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25 Florida Keys 3 day old chicks Coop question

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Lacap, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Lacap

    Lacap New Egg

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    Jun 20, 2015
    Just received 27 McMurrays choice (beautifully healthy looking chicks) , One DOA'd on arrival, (expected considering the distance.) Day 3, a little RIR passed ( noticed it was sluggish). I have what I think is a healthy/roomy/ baby coop set up.. but have a question with regard to temperature. Here in the florida keys days are in the 80s, evening/nights 70s lately.
    I Have a large baby coop A frame within my large coop for 8 adult RIR. ( also a outdoor runs in a mangroves)

    In the chick coop.. Which is basically a raised "A" frame. One end with straw bedding/ red heat lamp, (18 inches high hanging) temp read 90 - 95 degrees directly under. I vented the other side with an 8x10( floor level) meshed window for them to cool down and look out at the Big girls running around below them and morning sunshine. I also placed the water on the cool side to gauge it's not overheating. ( temp there is usually 80- as I close it up at night). What is the ideal temp for the first week, and how, in a warm climate can one control overheating. The chicks seem fine, not over drinking.. but wondering if I should just time the light to turn off each morning or keep it on? I have 8 adult RIR running around under the baby coop within their really big coop. ( so they can see/hear and slowly know- newbies are in town- wink) Is that a bad idea?? The adults have no way of getting up close to the babies.

    I realize it's a balance, and as a newbie.. but I wonder if it's better to be a little cool vs too hot??


    Thanks for any responses.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    I would go nuts trying to manage temps for chicks in your climate with a heat lamp. Have you considered the option of brooding your chicks with a heating pad cave? check out blooie's article in my signature. This is a much safer way to brood chicks, no matter what your ambient temp is.
     
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  3. Venevee

    Venevee Out Of The Brooder

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    Ideal temp for newborn chicks is about 90 degrees for the first week. After that, you can lower the temp to 80-85. Once they get their pin feathers you won't have to worry so much about heating them, especially since you're in Florida. Right now in Iowa, our temperatures can be at 60 during the day and drop to 20 or below at night, so if a heat lamp goes out over night, they're done for. Even if your heat lamp stops working, your chicks should survive. If you're worried about over-heating them, try using a heated pad instead, and raise it so they can choose to go under it or not. This also mimics a mother hen, and makes it so your chicks won't rely on heat so much. As long as your chicks have plenty of space to escape the heat from the lamp if need be, they should be alright.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  4. Lacap

    Lacap New Egg

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    Thank you, totally gave me more confidence. They do hang out at the cool end during the day.. and under the light at night. So I'll stop worrying. Happy chicks!!!
     
  5. Lacap

    Lacap New Egg

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    Thank you so much will definitely check it out.. should be much easier. I don't need chick nuggets! (wink) have a great day!
     
  6. Venevee

    Venevee Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2016
    Good luck with your chicks! [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    The 5 degree a week thing is hogwash......go by behaviors.

    Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:
    They need to be pretty warm(~85-90F on the brooder floor right under the lamp and 10-20 degrees cooler at the other end of brooder) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker acclimation to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder. I do think it's a good idea to use a thermometer on the floor of the brooder to check the temps, especially when new at brooding, later I still use it but more out of curiosity than need.

    The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:
    If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.
    If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.
    If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!

    The lamp is best at one end of the brooder with food/water at the other cooler end of the brooder, so they can get away from the heat or be under it as needed. Wattage of 'heat' bulb depends on size of brooder and ambient temperature of room brooder is in. Regular incandescent bulbs can be used, you might not need a 'heat bulb'. You can get red colored incandescent bulbs at a reptile supply source. A dimmer extension cord is an excellent way to adjust the output of the bulb to change the heat without changing the height of the lamp.


    Or you could go with a heat plate, commercially made or DIY: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate
     
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