3 Week old chicks-ventilation?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cairopd1069, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. cairopd1069

    cairopd1069 In the Brooder

    Dec 4, 2010
    Cairo, Ga
    I have 24 chicks that are 3 weeks old. Our temps have been as low as 22 at night to 68 during the day (South Georgia). I moved the chicks from the brooder into an 8x8 coop that is 7' tall in the front and 5' tall in the rear. I have read the ventilation section and it has a lot of great info, but most of it seems to deal with matured birds. I have the chicks contained in an area that is 8'x4' feet for the time being. I have a brooder lamp on one end, so they have plenty of room to get away from the lamp, but most of the time they stay within a foot or two of the lamp. To say I am confused about the ventilation is an understatement. I have a storm door, the glass can be raised to expose the screen. What kind and amount of ventilation do I need at night if the temps are in the mid 20s to low 30s. I plan on selling some of the chicks as soon as I find out how many roosters I may have received. I do not plan on keeping 24 grown chickens in an 8x8 coop, but right now they have more than enough room. Tomorrow I am going to open up the entire coop to them. I have not added any windows yet (new coop), I thought I would wait till the temps quit dropping so low at night.

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Right now, today, they probably have enough ventilation because of the size of the coop. Obviously this won't last long. In that style of coop, I would open up the area below the eaves on the 7' tall end; that's how mine is constructed, and I live in the same climate you do, and the eaves on two sides are open air. I also have two very large areas of coop that are hardware cloth instead of walls; you need that kind of air movement in summer around here. They are presently partly covered with a rug and plastic, to cut down on the wind, but on windy days it stays pretty breezy in there year round because of the eaves.

    You may need to open at least one eave for this bunch in the near future. For summer, I would think seriously about at least a large area on the downwind side being converted to hardware cloth as well. You can cover it with a tarp or something in the winter, or just leave it open, or you can have a wood shutter on hinges to close it easily for heavy rain and winter winds. If the coop is not shaded, you may need more areas than this. I have a good portion (lots more than just a window) both the north and south walls covered in hardware cloth, as well as both eaves being permanently open air.

    Once they are feathered out, in maybe 5 weeks, you don't have to worry about the temp in there at all, only wind and drafts. Really. I have some chicks the same age, but they have a mama. They run around, inside and outside, all day; I never see them get under her, not since 1 week of age, or to sleep. I ran a heat lamp on the waterer for a couple of days when we had that cold snap a week or two ago. The chicks could have stayed under it, but did not, they would get their drink and leave the area. Evidently they're more cold hardy at a young age when a mama raises them: I have had other mamas with chicks in winter and seen the same thing.

    Not saying I think you should remove their heat lamp, not if they like it, just sharing experiences.
  3. Chickenkate17

    Chickenkate17 Songster

    Aug 1, 2010
    More ventilation is probably not necessary for the little ones right now, but you will want to consider it for their permanent coop.

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