5 Week old chicks in upcoming cold temps.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by FarmlyGuy, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. FarmlyGuy

    FarmlyGuy New Egg

    Mar 26, 2015
    Morganton NC
    We are picking up 5 week old chicks from the breeder today, Friday. It's supposed to be a low of 32 Saturday morning and 26 Sunday morning. Should I keep them in the house, or use a heat lamp in the coop. The breeder says they are fully feathered out and should be fine, but I'm a nervous first time chicken Dad. My wife thinks they will get messed up from moving them around to much, but I think they would be better off in a warm house until the cold mornings are over.
  2. tamwade

    tamwade Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 9, 2015
    Hi! I have twenty chicks I hatched out four weeks ago and they have been outside in a rabbit hutch for two weeks. It's enclosed on three sides with a tarp over it at night and they have done just fine. I'm in Missouri and it was down to 25 last night. I leave their heater lamp on all the time and when it's cold they all pile under it. Body heat plus the lamp and they have lots of feathers already! So I think you will be good with them outside if you have a good lamp! They are tougher then they look!
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Mine are outside in a pen within the run with no heat lamp and our nighttimes are in the 20s and 30s. I put the first batch out at 1 week old, and then added 4 one day old chicks to them. I'm using a heating pad cave. They are thriving - energetic, growing well, feathering out well, and strong as they can be.

    First day outside. The larger chicks are 1 week old and the tiny ones are 1 day old.

    Chicks now at 3 weeks old.

    My first batch of chicks last year went out at 5 1/2 weeks when nighttimes were in the 20s and daytimes struggled to hit 40. I put a heat lamp out for them, but they didn't even use it. The first night I checked on them it was 20 degrees in the coop, and they were snuggled in a corner away from the heat. Same story the second night, so I took it out. That night it snowed, and we kept getting snow until June 6th. They were just fine, and they are still going strong. So don't worry so much - they are tougher than we give them credit for! Trust the breeder. He/she isn't going to tell you to put your chicks outside if they aren't ready. If they are well feathered then they are well equipped.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2015
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    That’s hard to call. Do you know how they were housed at the breeders? Were they kept in a tropical environment or were they allowed to acclimate to colder temperatures?

    My 3’ x 6’ brooder is in the coop. The chicks go straight there out of the incubator. I only heat one end and let the rest cool off as it will. I’ve seen ice on the far end some mornings but the younger chicks stay with the heat. As they get older and the weather changes they spend a lot more time in the cooler end.

    I’ve moved chicks from this brooder to my unheated, well ventilated, but draft proof grow-out coop at 5 weeks. They have been through the temperatures you mention before they are 6 weeks old. Mine are acclimated, they have good ventilation, and they cannot be directly hit by a breeze. All three are important.

    What I suggest is to safely put a heat source in there for them. If they need the heat they will go to it. If it’s too warm for them they will move further away. Be careful to not burn the coop down. Watch the chicks. You will probably find they don’t need the heat now but it won’t hurt to have it as long as they can get to a cooler area if they wish. The heat is more for your benefit than theirs but you will feel better knowing it is there if they need it.

    Good luck and welcome to the adventure.
  5. FarmlyGuy

    FarmlyGuy New Egg

    Mar 26, 2015
    Morganton NC
    OK, thanks for the info, I think I'll get the heat lamp and put it in one end of the 4X6 foot coop, If they need it, they can huddle under it. Would a 250W red bulb be too hot for a coop this size, or should I go with a 150W flood lamp.

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