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When to let outside of coop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by NewtoChicksinMT, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. NewtoChicksinMT

    NewtoChicksinMT Hatching

    Jun 26, 2011
    Hi there,

    I have 5 week chicks just spending their second night in the coop and doing great! I have a couple of questions about when I can open their pop door for the first time plus what to do after that!?

    I've heard to let them spend time getting acquainted with their new home before allowing access to outside during the day (they will free range...we have plenty of yard/land). How long do they need to only stay inside before I can open the door? Also, once they do find their way outside, is it easy to get them back in....will I have to wait for them to do it themselves at night!? Should I be vigilant the entire time!? I can easily keep an eye on them for an afternoon, but not sure about chick-sitting sunrise to sunset! So, that's the basics of my questions...when and then what!?

    Any other helpful suggestions or advice are surely welcome! Also, I live in Montana and the days are mid-70s, evenings cool at low 50s.

    Thank you! [​IMG]

  2. [​IMG]

    Their are different schools of thought, and one that has worked for me is to keep them in their new coop for 2 to 3 days so that they become oriented to where home is. Hopefully it is not to hot where you are at. Keeping them in a hot coop can have deathly result. But common sense will lead you there. Keep in mind that they will usually put themselves to bed/roost at dusk. Chickens are not like kids, you don't have to make them go to bed. Ha ha. Best of wishes to ya.
  3. At some point you may want to build a run or open outside enclosure to keep them safe. Free ranging is always an option and one that is me with few security problems like predators. So the choice is yours to make and you will need to evaluate your surrounding to see what needs to be done to keep em safe.
  4. ajay

    ajay Chirping

    Jun 1, 2011
    I'm in the same boat. My girls are spending their first night in the coop tonight. [​IMG] My plan is to leave them in there for 3 days and then let them out for a few hours before dusk while I am home and see what happens. They have been free ranging in the afternoons for a week or two, but we've always picked them up at dusk and put them back inside. Hopefully it won't take them long to figure out where home is.

    Exciting, huh? [​IMG]
  5. NewtoChicksinMT

    NewtoChicksinMT Hatching

    Jun 26, 2011
    It is such a funny thing...I tip-toe out there before I go to bed and then first thing in the morning to peek at them to see what they're doing before I open the door. They seem to love it, I would just be sad to ruin a great thing by being too hasty with something. I haven't lost any so far...we have a few neighbors that let theirs free range and as long as they're good and locked up at night have no problems....we'll see though. : ( I can't stand the thought of which one could be the first to go. Keep me updated, but thanks for the idea, I think it's smart to keep it shorter lengths at first.
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Here it has been in the upper 90's during the day and mid 70's at night. I opened their pop door and let them go out if they want. I put a couple of heat lamps on at night. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2011

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