5 week olds outside in the coop and temps dropping in Michigan!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mrs macdonald, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. mrs macdonald

    mrs macdonald Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2011
    So our 5 week old chicks (6 chicks) have been out in the coop since Monday, and I'm worried that our first real cold snap is now upon them. They are in a horse stall we have converted into a coop inside a large, drafty barn. The horse stall is wooden around the bottom half and then open (with hardware cloth) around the top. I have tried to close up any gaps around the bottom of the stall to stop drafts, but am worried about whether the chicks are going to be warm enough. I have made a huddle area with a cardboard box in the coop and suspended a 250w heat lamp approx 2 feet above, and when I checked earlier the temp there was about 50, and in the coop about 33 (outside was 29). We are dropping to 25 tonight - any ideas how I may improve the warmth of the coop? I'm worried because they are not fully feathered yet - the Sussex are further on than the Marans though.

    I was wondering about wrapping the upper half of the stall, where there is hardware cloth, with heavy duty clear plastic sheeting, and my other idea was trying to create a plywood hover above the heat lamp. Are these worth doing, any other ideas?

    One more thought - this is all set up so they can snuggle in their shavings under the heat lamp - at what point will they start needing to transition to a roost, as I think it will be even harder to create warmth on a roost? Oh and any foods worth calorie for calorie more than the chick starter food, as I am sure they are expending a lot of energy on keeping warm rather than growing.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Annie's Backyard Flock

    Annie's Backyard Flock Out Of The Brooder

    At 5 weeks old, their ambient temperature should be no lower than 65 to 70 degrees. They are not fully feathered and should be in a warmer shelter. If there is any way to move them to a warmer place, I would highly recommend it.
     
  3. CCourson05

    CCourson05 Popping like kettle corn...

    Jan 5, 2011
    Hickory Flat, MS
    Yeah... They should have heat for another week or two... But I am always overly careful... SO... [​IMG]
     
  4. readjulie

    readjulie Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 9, 2011
    We put our chicks in a small (4 ft) drinking trough. We put the heatlamp on the edge of the trough facing down and in and a blanket over the top. The heatlamp really heats up the metal and makes it really toasty.
     
  5. cbohn80

    cbohn80 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2011
    nj
    if you have to leave them there cover the top, even if its just with an old blanket or two. also add as much bedding as possible without causing a fire hazard. another big help would be to take a few empty milk jugs and fill them with hot water and place then in there, try to insulate 3 sides of the bottles to make the heat last longer. the more you can add the longer they will stay warm. if you have a spare 5 gal bucket or 2 with a lid it would be even better. water holds heat for a long time. good luck!
     
  6. OvertheHenHouse

    OvertheHenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    San Diego
    Annie's Backyard Flock :

    At 5 weeks old, their ambient temperature should be no lower than 65 to 70 degrees. They are not fully feathered and should be in a warmer shelter. If there is any way to move them to a warmer place, I would highly recommend it.

    X2 - for sure. Good luck -​
     
  7. mrs macdonald

    mrs macdonald Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2011
    Thank you everyone for your advice - I went back out last night and added an extra 100w red bulb above them and kept my fingers crossed.

    This morning they are all fine and active, although I have just been out and constructed a makeshift hood just above the lamps to keep the heat in their cardboard huddle box. I have been careful over the past 2 weeks to gently acclimatize them to lower temperatures, and when the temps have been in the 40s and 50s in the coop this week they have been active and not seeking out the heat source a lot during the day - but last night was the coldest yet, hence my concern. Good news is the temps are rising again and looks like we'll have 30s, 40s and 50s for the next week or so, by which time they will be 6, nearly 7 weeks. Thank you again for all the ideas.
     
  8. Melissa Rose

    Melissa Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 14, 2011
    South Texas
    Have you all seen the Confederate Money Farm Guy? He posts on the weekend with his hatching cams. He has a You tube video on how to make a heated roost bar out of PVC pipe and a string of Christmas lights I'll see if I can find the link -
    http://cmfarm.us/pvc-heater.html It looks really easy and warms them when they roost on it. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    Mrs. MacDonald, you should join us on the Michigan thread...

    Welcome to BYC.
     
  10. mrs macdonald

    mrs macdonald Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2011
    Quote:Thank you - I will do that [​IMG]
     

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