5 week old chicks- no heat lamp ok in coop?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by eggotistical, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. eggotistical

    eggotistical Hatching

    Sep 28, 2008
    I'm getting ready to move them to the dry, closed coop but the nights are going to be down in the mid to upper 50s (days will be warmish). The last brood did fine out in the coop at 5 weeks old but was a bit warmer a couple of weeks ago.
    I have had their brooder lamp off this week to 'acclimate' them to no heat source but inside it never goes below 70.
    Is this ok?
    I really can't stand the little buggers in my bathtub another day!
  2. Shared Acres

    Shared Acres Songster

    Aug 10, 2008
    Northeast Fla
    I feel ya, I'm in the same boat!
  3. Jarhead

    Jarhead Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    I did it and mine are fine. Our coop is insulated though and it stays a bit warmer inside than the outside temp just from heating up in the day.
  4. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    I remember last fall there were some members that lost a few because it was too chilly outside for the chicks. I think it would be a good idea to have a thermometer out there to keep track of the temps they are in. Also, here in Mass, we have had nights below 30 already. As corny as it might sound, Better safe than sorry [​IMG]
  5. farmergal

    farmergal Songster

    Jul 21, 2008
    Nor Cal
    Mine are 5.5 weeks old and it's been in the fifties at night, and they've been A-OK. They know to snuggle together and they always find the warmest spot in the coop. (There are seven of them... don't know how many you have... strength in numbers I think!)
    My other babies (25 of them) went out at 4 weeks old, and they snuggled up tight to keep each other warm... even they were fine until the fox got them [​IMG] (One crazy baby even survived 2 nights by herself before being found, totally outside without anybody to snuggle with, and she is happy and healthy now.)
    I did "taper them off" first, though... gave them gradually decreasing temps (i.e., first turned off heat lamp, then left garage window open) before putting them out in the real world. (Do you have a garage or a window you could open to make it colder than 70? That does seem like a big jump.) Also, I've tended to keep the brooder cooler than you're technically supposed to. For some reason my birds seem happy with the cooler temperatures -- they still spread out across the brooder, and only hang out under the lamp to sleep at night -- and they've been feathering out beautifully (and fast!) so they all had full adult feathers before going outdoors.
    I'm new at this, but that's just my personal experience!
  6. Jarhead

    Jarhead Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    I think it's a regional thing. I think that common sense is in order. It is really easy to rig up a thermostat to a heat source (I like the ceramic heaters used for reptiles that screw into a regular light fixture). When we are in our umm... winter (basically 1 cold month - see below for a run down of my "winter") I run an extension cord outside to our greenhouse with that type of setup. I am going to do the same for the chickens this year. I can keep the greenhouse in the 60s at night with a 250watt heater. The coop should be better off than the greenhouse since it is better insulated. I would feel very comfortable with 5 or 6 week old chicks out there. So my best advice is if you can keep them warm outside you are OK, if not keep them inside.

    Those of us down south get a lot more time before winter hits. You might not even call what we get winter if ya know what I mean. [​IMG] Right now my lows are in the upper 50s to mid 60s and daytime highs are mid to upper 80s. It will be pretty much be like that as far as the lows anyway until mid December. Then we go to about the mid 40s for a low and mid 50s for a high. January into the first half of February is really the only chance we have for a freeze, which if it does happen is from freezing to about the upper 20s and it only lasts a day or 2 at a time. Sometimes we get a day of light freezing a little earlier or later, but it's rare. As a matter of fact we garden pretty much all winter with cool weather crops. When it snows here we feel like we are lucky and go out and play in the morning then by the afternoon it is gone. [​IMG] By the end of Feb to early March the temps are mid 50s for lows to upper 60s for highs and we are in spring and stuff starts blooming and we are working in the garden with our spring plants. I have lived in cold winter places before and there is a huge difference. From a gardening/animal standpoint I feel lucky to live here, but there are times I miss the really cold winters. Weird I know [​IMG]

    Edited for spelling
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2008
  7. cjstanman

    cjstanman Songster

    Jun 3, 2008
    Just north of Raleigh
    I'm in the same boat as Jarhead - I'm in central North Carolina, and our lows are in the mid- to upper 50's, and highs are around 80. Mine are almost 7 weeks old and have been outside since 4 weeks. I have an 85W red floodlight in the coop (extension cord) that I still leave on overnight. I'm sure by now they will be fine without it, but we've also had a few rounds of pretty heavy rain, so it just makes *me* feel better, ha ha! knowing they can completely dry out.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2008
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    [​IMG] I have a digital thermometer in my coop. When the temp gets to 40 degrees the red heat lamp goes on whether they need it or not. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2008
  9. hatchaholic

    hatchaholic Songster

    Jul 23, 2008
    South Carolina
    Mine are 5.5 weeks old and we've had the heat lamp turned off for a little over a week now. It's been getting down to the 50 - 60's at night and they have done just fine.
  10. BawkinOnTheBench

    BawkinOnTheBench Songster

    Jun 13, 2008
    Mine will be 6 weeks tomorrow. I moved them into their junior coop 4 days ago. I have a 50W IR light on a timer. Our nights have been running into the mid 50's. It's keeping it a little warmer than I'd like when it first comes on, but by morning it's in the mid-low 60's. I figure I'll just cut back the lamp gradually.

    I got the IR lamp at Petsmart in the reptile section for about $8.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 28, 2008
    1 person likes this.

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