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Is it to cold?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
We finally got the bigger coop done and we would like to move our chicks that are 5 weeks old out with the big girls. We built a broader area for the chicks in the coop. It's a 4 x 8 area, the walls are 3 1\2' high and lined with cardboard to keep out the draft. The top is covered with wire the keep the big girls out. They will have access to heat lamp and heated water. The temp last night went down to 9 F. The chicks are currently in our basement with a heat lamp at about 55 F.
Will it be OK to move them out to the coop? There are 25 of them and they are cold hardy birds.
post #2 of 8

As long as they are kept warm enough, they should be fine.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank You! I was really hoping it would be OK as they are escaping their box and getting big.
post #4 of 8

You'd be safer weaning them off the 55 degree heat, though. Make the room cool and reduce the wattage in the lamp. Then turn off the heat before moving them outdoors. You need to avoid large temperature swings. Going from 55 to 9F is much too drastic.

 

There are two temperature zones, and people don't consider this. There's the temp directly under the heat source, and the ambient temperature in the surrounding environment. You want to gradually decrease both before you move the chicks outside.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
We made the transition from the basement to the coop and all of the chicks are doing fine. I got worried this morning when I woke up to fine the temp was only 1 degree! I went out to the coop to find them all doing fine. Now I need to know at what age is best to let the chicks mix with the older hens? I did read where some have them separated by wire for about a week to let them see each other before they introduce them all together. The chicks will be 6 weeks old in 3 days. If I take the cardboard down and add wire should I be worried about drafts? At what age do you need not worry about a draft? And what do you do about feed? All of the older ones eat layer feed. Sorry I have a lot of questions but this is my first time adding little ones to the flock and I'm really hoping someone can help me out. Thanks!
post #6 of 8

As long as you keep them draft free they should be fine. They will huddle up to stay warm with their body heat, and they have all those feathers. So I would take the card board down and make the actual coop draft free so that all the chickens can see each other, keeping them separated by chicken wire or hardware clothe. I would leave it that way for a few weeks if it were me. However you could always cut small openings in the wire so that only the chicks could get back in the brooder area, and not the older chickens. There WILL be pecking order mishaps going on and the chicks will need to escape on occasion. I would also make sure their are multiple water and feed areas so that everyone is allowed to eat and drink.

They should not eat layer feed at that age, or if they are male. I have all my flocks on Flock Raiser. It is good for everyone. I have free choice oyster shell available in all coops for the hens to have as desired.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
What do you consider draft free? The coop is one floor and the chicken door is cut into the wall of the coop so if there is a a slight breeze or the wind is blowing it's going to come through the chicken door. The broader area is on the opposite wall and to the left about 15 feet from the chicken door.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by siblechick View Post

What do you consider draft free? The coop is one floor and the chicken door is cut into the wall of the coop so if there is a a slight breeze or the wind is blowing it's going to come through the chicken door. The broader area is on the opposite wall and to the left about 15 feet from the chicken door.

The dreaded 'coop draft' is air movement strong enough to literally 'ruffle feathers' on the birds where they sleep.

If feathers are being blown to movement they can't hold warm air next to the birds skin.

 

For chicks I use a huddle box to provide a draft free area if they need it.

Make them a 'huddle box', put it in the brooder after turning off the heat(you might have to 'persuade' them to use it) then move it out to the coop with them.

Cardboard box with a bottom a little bigger than what they need to cuddle next to each other without piling and tall enough for them to stand in.

Cut an opening on one side a couple inches from bottom and big enough for 2-3 of them to go thru at once.

Fill the bottom with some pine shavings an inch or so deep.

This will give them a cozy place to sleep/rest, block any drafts and help hold their body heat in.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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