6 1/2 week old chicks... how cold is too cold for them?

Compost King

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I have 6 1/2 week old chicks that need to me evicted from their brooder. They are actually 6 weeks old now but in about 4 days we will be getting down to 25 degrees at night, it will be above freezing all day and most of the night so its not going to be constantly that cold. Can 4 Large Fowl survive a cold night like that at 6 and half weeks. I usually let them out of the brooder much sooner but this is my first Fall/Winter hatching out chickens . Figured I would hear others peoples thoughts on this since it would be my first time pushing the envelope with chicks and cold weather. Currently they are in a brooder with no heat because its plenty warm today and they are doing fine.
 

DobieLover

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I have 6 1/2 week old chicks that need to me evicted from their brooder. They are actually 6 weeks old now but in about 4 days we will be getting down to 25 degrees at night, it will be above freezing all day and most of the night so its not going to be constantly that cold. Can 4 Large Fowl survive a cold night like that at 6 and half weeks. I usually let them out of the brooder much sooner but this is my first Fall/Winter hatching out chickens . Figured I would hear others peoples thoughts on this since it would be my first time pushing the envelope with chicks and cold weather. Currently they are in a brooder with no heat because its plenty warm today and they are doing fine.

Are you integrating them with an existing older flock or putting them out into a coop of their own?
If there is no integration involved, I would set up nice deep bedding and put a cardboard box on it's side that is big enough for all of them to pile into and burrow into the bedding. If they are fully feathered, which they should be at that age, and they are protected from any direct drafts on them they'd be fine.
 

GC-Raptor

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My 8 week olds were in the coop in 23 Fahrenheit temps was 29 in the coop. 20181018_182955.jpg . They are now 15 weeks. 20181201_095625.jpg . If they're fully feathered I would say they'll be OK. BUT you say it's plenty warm. How warm? You may need to provide heat, or bring them in on the cold night, depending on how warm it is now. GC
 

Compost King

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I have the integration thing already handled, eventually yes they will be integrated into a flock they can see from with in the coop I just now moved them to. I have duplex coops with a fence between the 2 compartments so they get to know eachother. For now they have their own space until I am comfortable integrating them.

For now I am keeping the brooder they came from empty so I can bring them back on a cold night if I feel they can't handle it. I actually need that brooder to put another set of chicks in who are outgrowing the current brooder that in summer they only spend a week in... problems that come up when I start doing summer things in winter! New project on the to do list... larger brooders for winter!
 

Melky

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They would probably be ok if put in coop at night due to frostbite risk with below 30 degree temps. I tarped my coop/run which is roofed so no snow or frost in run. I piled on fall leaves 4-6 inches in run for warmth. I also bought straw when leaves need composting. I keep pine mulch bedding in the coop. Once below 30 degrees I turn on my K and H pad placed in the coop next to my roosts for them to keep warm when needed. I also have heated poultry waterer set up so water does not freeze. I only run these when below freezing. I ran an indoor outdoor cord to chicken coop and plug them into a box that protects the connections from weather. You can also put Vaseline on combs wattles and feet to prevent frostbite. I have only done the Vaseline a couple times before I covered and heated everything. What you do depends also on if your coop provides good weather protection. Mine was pre-fab and iced right away with frost and snow. I make sure my temps are above freezing in the coop and humidity stays 70-80’s. I have a digital thermometer Velcro attached inside my coop to track temp and humidity which reads in my house same as my greenhouse. We plan to upgrade my coop eventually but this is what we are doing for now. I like the K and H pad as fire safe. Most advise you may not need this and it’s important to allow them cooler temps so they feather in for winter. Did this but a poultry vet advised that they may need more protection from frostbite in the winter when temps drop below 30 degrees so following that advice. Chickens can loose part of their combs or even feet to frostbite and may not know enough to come in and seek shelter especially when young.
 

Compost King

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DSCN3513.JPG
This is what I mean by a duplex coop. I have an internal fence right through the middle of this coop (back of photo). Although the purpose for that type of coop/Fencing was for reasons totally not relevant it turned out to be a great tool for integration.
Its just cheap plastic fencing and the bamboo is there to keep the breeding roosters from fight through the cheap fencing (these are my breeding pen coops) ... eventually all of these will be on the same side minus the culled birds.
They aren't huddling for warmth, they are hiding from the big ugly monster who is pointing that little machine at them and blasting them with that flashing light (camera)... its warm out today and before I opened the door they were playing around in their new home and exploring. Top center left behind the fencing you can see the Juvenile Ayam Cemani who just popped into the coop for a meal. Yeah its hard to make him/her out in the photo but they and see and hear each other.
The current plan is to observe if they huddle up when the temps are in the 30's at night, If they are packed tight at 35 then I am going to put them in the brooder again on the one cold night coming up this week. The older ones on the other side handled 25 degrees at 7 1/2 weeks but there were a few more and I put in a meat bird of the same age with them for added warmth.
 

Shamo Hybrid

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They should be fine. I have chicks that are only about 3 weeks old and they seem to be doing good, granted they have momma hen to tuck under when it gets cold. Still, they should be fine as I do have some older chicks about 10 weeks old that momma kicked to the curb already and they are still thriving!
 

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