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30 Degree weather, I know it's been asked BUT......

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by craftymama86, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. craftymama86

    craftymama86 Songster

    I know there have been a lot of questions as to whether it's too cold for chickens to go out but I've noticed that when my girls are free ranging they seem ok but when I put them in their run they all huddle up. Also, I have chicks. They're about 4 weeks old now. Are they just as durable or do they need to stay in even if the older ones go out? It's 30 degrees right now....

  2. abhaya

    abhaya Songster

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    If the chicks are fully fledged I would not worry about them if not then you need to keep them warm
  3. craftymama86

    craftymama86 Songster

    Quote:I don't know what fully fledged means... Here are some pics, though these are from last week. They're a little more "fluffy" now. [​IMG]

  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Those pictures show that their heads are not fully feathered. They need to be protected from the cold IMO. I wouldn't send them out in below freezing temps unless it was a small run where they can quickly run back to the heat lamp. Even then you have to watch them.

    I have some 7 week olds right now that won't move back to the heat lamp- they will stand in the run and freeze to death first. They act like they don't know how to go up their ramp. I have to be very careful with them.

    I am offering heat lamps to everyone under a couple of months. I mean 100 watt bulbs (except for new chicks- I follow the guidelines for decreasing temperatures and use two or three 100 watt bulbs checking temps with a thermometer.)

    I think that even though mine are fully feathered, they don't have much meat on their bones and can't stay as warm as those over 2 months old.

    I follow DIFFERENT rules now because it is wintery- this isn't like raising chicks in the spring and summer.

    My older chickens - adults- they get 100 watt bulbs when it goes under 30 degrees.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    They are generally fully fledged at 5-6 weeks. That means they have all their adult feathers and not the fuzzy fluff they are born with. Yours are not quite fully fledged. That last guy looks a little cold, but hopefully their mother is keeping them warm enough. Or are they incubator babies? If they don't have a mother to tend them I might put a heat source for them to get to should they need it.
  6. craftymama86

    craftymama86 Songster

    I've noticed some have odd feathers, at least they look odd, coming out around their necks and back of heads, lol. They're longer than the "fuzz" on their heads. I'm guessing those odd feathers are what you're talking about? So can the chicks go out it's above freezing, anything above 30?

    I need updated pics. [​IMG]
  7. craftymama86

    craftymama86 Songster

    Quote:We bought all of our chickens. None of our young hens are momma's though they have been huddling together later in the day when it start cooling down, I've been having to put them up earlier than usual lately. I'm proud of them. [​IMG] Though I do wish they would go into their coop when they get cold, we leave the door open... [​IMG]

    He just kind of fluffed up like that and tried to got to sleep and it was a pretty decent day that day.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010

  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:Well, if you want to go by the book, then "start at 90-95 degrees for the first week of life and decrease by 5 degrees each week UNTIL fully feathered."

    So that would be a judgement call. I would watch them SO carefully if they go out- and maybe send them out for very short periods of time if you do. Personally I would sit out there with them the whole time and send them back inside when they started looking cold.

    No feathers = no coat.
  9. craftymama86

    craftymama86 Songster

    Thanks for all the answers. I know what I'll do. [​IMG]

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