When can my chicks be outside full time? What temperature?



What is the max. coldess they can be outside and when can they be out there full time? I have chicks that are now 5 weeks old, since they were 4 weeks old I let them outside during the day and put them back in at night. Also, when I go to pick them up to put them inside for bed, they're ALWAYS huddled outside, why? They have a nice sheltered chicken coop with a perch low enough for them. Last thing, where should I have the heat lamp and does color matter? Should the lamp be on the side of the perches, or across from the nesting boxes?

UPDATE: That's why I was asking about temperature. I live in WA, one week it will be raining and 50-60 degrees, another week it will be sunny 60-80 degrees. I have introduced them to the perches, everytime I bring them in there, I put them on, but once I let go, they jump off. I can post pictures of the inside of the coop later. I haven't finished putting up all the perches yet. And I'm not sure how to tell when they're "fully feathered"
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5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
Central Oregon
Not knowing what part of the country you live in it's really hard to advise. With that said, the general rule of thumb is once your chicks are "feathered out" they can be put to the coop. As for their "huddling" .. they haven't learned the basics yet and you should be putting them up on their roost bar each night til they "get it". This is sometimes easier said than done and it will take diligence on your part!

Again, not knowing whereabouts you hail from and what your temperatures are like right now it's also hard to advise on the heat lamp. If you wish to hang a heat lamp inside the coop you must make sure it is high enough that the birds can't fly up on it and that the temp where it is aimed doesn't get too hot.

Can you please post some pics of your coop interior?

BayBay Peepers

6 Years
Apr 5, 2013
If they're fully feathered and it's not below freezing they should be ok to go outside during the day. Depending on the temperature in your coop and your views on a heat lamp you could put one in. I have a red heat lamp connected to a thermostat that turns off around 40 degrees. What you'd like it set to is completely up to you. Keep in mind some people do not use any heat and their birds are perfectly fine as long as they have adequate shelter.

And x2 for the roost. In the beginning you'll want to place them on the roost. They'll get the hang of it.

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