You have been raising chicks in your house for about the last six weeks. You are probably over them in your house, I know by the time they are 4 weeks here, I am more than ready to have them elsewhere. So when can you move chicks outside?
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How to Move Chicks Outside
For 6 weeks you have made sure those little chicks have been warm in their brooder. Time to start putting those little fluff butts outside.
Depending on your temperatures you can start giving them outside time before they are 6 weeks old. I wait until our chicks are about 90% feathered and our temperatures are warm enough that I can go outside without a sweater, I start putting them out in the sun for short periods of time.
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Grow Out Space
I do not recommend putting your chicks in with your adult birds if you have them. There is going to be aggression, and your chicks might not make it out alive sadly.
I have a rabbit hutch that I use as a grow-out coop. It's in my chicken run so that everyone can see each other, get used to being around each other, and not be able to fight with each other.
Ways to Start Taking Chicks Outside
You can also start by putting them outside in their brooder (minus a heat lamp).
There are animal playpens available on Amazon that you can use too. There are a number of different styles to choose from, but I highly recommend getting an enclosed one that is completely covered to prevent your chicks from being plucked from the sky.
I have used an actual playpen too, one from my babysitting days. I used the bassinet part as a cover to keep them safe.
Leaving Chicks Outside Overnight
I like to make sure that the forecast shows warmer nights, no below-freezing temperatures. If they aren't completely feathered out I just put them out during the day and bring them in at night. I'm not raising chicks for weeks on end to freeze one to death.
Use your gut when it comes to putting your chicks outside for the first time and for leaving them outside all night for the first time.