When Can Chicks Live Outdoors?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Buster098, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. Buster098

    Buster098 In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2011
    Leeds, England
    Hi, ive got some chicks about a month old, nearly 5 weeks and they've been living indoors so far but they smell really bad and make a huge mess around the outsides of their cage so I was wondering when I would be able to move them outdoors? Would they survive outdoors now at their age? Cheers!

  2. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Crowing

    Jan 12, 2010
    What are your weather conditions? England... probably cold and wet!

    I would say, not unless the chicks are either fully feathered or you provide a heat source and shelter for them outside.

    It sounds like you're using an open cage. You could try wrapping it with cardboard, and maybe some screen for the top to help contain the mess until they're ready to go outside. I change my chick bedding every few day to keep the stink down.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
  3. Paintedhorsegirl

    Paintedhorsegirl Songster

    Mar 23, 2011
    I agree if its cold out, i wouldnt until they are fully feathered and still provide a heating lamp..
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I just checked the weather for Leed, England online. Highs in the mid 60s and lows in the 30s (farenheit) right now, is that correct?

    I see no reason why you couldn't begin to accustom 5 week old chicks to living outside. Perhaps you could try taking them outside on nice, sunny days to spend the day in their coop and bring them back in at night for a week or so. What you really want to watch out for is drafts.

    The general rule of thumb is 90 to 95 the first week, decreasing by 5 degrees a week until such time you are down to 70 degrees (end of week 5); at which point they should not normally require supplemental heat.

  5. Buster098

    Buster098 In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2011
    Leeds, England
    Yes during the day its 60f and slighlty above, ive got them outside at the moment whilst its sunny but if it seems like its going to be a cold night then I will probably bring them inside tonight. Thanks anyway everyone. Ive also got a rabbit hutch so would that be warm enough for them? the nights are no where near as cold now as they were a few weeks back so maybe it would be alright? [​IMG]
  6. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Sounds like you're getting them acclimated well. You might watch at dusk and see how they act, do they look cold or do they look comfortable? If your hutch or coop blocks any breeze well, they may be ready. Certainly they should be ready within a week or so. I would see how they act.

    My broody raised chicks lived without heat from day one in the coop in similar or even cooler temps. They slept under mama for about 4 weeks, but she then abandoned them and they began sleeping snuggled together (not piled) on straw. My coop is pretty breezy as this is a hot climate. They simply found a sheltered little nook at night and are doing great; the roos are nearly as tall as my hens. They were 2 months old yesterday.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2011
  7. vanalpaca

    vanalpaca Songster

    Mar 18, 2011
    Clyde in NW Ohio
    Your weather predictions are still in the high 30's at nighttimes and just into the 50's during the days for the next couple of weeks. Should be sunny over the weekend.

    Have you got their coop built yet and a way to put a light on them for heating at night?

    Is the run sheltered from wind on the sides and from rain over part of it so they can stay warm?

    How many do you have?

    What breeds do you have? Some are more cold hardy than others.

    With heat and insulated coops, they don't have to be inside a house, but they need protection and ability to get in and out of a heated area. So you have to still control their environment.....

    Do you get the cold winds off the North Sea or are you more protected from the winds? East Anglia/Suffolk was still freezing in March/April and windy.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011

  8. Buster098

    Buster098 In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2011
    Leeds, England
    Their coop is built and is sheltered from wind on 2 sides and just meshing on the other 2. It has a roof aswell so they wont get wet. ATM they're only in my garden in the day then I bring them in at night so they havent got any heat apart from the sun in the day. I have 9 chicks, their mothers are white leghorns and the rooster is a rhode island red and white mix, are they hardy breeds? They seem ok when it comes to the evening and its getting colder aswell so thats looking good [​IMG]
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Those breeds should be fully feathered out at 4 to 5 weeks. You've been acclimating them and they will keep each other warm while they sleep. I'd probably put up some type of wind block on the open sides to keep them out of drafts up to a height of maybe 30 cm and give them straw, wood shavings, something to snuggle down in. I think you are real close to good to go.

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