5 week old chicks moved from bathroom at last!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Godiva, Dec 3, 2011.

  1. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
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    We have been brooding our chicks in our rather tiny only bathroom forever it seems! DH built a nice cage in the shed and I moved them out there yesterday! The temps are down in the teens and single digits at night so I was rather nervous... but they seem to have survived the night unscathed. I have a big heat lamp hanging directly over the end that has three solid sides. I have it about as low as it can go - almost touching the hardware cloth. Really hope it will be enough tonight when the temp gets down to about 4F or less! One of the chicks has still got very few feathers and I hope it is OK. I do have our other two hens in the shed too - also with a heat lamp and their water is only freezing on one side. The hens are not really using the heat lamp, but I have it going nonetheless as it keeps the water in their cage from freezing and increases the ambient temp in the shed too. So, here's hoping all will be well with the little fuzz butts ... and I am loving having our bathroom back! Now I can clean it and it will stay relatively clean [​IMG] Just hope the folk who are buying our extra roos will be able to make it through the snow etc. They have a long drive from Wyoming in not very nice conditions!
     
  2. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sorry to tell you that the days are maybe OK but until they are completely feathered out you maybe putting them at risk in single digit or low teen temps. You see they need all the feathers. They have 2 layers, the down layer and there outside layer. With the down base completely filled in and the top feathers in they can regulate there body temps very well by letting heat in and out according to how much they need to be warmer or colder. They need all the feathers to be put out in that cold of weather.
     
  3. namastemama

    namastemama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yeah, they may have made it, but you may come back tomorrow and have a dead baby. I put a heating pad in with my chicks at night when i have them and they love it. I wold for sure find something else besides just a heating lamp.
     
  4. mikeinri

    mikeinri Out Of The Brooder

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    If you have them in a cage with a bottom you could get some heattape from HD or Lowes and run it under the cage. Cover it with a nice warm blanket to keep the heat in and the drafts out.
     
  5. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
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    OK, guys! I have them in a closed shed with a heat lamp, the cage has a solid bottom and straw, there are three sides of the cage are solid and the top and other side are hardware cloth. THe temp under the heat lamp varies from 60F to 75F. THey can choose to go from under it though with plenty space to run if they need it, whenever I go in there they are usually running around in the unheated end... however we are getting down to 4F and -1F and those nights I think I will bring them in just 'cos I don't think the heat lamp can counter that kind of cold enough for the little guys.
     
  6. mikeinri

    mikeinri Out Of The Brooder

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    I think that is a good move. I just posted the same type of question about chicks.

    You could use a heat mat under the cage that would help.

    Make sure the cage is well insulated at night. I used an old thick comforter.
     
  7. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
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    Thanks so much for your input folks! I have moved here from SC - while I lived here before I have never had to deal with chicks in this weather before, so I appreciate your comments! Fortunately last night was only about 20F so the heat lamps did ok with keeping them warm enough. But they are back in the bathroom for the night and probably the next few nights and some of the days too. We just sold the last three extra cockerels today so we are down to one cockerel and 4 pullets. Much calmer now that the in fighting is done! Much more room in the brooder in the bathroom too, now that there are only 5 birds! How do you know when they are fully feathered in, including the down layer? Some of these birds seem pretty close ... two of them (brahma) are taking longer but are not too far behind.
     
  8. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Godiva,

    Most all chicks fully feather out by the 6 or 7th week. Being fully feathered means they have enough down feathers to keep their body warm with top feathers closed to hold the heat in and stay warm or to open the top feathers to let the extra heat out if it gets to hot. When its to hot you will know because in most cases the bird will begin to pant.

    At 5th week it is a good idea to let them run around outside during the day letting their body experience the weather, altitude and climate they will be living in and mother nature takes over and makes the down feathers grow in more or less dense according to what the body needs to stay warm. At that point in the growing stage they may even begin to molt and shed extra feathers to adjust to the new home they are in and grow back the density they need for the time of year they are in. If you see feathers under there perches don't panic it is usually the chick adjusting to the climate, season and weather they need to have to be comfortable. Best of luck to you.
     
  9. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Steve, great info again! I had noticed some feathers around and wondered why some seemed to be moulting. I will put them in the shed cage for the day and bring them in at night - way too cold right now to be outside at all. Snow everywhere and below freezing temps with a breeze! But they do enjoy more room in the shed and hopefully that will help them adjust to the cooler weather too. I am kind of assuming that we may end up having heat lamps on all winter this year... I guess we'll see. My two hens are also not done moulting and the one has taken forever to finish feathering in. But she has started laying again so hopefully we are done for now [​IMG]
     

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