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Chicks fully feathered?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hello,
I have 35 Barred Plymouth Rocks and am wondering if they are fully feathered.
They have been out in the coop now with the 2 month old Silkies for 2 weeks with a heat lamp. It's still pretty cold here with temp around 32 at night at 41 to 50 during the day. The chicks have been out in the run during the odd warm days of around 64 but haven't been introduced to rain or cooler days outside.
Today they were all standing at the door ready to go out but it was a high of 41 with cold breeze. I let them out for 10 mins, they seem to enjoy it but I was worried of them getting too cold.
Any advice on when they are ready for full days outside and without the lamp.
Thanks
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
Here is another pic
post #3 of 7
They are too cute! Love it.

They look fully feathered to me. As long as they have access to the heat lamp as needed to warm themselves, they should be ok to go outside if they want to.
post #4 of 7

They do not need any supplemental heat. Get that heat lamp out. I've have 3.5 week old chicks out in similar temps and they did just fine. Once they have most of their feathers, chickens are very hardy creatures. Your temps are not cold for them at all.

post #5 of 7

Understand that chicks only need a heat source to help them replace body heat lost due to lack of feather insulation. Even during the down phase, they only need heat occasionally to replace lost body heat and do not need to be constantly under heat like so many meat patties.

 

Once those feathers are all in, for all practical purposes, they are outfitted completely in a down "parka" and will not lose body heat as long as they are converting food to calories.

 

Heating them after they are wearing their "parkas" is going to make them as uncomfortable as you would feel if your were wearing one of those in your heated home.

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by junebuggena View Post
 

They do not need any supplemental heat. Get that heat lamp out. I've have 3.5 week old chicks out in similar temps and they did just fine. Once they have most of their feathers, chickens are very hardy creatures. Your temps are not cold for them at all.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by azygous View Post
 

Understand that chicks only need a heat source to help them replace body heat lost due to lack of feather insulation. Even during the down phase, they only need heat occasionally to replace lost body heat and do not need to be constantly under heat like so many meat patties.

 

Once those feathers are all in, for all practical purposes, they are outfitted completely in a down "parka" and will not lose body heat as long as they are converting food to calories.

 

Heating them after they are wearing their "parkas" is going to make them as uncomfortable as you would feel if your were wearing one of those in your heated home.

 x 100   Overheating is miserable for all, and the risks that heat lamp poses as it appears to set be are just not worth it.  My first chicks were out at 5.5 weeks old, and I did the heat lamp thing the first two days too.  THEY didn't need it - I did!  I was over-worrying and equating MY heat needs to THEIRS.  I took the lamp out two days later and that night it snowed.  And we kept getting snow until June 6th. Snow, sideways blizzards, hurricane force Wyoming winds - and yet those chicks thrived, grew up to be great additions to our place, and provided yummy eggs!  Now my chicks go from the incubator or shipping box into an indoor temporary brooder until I know they aren't stressed, that they are eating and drinking, and know where to go to get warmed up.  After that out they go.  I have one out there right now who is 2 weeks old and went out there 12 hours out of the incubator.  Our temps here in Northern Wyoming have been about where yours are.

 

LL

In this photo, if that chick closest to the camera gets spooked, that heat lamp could well end up starting a fire, either by being knocked off or just contact with the chick. The lamp doesn't need to fall into the shavings to do that - chicken feathers are highly flammable.  Do yourself - and your chicks - a favor and let 'em just be chickens!  ;)

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone
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