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5 week old Chicks: Questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Luanna, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. Luanna

    Luanna Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 2, 2014
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    Okay so I have (15) 5 week old chicks in my basement. They are getting out of the brooder and making a mess.

    Now I have a farm house that I can keep them in but In my area it's in the 30's during the day and low 20's at night.
    Is it okay to move them if I have heat lamps on them? Or should I wait longer? How long should I wait.
     
  2. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

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    You'll want to keep them out of the cold until they are fully feathered. Can you put some type of cover over the brooder? We used a piece of screen to keep our girls in (that gave us the chance to see them and kept their brooder well ventilated).
     
  3. HickoryHollow

    HickoryHollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I typically use 6 weeks as the age to move them outside. BUT......I have a small area in the back of the coop (about 6'X6' that I have serounded with cardboard to cut drafts, and I have 2 heat lamps in there. It was 4 degrees here last night, so I would probably have move any that were that young inside for the night. The ones that are in there now are 9 weeks old and doing just fine this morning. There is an area out from under the lights they can move to in the day if it gets too hot under the lights.
     
  4. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    At 5 weeks old they still need supplemental heat. You can move them out but you will need to make sure they have heat lamps available 24/7 and that there are no drafts that will chill them. Once they are fully feathered, including head feathers, you can probably safely remove supplemental heat. Chickens are really hardy birds once they have all their parts attached. It just takes some time for the parts to grow in.

    If you are using heat lamps in a coop or barn PLEASE be sure that it is secure and can not be knocked down by a bunch of active chicks. Bedding is very flammable and it would not take much or long for a unsecured heat lamp or broken heat lamp to start a fire that would be catastrophic.
     
  5. Luanna

    Luanna Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 2, 2014
    Independence, Ky
    Thanks for the info.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There is nothing to stop you from moving those chicks from what you described. My brooder is in the coop. I put day-olds in it yesterday when the outside temperature was in the low 20’s. We are headed for single digits in a few days. My brooder is 3’ x 6’. I keep one end pretty toasty but the other cools off quite a bit. For the first few days they will sick pretty close to the heat but before too long they will be playing all over the brooder. This way they get acclimated to colder weather much faster.

    I’ve had 5 week old chicks go through nights in the mid-40’s with no supplemental heat. I’ve had chicks less than 6 weeks old go through nights in the mid-20’s Fahrenheit in that same non-heated grow out coop. But there are some considerations. Mine were acclimated to the cold in their brooder. The coop they were in had good draft protection but also good ventilation. A breeze could not hit them but there was good air circulation up high to get rid of bad air.

    I don’t know what that farm house looks like but if you provide a warm spot for them to go to without burning the building down and you can keep a breeze off of them, I’d have them out there today. I’d have had them out there from Day 1. Since yours are not acclimated I would provide a warm spot for them to go to if they wish but probably within a week you could turn that heat off. Or leave it on as long as they have enough room to get away from it if they wish.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'm with Ridgerunner--get them out of the house!

    If you have a heat lamp, it's going to be the same temp under the lamp outside as it would be if they're in the house. The ambient temp will be cooler when they move out from under the lamp, but that's fine. They need exposure to cooler temps to feather out better. Move them out, keep them dry and out of the wind, and give them a warm area to go to. After a week or so, you can probably cut out the heat during the day and just run the lamp at night, depending on temps and how feathered they are. Another week or so of heat at night and then remove it all.
     

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