When can chicks go outside

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by momofchicks, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. momofchicks

    momofchicks Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    Hello, I'm new here. We got a dozen chicks from a local farmer and I asked him a bunch of questions but don't want to keep calling with every little thing. Anyway, my babies are only 3 weeks old, but was wondering when can they go outside? We have them in our basement with heat lamps on and florescent light during day and turn off the florescent at night (to mimic daylight). When they do go out there is a chicken house and a very large coop. Do we still need to keep a light out there in the house?
    Thanks for your advice!

    Here are a few of my babies.
  2. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Songster

    Mar 17, 2008
    San Antonio
    I would take them out for a short while as long as it is above 60 degrees or so. Start with 15 mins then wait a day, and take them out again weather permitting, for 30 mins the next day. They will let you know if they are cold, they will huddle and when I took my silkies out the first time they ran up to me after a while to go "back home"
    1 person likes this.
  3. mjclark

    mjclark Hatching

    Mar 31, 2008
    Good question.
    I've been taking mine outside since they were approx 3 weeks old. It has been warm.
    Only, make sure your cage is covered. Don't learn from my mistake:
    I put mine in a pen without a cover, I went inside to change the chicks cage paper..........and I hear the older rooster calling something fierce, I run outside to see a raven literraly ripping the head off one of my chicks! I felt horrible and sick. All the chicks were deathly affraid. I only lost 2, a third I brought back to health.
    I didn't think the crows would do such a thing.

    But, my chicks love going outside to theier bigger pen, they fly, search for bugs....I just wish I could keep them outside all the time like at night. They make such a mess inside the house. Soon enough it'll be warm enough and wishing for winter!
  4. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    I just moved our 3 week old chicks outside, a few days ago. We've been in the 70 - 80's during the day, high 40's - 50's at night.

    I fixed them an area under our post-brooder coop using the elevated area under the pb coop and two wire rabbit cages.

    ***Clickable thumbnails [​IMG]***



    I have a 25 watt red light bulb in the "coop" area for them, incase they get cold. The wire cages are where I put their feeder and waterer, for easy access for me.

    Hope this is some help!

  5. momofchicks

    momofchicks Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    [​IMG] Thanks so much for all the info. To elaborate a little more, they do not need to have all their feathers is that right? Should I go ahead and use that mite killer dusting stuff in the coop and house?
  6. Homegroanacres

    Homegroanacres Chillin w/the Ice in my Glass

    Apr 10, 2008
    Salem, Oregon
    A loongggggg time ago I had a wife that squawked alot, so I learned to
    talk chicken...

    So now I wait until the chicks ask to go out the I tell them I will
    pick them up a 7pm

    OK! I know that was really bad:th but I could not resist![​IMG]
    ensundby likes this.
  7. barney

    barney In the Brooder

    Apr 25, 2008
    Buckley, Washington
    I'm new to this site too. We just became the owners of 13 laying hens...all kinds! They are doing wonderfully in their new home. We intend to get a few more chicks to add to the flock. I too would like to know when the chicks can be introduced and put outside with new sisters?
  8. Acre of Blessings

    Acre of Blessings Canning/Sewing Addict

    Apr 3, 2008
    Axton, VA

    Welcome Barney, good to have you here on BYC.

    I took my 5 week olds outside today for about a couple hours and they had a blast scratching at the ground and eating bugs. I would say though somewhere between 6 to 8 weeks is a good age for an overnighter.
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My chicks have been outside in their temporary coop (aka the harley shed) since day one. At first we tried keeping the temp. at the 90 - 95 recommended with 2 heat lamps and a heater, but the chicks stayed as far away from the heat sources as they could; so we lowered the temp. to 85 and all was well. Now at 2 1/2 weeks we keep them at 80 - 85 and we still never see them sitting under the heat lamps or huddling; except to sleep, which they seem to always do in 3 sets.
    If you can keep their coop at the appropriate temp. for their age, that is to say: 90 - 95 the first week, decreasing by 5 degrees a week, until it's down to 70 degrees and they shouldn't need supplemental heat, you can have them in their coop. Mine will be moving to their permanent coop when they are 4 weeks old. I'll be using the heat lamp(s) to keep the temp at 75 for a week and then watch their behavior to see if they still need it.
    I do have more chicks than you though, and I think body heat from their brothers and sisters counts too.
    I still don't watch the thermometer as much as I do my chicks behavior. Huddling means they need more heat. Staying as far as they can from the heat source means too hot.
    By the way, welcome to BYC.
  10. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    at that age you can take your chicks outside.as long as they are in a secure safe pen.an themn bring them back in in the evening.

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