4 week olds, outside with hen......heat needed?


11 Years
Oct 11, 2008
Hardwick, NW New Jersey
One of my hens has 3 chicks which are still with her (they are 4 weeks old).......
I know she'll be cutting the apron strings soon.....and I'm wondering if
the chicks will be warm enough without her at night in the coop....without her body heat?
They have been with the rest of the flock since hatching, and they still snuggle under/next to her in
her nest box at night.
But when she cuts them loose, and starts back to roosting with the other girls.......will the chicks snuggle together
for warmth at night.......or will I need to turn on an infra red light for them for a while?
I like to do things as 'naturally' as possible (hence, letting momma hen raise her chicks 'within' the flock vs keeping her
and babies 'separate')..........so if the chicks will be ok 'without' supplemental heat at night, that would be preferable......
It's been getting down into the mid to low 40's at night her in NW NJ...
Advice welcome....Thanks


10 Years
Sep 6, 2009
Le Roy, NY
wow, I am impressed that the flock has not injured any of the babies, I just separated my broody from the flock and have always done it that way after watching a hen peck a chick to near death.

To answer your q's....as long as they are fully feathered they should be able to withstand some colder temps, but I put out a light bulb and give them the option if it gets below freezing. I like to give the chicks a way to get to the roost and they will still sit under mama on the roost. I hate supplying heat for them and love to let mama do it. She will keep them nice and toasty.


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia
I let my Mamas raise their chicks in with the flock, too. The chicks will get up on the roost and cuddle under Mama, or at least mine always have. They will also cuddle together. They should ot need any extra heat.
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