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Help! 108 degree weather tomorrow!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi. I'm new to chick raising and we are having a strange change of weather where it is supposed to get to 108 degrees tomorrow. Today was unexpectedly at 104. My chicks are almost 3 weeks old and have a brooder box inside a little gated space inside a cement garage with an old box as a "ventilated lid" so they don't fly out.

 

Today, it probably got to about 90-95 degrees in the garage at the hottest (it was still 90 when I went in to check on them around 8pm tonight). I had a fan running all day and their heat lamp pointed up so that they still got light. But they spent most of the day in the space that got some of the fan blowing on them. 

 

I'm worried about tomorrow. I went and opened up the garage to let in some cooler night air tonight and got the temp inside the garage down to about 85 (its 88 outside still!) but I can't leave the garage door open due to outdoor predators (like the stray cats I've seen around our place lately). 

 

What do I do to help them survive tomorrow? After that, it should be more like in the 90's this week and once the garage is cooled down, I am able to run the fan and it stays at 80/85 inside the garage. 

 

What should I watch for or be concerned about? 

 

I've put two sources of water for them (one inside the brooder box and one outside of it) and I plan to put ice in both of those sources of water. 

 

this whole chick raising business is trickier than I expected it to be! 

post #2 of 4

Do you have any photos of your brooder box and space?

 

I would turn off the heat lamp.

 

At 3wks they should be feathered just fine and not need supplemental heat in those temperatures. General "rule of thumb is 90-95 degrees the first week, dropping it by 5 degrees each week, so at their age they may not need any heat even at night. Watch their behavior, if they are gravitating to the cooler side, they are telling you they don't need the heat.

 

For light during the day, if the garage is dim, then you can turn on an overhead light if you have it.

 

Running a fan for air circulation is good. Chickens pant to stay cool and the fan may help some with the cooling - it will help with ventilation for sure. Ice in the water is a good idea. If you give treats, offer some cold/frozen watermelon, melon, cucumber  -  things like that (give them grit), save the scratch grains/corn for another day.

 

Hopefully they will do just fine.

 

Just my thoughts.

 

 

Here are a few more tips/ideas:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/788391/keeping-chickens-cool-in-summer-heat

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 


This is helpful. Thank you.

 

Do you think I could just get rid of the brooder box all together since I don't need the heat lamp? That would allow more of the light of day (or night) respectively into their area... 

 

Or maybe just put their food and water out where more light gets to it? 

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by socalchicker1 View Post
 


This is helpful. Thank you.

 

Do you think I could just get rid of the brooder box all together since I don't need the heat lamp? That would allow more of the light of day (or night) respectively into their area... 

 

Or maybe just put their food and water out where more light gets to it? 


If you have a way to corral them so they don't get into mischief, you could probably get rid of the box. It really depends on your setup. I brooded mine in the coop and just used cardboard as a corral to keep them out of the corners and it worked well.

 

I forgot to add previous what to look for :hide

 

Watch for signs of excess panting. Chicks will pant when hot and spread their wings out to cool themselves, but if you see any that are really lethargic and seem to be struggling, gently sit/stand them up in a shallow pan of cool (not really cold) water. Hopefully the feet getting cooler will help.  Full grown chickens you can submerge the body in cool water, so use your judgement, start with feet/legs on chicks and after a while if no improvement, then maybe a little more, you don't want to shock them.

 

Chickens drink a lot in hot weather, so don't panic if the droppings look watery, that will be because of all the water consumption (giving "watery" foods like melon can do this too). Once the temps go back down you should see normal poo.

 

Hope that helps.

Be safe and take care of yourself as well. I saw on the news where people are really struggling, I hope the weather breaks soon for you.

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