Well, I had every intention of keeping the chicks indoors until they were at least a month old but they didn’t like that idea. It is very hot here and I started taking them outside twice a day to a specially fenced area fortified with chicken fencing that I made just for these babies.
I didn’t leave them unattended but since I had a lot of yard work to do, this worked out well. I put a large deck umbrella over part of their area, added food and water and a pile of straw. I also failed to mention that the grass and weeds were pretty tall in this area so they had lots of cover.
They had a ball running around and acting silly. They figured out how to take their first dust baths and how to sun themselves. They were not happy when I rounded them up and took them in each time. It got to the point that they screeched incessantly while they were inside.
When the chicks reached 3 weeks of age, I finally caved and put them outside in a very secure little chick house with an extra secure run and double chicken fencing. They were driving me crazy at this point and they were very unhappy. I also started leaving my two labs outside at night to patrol the yard, which they loved! So far, so good. My little family of 8 chicks is thriving being outside and they are growing fast. They also eat a lot less chick feed since they are busy running around and taking dust baths.