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When to move chicks out WITH heat lamp?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have some chicks that are about 6 weeks right now, youngest might be closer to five. Right now I've got them inside in a rabbit hutch which is good for small chicks but there's eleven of them and it's getting awful crowded – this is the first time I've had this many. Right now I've been putting them out in the morning and bringing them in to sleep, which is working fine, but I'm wondering what's a good time to start keeping them out overnight?

 

It's been getting down to about 50 here, but it's forecast to go as low as 45 next week. I do have a heat lamp which I've been putting out there, and when it gets into the evening, they like to hang out under it. There is a breeze that comes in which they have some shelter from but there isn't a perfectly enclosed area right now, the closest is an elevated (repurposed) rabbit hutch which they don't seem to like going up into much. That might change if I reposition the heating lamp, but I think right now they can't get into it easily.

 

Anyway, my main question is how big/feathered they need to be for these temperatures WITH artificial heating access. They're mostly feathered but a lot of them still have a bit of chick down around the neck and the feathers not quite all the way developed.

post #2 of 5

With those temps they should be just fine...especially since you have been putting them outside during the day.  Feathers on their head?  Good to go!  Chickens are equipped for cool temps.  

"When raising chickens you must think like a chicken...NOT like a human!"

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies-diseases-injuries-before-they-happen 

 

Reply

"When raising chickens you must think like a chicken...NOT like a human!"

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies-diseases-injuries-before-they-happen 

 

Reply
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the answer! I've read a bit online and it seems like maybe I'm babying them more than I need to, but also it seems like everyone has a fully enclosed area for their chickens. The most mine have actually has gaps between the slats on one side, and although the whole area is somewhat sheltered, there'll still be a draft.

post #4 of 5

I've been wondering the same question.  I've got 15 chicks that are about 4wks. old now.  They've got tail feathers that are 2" long but no real feathers on the head yet.  Should I wait a couple more weeks?  This past week, it's been getting down into the mid 30's at night.  They currently are in the basement where it stays mid 60's.  They will be living in an enclosed coop so wind drafts will not be present.

post #5 of 5

I agree with above.  6 weeks they are fine without a heat lamp.  I put mine outside at about 5 weeks without a heat lamp with temps still dropping into the 20's at night.  If they're fully feathered, they're fine.  

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