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newbie question - can 8 wk old chickens go outside coop at 37 degrees

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi, I am learning so much here ! I have a question about having the chickens go outside when it is cold. It is 37 degrees out side now, is it OK for 8 week old chickens to go outside in their run for awhile ? Seems to me that they are getting board in their coop. I gave them some oatmeal and a hand ful of Cheerios to keep them occupied for awhile. They have not been outside in their run for several days because of the cold here in Texas. Their coop is getting smelly so I cracked open a window. Is there a magic number where it is OK to let them out. Also I was concerned with the pop door - letting all that cold air in. The inside temp of the coop is about 63 now, I have 4 heat lamps in their 12 by 12 coop - for 24 chickens. Thanks in advance, Lea Ann

post #2 of 11

Let them out.  And turn off the heat lamps.  They are fully feathered, or at least plenty close enough for Texas.  Mine were running around all day at ONE week.  They had only a broody to keep them warm, and after one week, would go under her only at night.  We had a cold snap that week, too, with lows in 20's and highs in 40's.

Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

Reply
post #3 of 11

I was letting my 8 week olds out when it was around 40 degrees, but I live in WI, so they were more used to cooler weather than your birds are. You could try opening the pop door, and see if anyone is interested in going out. If they start huddling inside, you will know they are too cold with the door open. Good luck.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks ! I opened the pop door and all but a few went outside. So do I NOT use heat lamps in the coop ? Even at night ? thanks again, Lea Ann

post #5 of 11

My 5 chicks are between 7-8 weeks old, all feathered out, and I started letting them out into the yard in 39-ish weather for an hour or two last week, and also turned off the 250 watt heat lamp in the garage during the day, where their brooder is, with outside temps around 34 degrees all of last week, with the heat lamp back on at night when the temps dropped into the 20s. The ten-day forecast for us is 43 degrees at night for the next week, so I bit the bullet and put them in their new coop today. They are doing fine. Had to put two of them back on the roost a few times though this this evening.

I checked on them about 5 minutes ago, and they are lined up in a row, sleeping. Perhaps letting them get used to the cold first will help them adjust...I am new to chick raising myself, so can't offer any real advice.

2 Australorps, Bella and Darth, 1 Welsummer, Chickmunk, 1 Red Sexlink, Tiny and a blue wheaten Ameraucana, Muffin. Dreaming of a bigger coop, and more chickens!

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2 Australorps, Bella and Darth, 1 Welsummer, Chickmunk, 1 Red Sexlink, Tiny and a blue wheaten Ameraucana, Muffin. Dreaming of a bigger coop, and more chickens!

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post #6 of 11

Good thread. It fortifies my belief that if chickens survived in Minnesota in 1811, they ought to make it in 2011.   :^)

CabinCrazyOne ... cc1 ...
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CabinCrazyOne ... cc1 ...
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post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddawn 

Let them out.  And turn off the heat lamps.  They are fully feathered, or at least plenty close enough for Texas.  Mine were running around all day at ONE week.  They had only a broody to keep them warm, and after one week, would go under her only at night.  We had a cold snap that week, too, with lows in 20's and highs in 40's.


Agree!  thumbsup

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people.
A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, cochins, sebrights, bredas and call ducks.  R.I.P. Dragon, the crossbeak.  Thank you for teaching me so much about life.

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If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people.
A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, cochins, sebrights, bredas and call ducks.  R.I.P. Dragon, the crossbeak.  Thank you for teaching me so much about life.

Reply
post #8 of 11

They will be fine outside.  If they feel cold they can go back in the coop.  You should not need a heat lamp (let alone four!) in a coop in Texas.  Here in NE Wisconsin I had six week old chickens in an unheated coop when the temp got down into single digits and they were fine.  As long as they are fully feathered (by five weeks or so) and the coop is free of drafts, they are fully capable of handling much colder weather than you will ever get in Texas.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

thanks everybody ! Well, just because I am a worrier I cut the heat lamps last night down to 2. Then in a day or two I will take one away then the other - nothing like going cold turkey - or cold chicken in this case smile - thanks again ! Lea Ann

post #10 of 11

N Ill/Wis border.

No heat needed. 8 weeks and older.



just my .02

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