When can the chicks go outside?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rparrny, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. rparrny

    rparrny In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2012
    Hi all!
    I've been brooding 6 RIR chicks for about a month now, all the baby fluff is gone and they look like mini chickens. They still make chick peeps but once in awhile I hear a chicken sound come from at least one of them. I live on eastern Long Island where I'm pretty sure the danger of frost is over but it still gets cool at night...maybe down to the 50's. I was originally going to put them in with my ~22 week gingernut rangers in my eglu cube, but have now decided that despite the claim that the cube can hold ten...it's just to small for all of them and will buy another one for the chicks. So when can I safely take them out? I still have the heat lamp on although on nice days I open all the window in the room to get them accustom to the cooler temps and they seem to be fine. The feed place said to leave them inside until June but they are growing so fast, despite getting a larger cage I doubt they will all fit comfortably much longer and I haven't seen a larger cage available. Any suggestions? Should I turn off the heat lamp and leave the windows closed for awhile?


  2. kellysmall87

    kellysmall87 Songster

    They should be fine as long as they have their adult feathers. They also have each other for warmth. My silkies went out in frost like conditions at 9 weeks old - and they have no feathers just fluff - and they're fine. :)

    Maybe keep them indoors and turn heat lamp off now. Do that for a few days/a week then put them out in the day.. and acclimatise them like that maybe.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  3. rparrny

    rparrny In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2012
    I've turned off the heat lamp and left the windows closed. Took them all out and let them run around the room for awhile, what a riot (what a mess!). I'll leave the heat lamp off and open the windows next week on a warm day...time to order that second eglu....
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Mine have been in the coop with a heat lamp since they were 2 days old. Yours should be fine.
  5. sbucciarel

    sbucciarel Songster

    Apr 16, 2012
    My Coop
    I put mine out in the coop in Va a couple of weeks ago. They had all their feathers, although still chicks (also just looked like miniature chickens). For a few days before I put the out, I turned off the lamps completely. They've done great. They are getting bigger by the day and they still cuddle at night. Gets around 50s here at night right now.

    Today was exciting. I let them all out all day long to free range. I was out with them much of the day, supervising and making sure they didn't get into any trouble. I had hoped they would all just go back in their coop close to dark. Most did, but some hadn't figured out the ramp, and they were very frightened that it was turning dark and they weren't on the inside. I caught them and put them in.

    They all huddled together and you could tell that they were very excited about their day out and very happy to be back in their coop at dark. They were chattering like crazy, like they were all discussing what had transpired today. It was crazy and funny.

    Glad they all had a great day today.
  6. Kjackson

    Kjackson Hatching

    Apr 21, 2012
    Upstate NY
    Our chicks have been out in the coop for 1 week now and they still don't go into the coop at night. I have been letting them out in the yard during the day but I have to chase them and rally them in and even catch them and put them in at dark. They tried to roost in a pine tree one day, so now I go out to rally them a bit earlier. I am trying to train them to go in up the ramp, but sometimes they just refuse! Ant thoughts? Thanks.
  7. rparrny

    rparrny In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2012
    I got some great advice for my older girls who wouldn't go back in the coop (they are about 22 weeks) I left them in the coop for 3 days without letting them out...now they go in just fine. Another suggestion was to put a light in the coop and they would be attracted to it at night. I didn't need to do that but it may help you.


  8. Panth

    Panth Songster

    Mar 5, 2012
    I have a large coop with 17 adult birds. When my 14 new chicks were 4 weeks old, they were put in a seperate enclosure inside the coop with a heat lamp. I let them out into the chicken run during the day and it only took several times of putting them back inside under the heat lamp at night before they started to get the idea. Now they are 8 weeks old, they are completely loose during the day (they roam pretty extensively on 4 acres) and they will already find their way back into the coop at night on their own. I DO still leave the heat lamp on at night just as a night-light to help them find their way back in.
  9. moocow

    moocow In the Brooder

    May 23, 2013
    My chicks are warm under the hens feathers will.that keep them free frm the cold

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