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When to put chicks out

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi All, We're new to the chicken world and we have 3 Rhode Island Red and 3 Brown Leghorns. Saturday we will have had them 4 weeks. We live in PA and are currently going through a cold snap. They are still in a metal tub with metal netting across it with a heat lamp. They are in a 70 degree indoor room in house. (Spoiled). I have two questions. I bought a chicken coop that is Amish made. Are they old enough that they can go out in coop only indoors without heat lamp as it is sooo cold? Thanks for the feedback
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by DixieChickPa View Post

Hi All, We're new to the chicken world and we have 3 Rhode Island Red and 3 Brown Leghorns. Saturday we will have had them 4 weeks. We live in PA and are currently going through a cold snap. They are still in a metal tub with metal netting across it with a heat lamp. They are in a 70 degree indoor room in house. (Spoiled). I have two questions. I bought a chicken coop that is Amish made. Are they old enough that they can go out in coop only indoors without heat lamp as it is sooo cold? Thanks for the feedback
What exactly is the temperature dropping to at night? The general rule of thumb is once they get their feathers they will be fine. I live in Florida so it's a little different here.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Low at night 20s and during day 30s through this weekend, with chance of snow this weekend. Should i wean off the heat lamp?
post #4 of 6
I moved my brooder into the coop with 2 heat lamps. One lamp in the brooder and the second lamp was just to maintain the coop temp. I was unable to keep them inside. I did this on day 2 for both hatches. I put a small cardboard box upside down in the brooder and cut open one side. This created a cave for them to warm up in. I didn't have a heating pad. I also added a small stuffed animal for them to cuddle with and it retained heat really well. It's getting tossed because obviously it's now covered in poop. Temp were in the low 30s then but if yours are 4 weeks and feathered, they should be good. Just keep an eye on the temp in the early morning, when it will be the coldest.
post #5 of 6

First of all, beware of trying to heat the entire environment, making both brooder and the room or coop all a toasty warm temp. You aren't doing your chicks any favors.

 

Ideally, a chick hatches under a broody hen in an otherwise cold environment. The chick, within hours, is running around exploring its new world at no detriment to it, and it scoots back under its 100F mama to warm up as it chills, only to be out and about again once it gets its body back up to a warm temp.

 

Chicks raised outdoors in this manner do not suffer and die of the cold, even well below freezing. Nor do chicks brooded outdoors with artificial heat. They behave just like broody-raised chicks, running all over the place and scooting under the heat source only long enough to warm back up, then it's off to the races again, even if the temperature is so cold you're standing there watching them decked out in wool coat and hat and gloves.

 

You only need to heat one spot in your brooder, right beneath the heat source. The more of the brooder you try to heat denies the chicks the ability to self regulate their body temps, and later on, it makes it hard to wean them off heat. By the time chicks are approaching their fourth week, they should only be needing heat at night, and by week five, they should be off heat entirely and ready to move outside to a coop.

 

People who coddle their chicks with heat for six to eight weeks, have chicks who are not going to find it easy to adjust to cooler temps, requiring tedious acclimatizing before being able to adjust to real life in a colder environment.

post #6 of 6
I guess I should have said...I put 2 thermostats in the brooder. One under the lamp and on on the other side. Heat lamp read 95/90/85...the one on the other said was between 60-70 I only ran that setup for a week to make sure they could pass through the cold spell. It's one lamp now and they are all doing fine.
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