10 week olds in single digits?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by TubbyChicken, Jan 15, 2009.

  1. TubbyChicken

    TubbyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chicks have been outside for close to 3 weeks now. I don't run a heat lamp. There are 7 of them in a fairly small coop. Yesterday we had our first freezing temps and I checked on them throughout the day, added scratch, full of cracked corn to their feed, added about an inch or more of fresh bedding to what was already there and changed out their waterer every time it froze. This morning it's 13 F outside with a high of 21 and a low of 7. [​IMG] Tomorrows forecast looks the same. Should I bring them in overnight when the temps will get their coldest? Right now (when dh checked and replenished their water) two were roosting and the rest were scratching around, eating and exploring.

    We've also considered throwing a tarp over the coop to provide more insulation for these cold days and nights and I'm taking down a smaller box filled with shavings to provide them with a tighter space and added warmth. Running heat to the coop is not an option so if anyone has more suggestions I'd love to hear them.

    So...what should I do? Bring them in? Leave them out? I'm a nervous chicken mommy.
     
  2. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    I would bring them in if you dont have a 250 watt red heat lamp to put on them. Otherwise, I think that they may die from the cold. Good Luck!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2009
  3. lovemychicns

    lovemychicns Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 22, 2008
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    I live in Maryland so I am not sure where you are but I am in the same boat. I don't heat my coop. I baught 2 6 gal water jugs and fill them with boiling water. Put them in the coop and they can snuggle around them for warmth. Mine have been just fine. Try it.

    Hugs
     
  4. 4hooves&featheredfriends

    4hooves&featheredfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 5, 2009
    New Hampshire
    What an excellent idea with the jugs of hot water! I wonder if you could do that with a heavy duty hot water bottle, as long as the chicks can't pick it?
     
  5. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Also, add lots of straw, if you do plan on keeping them outside. The hot water thing is also a good idea. Maybe some handwarmers under the straw. Straw is hollow, so it will retain their body heat and help to keep them warmer. A tarp over the coop may help to keep heat in. When it got into the single digits and my silkies were around 3 months old, I draped an old sleeping bag over the coop to help keep them warm and block the wind, plus, we had no power so their heat lamp didnt work.
     
  6. TubbyChicken

    TubbyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all the great ideas! It's now down to 8. The forecast is now showing a low of 0F tomorrow.

    I have been out checking on them...They're all snuggled in with one another and feel warm and cozy. I brought one in for a bit to check her over and she was alert, happy and warm. I took her back out and snuggled in with her hatchmates.

    I think I'll take a hot, half gallon jug out right before bed...My only fear is that it will eventually freeze and cause them to get even colder. The water hasn't frozen inside the coop (it was last changed several hours ago) but the ball (we use a rabbit waterer) is stuck, I assume because the metal gets cold enough to freeze it in place. I left it alone after unsticking it.

    Any other ideas? I think I'll leave them out for tonight because they seem so well. I'll keep checking on them, though. Thanks again for all the great ideas!
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    How old are your chicks? On really cold nights I run 2-100 ft heavy duty extension cords plugged in together to reach my coop.and put a 250 watt red heat lamp out. I would give them something to snuggle in like hay or straw or some type of bedding.
     
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Oops. [​IMG] I see you said they are 10 weeks old so they probably aren't quite fully feathered yet but close.
     
  9. TubbyChicken

    TubbyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2008
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    They've been out for almost 3 weeks and appear fully feathered.

    They are up and well this morning. I just took some fresh, warm water down and some steaming oatmeal that they wouldn't touch. My computer forecaster is showing -2 right now. I'm not sure whether or not that is accurate but I'm keeping my eye on the birds and the weather and have a crate set up downstairs in case I need to bring them in.
     
  10. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    Good call! If you bring them in you are pretty well stuck with them for the rest of the winter in your house. Mine did just fine at 10 weeks in very low temps. Glad yours are doing well.
     

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