about that and they did fine. Not sure how many that would work for but it did for me and mine.
 

Norcalexplorer

Songster
Sep 3, 2019
95
162
101
Northern California
When my chicks were about a week or two old I would take them out in the front yard and let them run around with each other for about half a hourish then put them back inside. Id do that everyday and gradually keep them out there longer and longer.

Thank you for sharing how you introduce to them to the outdoors! I’m a new chicken momma and just took my 3 week old chicks outside today for the first time, and put them in a play pen enclosure so they could peck and scrap the grass and dirt and run around. The climate here is about 80-85 currently. How long should I sit in the pen with them outside? We were out there for about 1 1/2-2 hours. Is that an ok amount of time each day?
 

IamRainey

Crowing
Aug 22, 2017
2,849
11,746
496
Los Angeles (Woodland Hills); gardening zone 9B
Sounds like you're free ranging. I don't. Too many predators around here!

I didn't stay with them at all since they were perfectly safe in the enclosed run and also perfectly safe from their mature "bunk mates" in their kennel. I left them secluded in the kennel -- tho in constant sight of the other birds -- for about 3 week. Then I opened the door and let them all decide in-or-out for themselves for another 3. During that time they really only came out if there was something enticing like BOSS or watermelon on a hot day and then they skittered back. Occasionally, one of the grown hens poked their way into the kennel.

Last weekend we removed the kennel. Last night they followed the hens up into the coop but made their bed in the shavings across from the roosting hens. Don't know how long it will be before they try to find their spot on the roosts. But the integration has been great! NO blood. Almost no bossiness and that seemed to be limited to a head butt without an actual peck.

Delighted with the way the kennel worked all the way around! Inside brooding as well as outside integrating.

Good luck with yours and I hope someone who is more experienced at doing it with a free ranging flock will weigh in with their thoughts.
 

FathertoFeathers

Songster
Aug 26, 2019
514
1,221
176
Tennessee
Thank you for sharing how you introduce to them to the outdoors! I’m a new chicken momma and just took my 3 week old chicks outside today for the first time, and put them in a play pen enclosure so they could peck and scrap the grass and dirt and run around. The climate here is about 80-85 currently. How long should I sit in the pen with them outside? We were out there for about 1 1/2-2 hours. Is that an ok amount of time each day?
Thats a perfect amount. When I did that I got to the point where my babies got so used to me that they would fly on my shoulders and just chill there. Then when I put them down they'd get mad at me fly right back up on my shoulder or lay on my head. They got so comfortable with me I could walk around the block with them on my shoulders! I hope your babies love you as much as mine loved me! Good luck!
 

Norcalexplorer

Songster
Sep 3, 2019
95
162
101
Northern California
Thats a perfect amount. When I did that I got to the point where my babies got so used to me that they would fly on my shoulders and just chill there. Then when I put them down they'd get mad at me fly right back up on my shoulder or lay on my head. They got so comfortable with me I could walk around the block with them on my shoulders! I hope your babies love you as much as mine loved me! Good luck!
That’s amazing! I hope mine continue to learn I’m safe and love me like that! I am in love with my new baby chicks and 2 ducks. I have researched and read everything possible to learn how to become a good chicken/duck momma. Thank you for the advice on the time spent outside each day. I feel like I want to sit with them while their outside though bc of hawks and other predators. I would be devastated if something happened to my girls!
They actually won’t be free range bc I have a coop and big pen already set up with my fiancé’s lone chicken and goat. It’s incredible watching them grow and seeing all their little personalities!
Thank you again for your response and sharing with me how you do it!
Wow! I love this chicken community already!
 

Norcalexplorer

Songster
Sep 3, 2019
95
162
101
Northern California
Thats a perfect amount. When I did that I got to the point where my babies got so used to me that they would fly on my shoulders and just chill there. Then when I put them down they'd get mad at me fly right back up on my shoulder or lay on my head. They got so comfortable with me I could walk around the block with them on my shoulders! I hope your babies love you as much as mine loved me! Good luck!
Sounds like you're free ranging. I don't. Too many predators around here!

I didn't stay with them at all since they were perfectly safe in the enclosed run and also perfectly safe from their mature "bunk mates" in their kennel. I left them secluded in the kennel -- tho in constant sight of the other birds -- for about 3 week. Then I opened the door and let them all decide in-or-out for themselves for another 3. During that time they really only came out if there was something enticing like BOSS or watermelon on a hot day and then they skittered back. Occasionally, one of the grown hens poked their way into the kennel.

Last weekend we removed the kennel. Last night they followed the hens up into the coop but made their bed in the shavings across from the roosting hens. Don't know how long it will be before they try to find their spot on the roosts. But the integration has been great! NO blood. Almost no bossiness and that seemed to be limited to a head butt without an actual peck.

Delighted with the way the kennel worked all the way around! Inside brooding as well as outside integrating.

Good luck with yours and I hope someone who is more experienced at doing it with a free ranging flock will weigh in with their thoughts.
 

Norcalexplorer

Songster
Sep 3, 2019
95
162
101
Northern California
That’s amazing! I hope mine continue to learn I’m safe and love me like that! I am in love with my new baby chicks and 2 ducks. I have researched and read everything possible to learn how to become a good chicken/duck momma. Thank you for the advice on the time spent outside each day. I feel like I want to sit with them while their outside though bc of hawks and other predators. I would be devastated if something happened to my girls!
They actually won’t be free range bc I have a coop and big pen already set up with my fiancé’s lone chicken and goat. It’s incredible watching them grow and seeing all their little personalities!
Thank you again for your response and sharing with me how you do it!
Wow! I love this chicken community already!
 

MANNA-PRO

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