Newbie, are they still under a heat lamp? What is the temp in the brooder? If you have weaned them off of the heat lamp they can usually handle no greater than a difference of 30 degrees EACH DAY. So if the low is 45, the high outside should not be greater than 75 the same day. But you have to work them down to the 45. Can you leave a window or door open to cool the brooder down just a little bit? Like 3-5 degrees cooler each day (start with a small crack, and open the window more each day. you may have to close it at night.) Our brooder with no heat lamp on still maintains about 60 degrees, so I would just bring them in and out every day, or turn the heat lamp on outside just at night (make sure it is double or triple secured in case of wind.) As long as they can stay dry they can handle a lot! Wet & cold is the worst. We've put ours outside not fully feathered at 3 weeks, but you need to know the wind chill and the "feels like" temperature also. I usually obsess over the temps and weather until the end! Gives me something to do ;)
Red Rangers - Page 2
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Gotcha. They are definitely old enough to have no heat lamp depending on the temp of your garage or shed or wherever they are. Since broilers grow so much faster than layers. Actually, keeping them too warm will delay feather development and make them less hardy.
I would go with taking them out each day, and back in before night, until the weather is more stable. ;) you said it was just 6, right?
Here is a photo of our RR's last year at 3 or 4 weeks outside on April 6 in North Carolina. I think we had to heat lamp them at night once or twice, but don't remember the temperatures.
Okay. So here is the deal. My red rangers... I think they are all red rangers... Have survived 3 weeks under my care and supervision. No easy task for them or me. They have been outside for about a week now enjoying the coop. They do get out to roam around and go back in when asked. :) Anyhow, we have to put them up in the penthouse (as I like to call it ) and shut them in at night when it gets cold, because they don't know how to use the ladder to get up themselves it seems and they just lay at the bottom in the corner all curled up together. Some of the warmer nights (higher 50s and low 60s) I just let them do whatever and didn't worry about putting them up.
Here is where I get to my problem. Last night we had freaky weather. (I hate this weather this year.) It got down to about 32 and we had frost. Now we put them up in the penthouse with straw and shut them in, but I thought for sure they would be dead by morning. The coop is not big enough for the heat lamp we have and I didn't know what else to do. So I said a prayer and went to bed.
Today, I woke up and there was frost on the ground. (Thank God I had covered all of the vegetables I had just planted.) The temp was at about 49 by 7:30, so I went to check on them and to my surprise they were all alive. But I don't think they were very happy or healthy. All of their cones and wattles were pale. Is this a sign of them being cold or dehydrated. As soon as I let them out they started drinking like crazy. I had warmed the water by adding warm house water to what had been sitting out hoping it would help warm them from the inside. As soon as the sun hits where they are I am going to let them loose so they can lay in the sun, because they love doing that. (I just like to watch over them, because it is not a covered area and we have hawks.)
Any advice, besides I am bad at this.