4-6 wk chicks outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bethann33, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. bethann33

    bethann33 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2012
    I've got four 4 wk old chicks and two 6 wk old chicks that I just got from the breeder- she had them outside in her shed and mentioned that she didn't use a light- but i can't remember if she was talking about for older birds or not. I have them outside in an enclosed 3-4' wood box/coop. There is no opening or draft in there, except for an area on the top for some ventilation. I've put 8 inches of hay and shavings under them and around them, but it's getting as low as 26 degrees at night. They have managed the past few nights, but I'm totally second guessing the whole arrangement. I should probably at least have a heat lamp out there for them, shouldn't I? Should I bring them inside for the night? I would hate for something to happen to them.

    They are huddled up and feel warm to the touch... (it's my first time with chicks this young, so forgive me if I'm completely wrong)
     
  2. juliecarkhuff

    juliecarkhuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2011
    I have chicks about the same age and they are outside but I do have a light on them. I live in NH and it is still cold here at night.
     
  3. bethann33

    bethann33 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2012
    I'm in MA- cold again on the east coast! I just went out there... they are huddled inside a ceramic dish under a bunch of hay- and feel quite warm. I don't have a heat light on hand, but I'll go out tomorrow and get one. I'm thinking they'll be ok for tonight. They didn't seem stressed. But I'll put in a light tomorrow. Unless someone on here tells me that I am really harming them... cause like I said- totally new to chicks. ;)
     
  4. abitcrunchy

    abitcrunchy Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2012
    I just joined cuz I have questions, so I'm no expert. I do know that they don't have their feathers yet. In the wild, birds this age are still with Mom and her body temp would keep them warm. Ours are two and three weeks old. I've used a light constantly since we brought them home and they are in our sunroom (not heated). The light is red and gets a little hot. You can tell when they're hot. They even attacked my hand one day...I think it was because they were hot. Get a thermometer but don't get one they can peck and get mercury on their beaks. I got a big round one at Walmart for about $4, easy to read...I find myself checking the temp in the middle of the night. It's that big a deal...they need to stay warm if they don't have their feathers... I think that is key. :)
     
  5. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I the birds a FULLY feathered then they don't need the heat lamp. If there are some areas, such as their head, that does not have feathers I would be providing heat at least at nigh. But be careful to not get them too warm. I move mine an 8' x 10' coop when they are about 5 weeks old but I leave a heat lamp on one corner of the coop until they are about 8 weeks old. They can get under it if they get cold but there are plenty of cooler areas in the coop. I usually get chicks during the 1st or 2nd week of April. This means it is mid May when I move them to the coop.

    I only use a thermometer to setup the brooder and for the first couple of days. After that I adjust the temperature based on the action s of the birds. If they are huddling together under the heat lamp then it is too cold. If they are staying as far away as the heat lamp as possible and are staying away from each other OR they are panting, they are too hot.
     

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