When can my chicks play around outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lizage, May 17, 2011.

  1. lizage

    lizage Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
    They will be 4 weeks old this weekend and are quickly outgrowing their brooder (I have 16 chicks -12 standard, 4 bantams - in a galvanized sheep waterer/trough). We have their coop, and plan to have free range chickens. So when can I begin letting them roam around outside without them running off on me? I also have an outdoor/barn cat who, at this point, does not seem the slightest bit interested in the chicks, but I don't want to give him too much credit...yet... [​IMG]
     
  2. lizage

    lizage Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
    bump!
     
  3. Tartannik

    Tartannik Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Wet Argyll, Scotland
    Hello, my chicks have been outside since they were a week old but that was with their mum. I live in Scotland and the weather here is rubbish but they seem to be growing fine and hide in the coop if they need to. I am not sure though if they haven't a mummy to look after them, but if you put them in an enclosed run for a an hour or two a day to start off with they will probably be fine!
     
  4. QualityPolish

    QualityPolish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2011
    Utah
    OKAY, so a hen would have had them out running around by now and usually with hens they teach them the boundaries. Now, I have a small run on my coop yet I let them free range. Once the temps are steady and high enough at night for the chicks to be out and they have most of their feathers. They can live outside full time. During the first week I caged them in their coop and run and didn't let them out. This sort of lets them know that this is home and where they will sleep. Next I will let them out for the day and hopefully they've got the concept that the coop is where they sleep. If they don't yet then just gather them up and put them in the coop. As for learning boundaries I haven't had anybody run over to the neighbors. This wouldn't be a good idea as their dogs have killed several of our chickens. (Their dog was on OUR property [​IMG] ) But If they run onto someone elses property run out and shoe them back over. Hopefully they'll stay close.

    As for the cat, we have one and yes as chicks of course they are interested. Little chicken dumplings!!! But once they get bigger and can fight for themselves I wouldn't worry. All I would worry about was foxes etc.

    Good Luck!

    QP
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  5. lizage

    lizage Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2011
    Thanks for the suggestions! Our property is surrounded by woods on one side and farmground on the other so we don't have to worry about neighbors' dogs (only coyotes, foxes, and who knows what else!). I'm just worried that the minute I let them have a little 'freedom' that they will take off running/flying and I won't be able to chase them down! [​IMG]
     
  6. fifenashia

    fifenashia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2011
    Eastern Kentucky
    Once they know where "home" is, they wont wander too far. Being prey animals their nature is to be wary. Our dogs have gotten into the yard before and mine went screaming for the coop. I also had a duck that flew away once and didn't come home for a good 20 minutes!! She finally found her way back and refuse to fly higher than a few feet now (wings are not even clipped).
     

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