When can chicks go outside full time?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Keltara, May 15, 2011.

  1. Keltara

    Keltara Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 4 Buff Orpington's who will be 6 weeks on Tuesday. I still have them indoors. We are having pretty chilly weather in Michigan where I live. The nights are going to be in the 30's this week. Is it okay to sleep them in their coop? They are pretty feathered out. It's our first experience with backyard chickens and I don't want hurt them by putting them out too soon, but their brooder is just not big enough. They have a 16 sq. foot coop, and a 48 sq ft. run waiting for them. Thanks!
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Mine were outside, in the barn, at 5 weeks. Your chicks will be fine as they're ever going to be. Get them used to the idea by turning off their light now, indoors. After two nights, and by Wednesday, the weather at night will be in the 50's at night, they'll be fine, just fine. We are in the northern mitten.
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  3. Keltara

    Keltara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks Fred. I think they're ready to be outside. I think it will be more stimulating for them. [​IMG]
  4. Sharksandguitars

    Sharksandguitars Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2011
    Watson, LA
    I can't wait to put my little ones outside! I take them out a couple times a day and they love it out there. It is pretty warm here in Southern Louisiana, so I may be able to put them out in a couple weeks. They are 2 weeks old now. [​IMG]
  5. countrycluckerskaren

    countrycluckerskaren Out Of The Brooder

    May 14, 2011
    My peeps are about 1 1/2 months old. I am waiting to put them outside (with a heat lamp) until after Memorial day...they will be 2 months old by then and should be fine outside with a heat lamp.
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I agree with Fred, take away the lamp now and give them a couple days to acclimate, then put them out. They'll be fine, they are tougher than you think.
  7. myhubbycallsmechickeemama

    myhubbycallsmechickeemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2011
    Arco, ID
    My Buff Orp girls went to the outside coop at 4 weeks and my RIR and Cornish X at 3 weeks. We have 5 heat lamps running at night and it's been staying a nice balmy 70 in there at night. They are all very happy and none of them are piling. Just so you don't think it's a major overkill on the heat lamps.....our coop has about 200 sq ft with a 12 foot ceiling. Hubby says he's going to go sleep in the chicken coop because it's warmer in there at night than it is in our house. There is no way I could sleep at 70 degrees!!! [​IMG]
  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    You can put them out as soon as you want to. I've put 3 day old's right out. Course I have built chick tractors for them that include heat lamps when necessary. I never keep them inside past 2 weeks unless the weather is just AWFUL (last spring it rained non-stop for about 10 days so I kept them in till it was over)

    If you think they need a lamp at night, use a dusk to dawn timer because they certainly won't need it in the daytime.
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    We only heat chicks in the brooder to mimic the body heat they would get from their broody mother hen. But even she kicks them out at 5 weeks and doesn't share her heat with them anymore. 6 week, 7 week, 8 week old chicks are feathered out, will buddy up next to their mates, and can easily take very cold temps. Naturally brooded chicks manage very well and so can our brooded chicks.

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