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When to move chicks outside

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bethielynn, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. bethielynn

    bethielynn In the Brooder

    Jul 3, 2013
    My chicks have been living in the garage and they haven't needed a heat lamp for weeks but I don't know how big they need to be to not be eaten by hawks. Is there a specific size when they are safe from this predator?

  2. Chickens are never "safe" from predators unless they are on a lockdown in a secure coop/run.

    I usually put mine out sometime between 2 weeks and 4 weeks depending on temperature and circumstances. Most are feathered by 4 weeks and can take the temperature adjustments. Unless it is VERY cold you need not keep them inside for much longer unless you want to.

    Wish ya the best.
  3. cheepylove

    cheepylove In the Brooder

    Sep 29, 2009
    Southern Maine
    Hawks will take full grown chickens. I let mine free range but it is taking a chance. As long as they are fully feathered they should be ok.
  4. Yeah Hawks, Foxes, opossums and coons will always take chickens no matter what size. You can let them outside when they are feathered. I put them outside when they are half the size of my other chickens to ensure they will be able to defend themselves from the bigger hens.
  5. bethielynn

    bethielynn In the Brooder

    Jul 3, 2013
    Ok thanks for the input! I don't have grown chickens to compare to but mine are probably around 6 weeks old so I will get their fence up tomorrow and try to get their coop finished soon :) cant wait to get them eating bugs!! haha
  6. annagarret

    annagarret Chirping

    Feb 23, 2013
    Memphis Michigan
    My Coop
    I found to gradually introduce them to the outdoors worked. We would take them out of their box for 15 min or half hour here and there helped them transition. Of course we would sit with them and babysit. Security is most important. What do you have? Good luck!!!! :)
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Some of mine are moved outside at about 4 weeks but are initially confined to a chicken tractor. They are safe from hawks while inside. After about a week they are released to forage free-range. They still roost in tractor. They are vulnerable to Red-tailed Hawks and Coopers Hawks but former does not have a chance because of dogs. Coopers Hawks can be problematic until chicks become too heavy to pack off without landing which is usually after a couple more weeks. For me, adult rooster is all that is needed to stop Coopers Hawk but dogs are now considered more important. Other predators are still a consideration.

    Night time will be your biggest concern with predators going after confined birds. Bird size then will not be all that important. Effort to have them roost clear of sides and harden up design to keep raccoons and opossums out.

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