I've researched when to put out chickens, and like most things online, opinions differ.
I have ~ 60 chicks that are 6.5 weeks old. All but about 6 are fully feathered. The backs of these 6 (RIR and PBR) are not yet feathered. Are they ok to go out tonight?
I have them in your standard 8x10 cattle panel tractor. It's covered with a tarp, and I'm gonna block the front part tonight with cardboard or contractor plastic, to reduce any winds. Temps are supposed to be in the low 30's for tonight and the next few. I'm not planning on putting a heat lamp in there. I was thinking with 60 birds, they should be alright huddling together.
Ok to go out, or move the half dozen back to the garage? Thoughts from anyone more experienced?
EDIT: They have been in a brooder in an uninsulated metal outbuilding. I removed their lamp about a week and a half ago, so they have been sustaining temps that low just fine in a non-moving air location. I'm worried about the added stress of a breeze.
What are your night temps like and do you have any chances of having hard pounding rains ? My birds have been outside since I got them as tiny fluff balls. I do have a heat lamp for them. I haven't lost a single one. They are in a pen but can slip in and out as they please to free range the lawn. My chicks are only 2 or 3 weeks old at this point and honestly since its been so warm here I was thinking about turning the light off on um tonight. But I just got 4 more baby ducklings in and I dont want to chance it. Don't know your temps in colorado but my bet is that they'll be fine. Last year when my birds where that age they had no light.
It's been in the upper 20's and lower 30's. No rain for the 10-day forecast is scheduled. I have them on pasture that hasn't been irrigated either. Should be nice and dry. I even put down a little pile of wood chips, to remind them of the garage. But they are huddled in a corner currently. Hope I don't get any smothering.