6.5-week-old chicks and nighttime low temperatures

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sierradasilva, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. sierradasilva

    sierradasilva In the Brooder

    Nov 18, 2017

    I have 3 six-and-a-half-week-old chicks (light brahma, barred plymouth rock, amauricana) who are starting to be crowded in their brooder, and we're working on building them a coop right now. I followed the recommended temp charts for them as they grew, but now that they are over 6 weeks old and fully feathered, I wonder what the common wisdom is on when they stop needing supplemental heat.

    It is December 1st, and I'm in Austin TX. It looks like we'll get a cold snap in a few days that will bring nighttime lows in the low 40s. This is too cold for them, even if they sleep huddled, right?

    When are they old enough to tolerate temps in the 30s-40s without a heat lamp?
    I can run the heat lamp out to the coop, but since we're just headed into winter, I'm wondering how long before they won't need any supplemental heat.

  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Have you been putting them outside every day? That is first step, of course in a secured run. My chicks brood outside with a heating pad brooder. I start them in April, here in Maine. By the time they WEAN THEMSELVES OFF HEAT at 4 - 5 weeks old, the night time temps can still be down into mid 30's and they do fine. Key is to acclimate them to outside temps. Much like a plant, you have to harden them off. You can't move your tender plants from a hot house environment to an unsheltered garden. It would be too drastic a change. Harden both chicks and plants off and they will do fine.
    sierradasilva likes this.
  3. sierradasilva

    sierradasilva In the Brooder

    Nov 18, 2017
    Good point!

    Yes, I've been putting them outside every day (with me in the yard, as we build their new house :) Our daytime temps have been in the 70s and 80s, though. In their brooder, I haven't been using the heat lamp, except at night when temperatures drop below 60. So I guess they aren't acclimated to anything below 60 yet.

    I'm a gardener too and am familiar with hardening off plants. This is my first time raising chickens from babies, and it's cool to think of it similarly! Thanks for the tips.
  4. Sassysouth

    Sassysouth Free Ranging

    May 12, 2016
    Decatur, AL
    I am in Alabama and I hear you on having warmer temps. They should be fine. If they were mine, I would probably give them a little warmth, just because it would make me feel better.
    sierradasilva likes this.
  5. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Crowing

    Feb 12, 2013
    Eastern WA
    What I have done sometimes is have my birds out during the day
    WITH HEAT, starting at 2 weeks, because of the smell, then I bring them in at night, and put them in a sleepy box that is small with out heat. They settle in for the night, and then put them out again during the day. I only hatch out small batches though 7 chicks tops.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
    sierradasilva likes this.

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