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60 degrees too cold for 33 day old chicks

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

With the heat lamp, it's 60 degrees in the coop,  maybe a little warmer than where I put the thermometer.  Is that too cold for 4-5 week olds?

They are acting ok, not huddled up or anything.  Plus, they spend tons of time up on the roost and it's warmer up there if they needed.  They're smart enough to get up to the roost if they need more warmth, right?

You can see live video of they're behavior on my blog (unless you're using internet explorer).  I would appreciate some reassurance that they're ok (assuming they're really ok).

Thanks!

post #2 of 7

If they're active and seem comfortable, not huddling and acting cold, they're probably ok.  I prefer to go by their behaviour instead of a thermometer, though it's good to watch both.  Thing is, that SHOULD be too chilly for them, so I'd double check that the thermometer is reading correctly.  Mama hens keep chicks closer to 80+ degrees when she huddles up with them, as they get bigger, she can't keep them as warm and they naturally get less warmth as they grow and NEED less warmth.  Till they don't fit much at all and they get independant.

If the heat lamp is making a circle of light/heat that they can get into, warm up, then move away to cool down, that's how it's supposed to be.

//edit// ok, re-read the original post... how old ARE they?  Title says day old, or is it 33 days old... then text says 5 week olds?  ......  at 5 weeks, 65 or 70 degrees should be ok as long as it's draft free.  rule of thumb is, start at 95 degrees for first week, then decrease heat by 5 degrees each week after that.


Edited by PortageGirl - 10/23/09 at 8:10am
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Chickens In The Road A Great friend's site with great photography, stories and recipes for living a full life!

The only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions
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post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by PortageGirl 

//edit// ok, re-read the original post... how old ARE they?  Title says day old, or is it 33 days old... then text says 5 week olds?  ......  at 5 weeks, 65 or 70 degrees should be ok as long as it's draft free.  rule of thumb is, start at 95 degrees for first week, then decrease heat by 5 degrees each week after that.


Hah!  This is where hyphens are really important (33-day-old chicks vs. 33 day-old chicks).  To be clear, I have 4 chicks that each are 33 days old, not 33 chicks that each are one day old.

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Check out our blog with Live Hen Cam:  http://marbleheadhens.blogspot.com/
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post #4 of 7

Like PortageGirl, I would ask the chicks...
try it and see if they are happy.
If they are not... then they are not.. it should be easy to tell.

When my last clutch hatched a couple of days ago, I tried giving them the 90-95 degrees I normally give new hatchlings..  but it was TOO hot
they prefer 85 degrees or so.. right out of the shell.

They are all different.. the temperature recommendations are a guide, not a rule.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spamdumpster 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PortageGirl 

//edit// ok, re-read the original post... how old ARE they?  Title says day old, or is it 33 days old... then text says 5 week olds?  ......  at 5 weeks, 65 or 70 degrees should be ok as long as it's draft free.  rule of thumb is, start at 95 degrees for first week, then decrease heat by 5 degrees each week after that.


Hah!  This is where hyphens are really important (33-day-old chicks vs. 33 day-old chicks).  To be clear, I have 4 chicks that each are 33 days old, not 33 chicks that each are one day old.


lau  Ok, then my first comment stands, at nearly 5 weeks (35 days) old, they are probably ok!  I'd keep an eye on them esp if the temps start dropping at night, but if they're acting happy, then they're ok.

Chickens In The Road A Great friend's site with great photography, stories and recipes for living a full life!

The only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions
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Chickens In The Road A Great friend's site with great photography, stories and recipes for living a full life!

The only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions
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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnSuiter 

Like PortageGirl, I would ask the chicks...
try it and see if they are happy.
If they are not... then they are not.. it should be easy to tell.

When my last clutch hatched a couple of days ago, I tried giving them the 90-95 degrees I normally give new hatchlings..  but it was TOO hot
they prefer 85 degrees or so.. right out of the shell.

They are all different.. the temperature recommendations are a guide, not a rule.


I am so glad to hear someone say this!  My four chicks are also 33 days old (same hatch perhaps?)  I started with the heat lamp at 95, then reduced to 90 after one week and so on, just like the recommendations.  But I found by the beginning of week three, they spent most of the their time at the cooler end of the brooder.  Around the same time, the weather turned REALLY cold here and being a cheapskate, I didn't turn the heat on in the house.  It was getting down to 59 in the house at night so I left the heat lamp on, but found they STILL didn't spend much time under it.  After a few mornings of finding them at the cool end of the brooder, I started leaving the light off at night and they seemed happier not to have it on, to be honest, and be able to utilize a more "normal" routine for birds - awake when its light, sleep when its dark.

So at 25 days of age, when the weather warmed up, we started giving them stints outside that started at 2-3 hours and increased to all day when they were four weeks old.  A couple of 75 degree days and they were thrilled to free range around the backyard.  They spent their first night outside on a night that was supposed to get down to 60.  The next night was a little cooler but they stayed out and seemed to do fine.  Yesterday it cooled way down - the high was only 46 degrees.  I was really concerned about them being outside and kept checking on them several times an hour, all day long.  They have a little area where they can get out of the wind and they stayed around there but were active and moving around all day long - never once huddled together in a corner.  They ate, drank, ran around, chased bugs and seemed to be having a grand time.  The low for last night, due to overcast clouds, was only a few degrees cooler than the daytime high, so I left them outside (in a cat carrier in the coop, with a towel over the cat carrier to retain heat).  Honestly, I didn't sleep much worrying about them but I checked on them a couple of times and they really seemed okay.  This morning they bounced out of the cat carrier as excited as usual and today, at 41 degrees, are again just happily free ranging around the yard.  I've just been out to see them and they are talking happily to each other, not huddled together at all.

After everything I've read, and hearing that people still have heat on chicks of the same age, I do worry, but I will say that my chicks developed feathers much earlier than others apparently have.  I saw a pic this morning of some 4-week-old chicks that were still only semi-feathered, with lots of fuzz still showing, whereas mine have been fully feathered since they were about three weeks old.  I'm sure the feathering makes a difference.  (Also, there are 7 older birds in the coop to distribute heat.  The little ones are still being ostracized and that's why they're together in a cat carrier in the coop, but they still benefit from the heat given off by the older birds).  I've considered bringing them back into the house many times but they had reached the point they were bored in the brooder, seem very happy outside, and with winter approaching, they do need to acclimatize to be outside, so I keep monitoring for any signs of distress, but as long as they seem happy out there, I guess I'll let them stay there.

Edited to correct typos


Edited by HEChicken - 10/23/09 at 9:13am

Enjoying my 10-acres in the country with 50+ chickens, turkeys and muscovy ducks!  Blog is here.

 

Read about my fox attack here

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My hoop house

Should I add supplemental heat?

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Enjoying my 10-acres in the country with 50+ chickens, turkeys and muscovy ducks!  Blog is here.

 

Read about my fox attack here

A fox attack survival story

My hoop house

Should I add supplemental heat?

Reply
post #7 of 7

Ha!  This is interesting 'cause I just posted on this exact same scenario.  My chickes are in their second week and do NOT want the hot side of the brooder, they "chill out" in the cool end, which is 80 or possibly even less.  But they are obviously happy and playful.

Proud mamma of 3 Australorps, 1 orange fuzzball kitty named Kato, one "jungle kitty", and Daisy Bell, my precious Cocker Spaniel  :-)
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Proud mamma of 3 Australorps, 1 orange fuzzball kitty named Kato, one "jungle kitty", and Daisy Bell, my precious Cocker Spaniel  :-)
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