My juvenile crested cayuga ducks are outside enjoying the warm weather. I’m thinking about ways to get the chicks that I hatched the week of Easter outdoors. I need to clean the other half of the chicken coop first, and then do a bit of repairs, but then they can go outside.

When baby chicks are fully feathered they no longer need heat and depending on your outdoor temps can go outside. Here, it’s been between high 60’s and low 80’s during the day–certainly warm enough for the ducks to go outside in a small, predator proof cage and enjoy sunshine and playtime in the yard.

The chicks will be following shortly, but given that there are about 20 of them, it’s not as easy as scooping them up in my hands and carrying them outside in one trip.

Some things to keep in mind before you send your little darlings outdoors:

  1. Do they have access to shade, water, and protection from the elements (even if that means you run out in the rain to bring them back in)?
  2. Are they safe from other members of your flock?
  3. Are they able to regulate their temperature?

Start slowly, then work out to being out all day, and then move into the overnights. You can transition your babies outdoors safely and they will be better for it.