When can chicks stay outside overnight?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jmb213, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. jmb213

    jmb213 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2013
    Wilton, Ca
    Hello, I'm new to backyard chickens and to owning chickens! My husband and I have five 2 week old chicks. They are already starting to grow feathers on their wings and are very active in the indoor set up that we currently have.
    I wanted to know at what time we can keep start keeping them outside permanently. We live in the Sacramento Valley of CA where temperatures are 80s-90s during the day and a low of 50-55 at night. Also, we are open to any other suggestions you may have regarding this topic. Thank you in advance for helping a newbie!
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    It is recommended that chicks be kept in a brooder for the first 6-7 weeks. Temperature 90-95* for the first week, lower it by ±5* every week after that. If the daytime temperatures are close to what is recommended for your chicks you can start letting them out for some "play time" during the day now already. I've put tiny chicks outside in the past for hours every day and they were very happy out there. It's good for them too. Once they are fully feathered (at around 6-7 weeks) they should be able to handle cooler temperatures and can stay outside overnight as well. Before you do that I'd recommend letting them acclimatise by letting them out during the day for a few full days, from morning to early evening and leaving the heat lamp off for a few nights first. The chicks' behaviour should also give you a good idea of whether or not they are comfortable. If they out spread, pant and look listless they are most likely hot, if they look comfortable, happy and active they are fine and if they huddle together and pile on top of each other they are too cold.
     
  3. jmb213

    jmb213 Out Of The Brooder

    15
    1
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    Aug 6, 2013
    Wilton, Ca
    Thank you for the information. Next up is my attempt to take photo's of the chicks to see if anyone can help determine the sex :)
     

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