Chicks are outdoors.

All the chicks are now outside. They have outgrown their brooder box and mini-run, and have graduated to the swing-set chicken tractor turned mini coop. These baby chickens, although not as cute as the chicks they once were, are turning into beautiful little birds. They are growing noticeably on a daily basis, and definitely have grown their appetites.
My first attempt at putting the chicks outside determined the move was too soon. The two larger red rangers went outside and it was obvious that they had not yet learned to “chicken.” Instead of the familiar exploring and scratching, they huddled in the grass and really seemed frightened of their new environment. We left them outside for about 3 hours and then moved them back with their chick buddies, where they seemingly discussed the new areas that they explored.
A few days later they whole lot went out in the morning, and it was a remarkable difference. The chicks had found their courage and were jumping and flittering about. These birds had found their inner chickens. They scratched. They chased bugs. They found perches, and they discovered their little coop box. They are still use to the ambient light and warmth of the heat lamp, so we moved one and attached it to the coop box to give them some familiarity for the night.
The coop box on the chicken tractor has square lattice on the back and the light clipped there definitely transfers some warmth and that inviting red light in which the chicks have become comfortable sleeping. The main reason I am running the light is to bait the chicks into the coop at night. With my last batch of chicks and even my first batch of “free” chickens, they were not familiar with their new area and it took a little bit of coaching to get them to stay where I wanted.
Now that they have been outside for several days, I will start weaning them from the light. The nights are definitely more comfortable and with no threat of cold, it is definitely time to toughen them up!
How are your chicks doing? Ready to go outside? Still too small to call the great outdoors home? We would really like to know.