6-8 week old chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by homeschool2boys, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. homeschool2boys

    homeschool2boys Just Hatched

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    Jan 4, 2017
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    Hi! I've been searching forums here for advice (and it's driving me crazy) but I can't find specific advice for my chicks age ranges.

    I have 6 chicks (3 RIR chicks ages 6.5 weeks, 1 7.5 week cream legbar, 1 8.5 week Easter egger and 1 8.5 week barred rock). We live in NW Florida and the temps fluctuate wildly here in winter. Last weekend the temps dropped to high 30's one night, so I brought them inside...but they all seemed too big for that Rubbermaid tub that had held them all only a week before...so in the morning I carried them all back outside. Temps that evening only hit upper 40s. Since then we've had monsoon-like rain, temps in mid 70s to high 50s. Well, this weekend is supposed to get to 30s with winds @ 22mph and feels like temp in upper 20s.

    So I'm toggling between 1) bringing them inside although they'll all have very little room 2) keeping them out in their coop and just covering coop with a tarp (to protect from winds) and closing the exit door into their run or 3) keeping door to run open and putting small heat lamp out there.

    On our local forums, someone suggested that because some are 6ish weeks they should come inside or have a heat lamp. Everything else I've read suggests that chickens are hardy and should be fine bundling up together. And I'm really nervous about using a heat lamp out there so I'd rather bring them in than do that.

    What would you do?
    Thank you :)
     
  2. DancingWthDucks

    DancingWthDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :welcome

    I would keep them inside the coop and run, but add a heatlamp for extra warmth. A nice deep layer of bedding will keep them a bit warmer aswell. Good luck :)
     
  3. homeschool2boys

    homeschool2boys Just Hatched

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    Jan 4, 2017
    NW Florida
    Ok, thank you :)
     
  4. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think that you will want a small adjustment period if you don't have a heat source in your coop and they've been living in your house at presumably 60-70 degrees. Let them spend as much semi supervised time outdoors as possible when the temps are 30,40,50 degrees. If they get distressed, take them back indoors. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that they do just fine at that age in those temps.

    I had 4 week old chicks outdoors with a heat plate last week in 20-30 degree temps and they spent far more time running around than they did warming up under the plate.

    What you've read here is correct, they're far hardier than they're given credit for. I had to take mine back into the house for reasons unrelated to weather but as soon as I can modify the coop to better accommodate them, they're back outta here!

    Good luck!
     
  5. homeschool2boys

    homeschool2boys Just Hatched

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    Jan 4, 2017
    NW Florida
    And that's why I thought it best to just leave them out in the coop (close the door at night and they can huddle up) because if they come inside @ 66 degrees and I put them back out at 40/50 degrees, well that seems more shocking. The coop isn't terribly big (like 3' x 4' and 3' tall at highest point) so I'm thinking if they make their little chicken pile and the door is closed and my litter is nice and deep, they'll be able to retain that heat and be fine. Heat lamps just scare me, but maybe I'm overreacting and they're safer than I fear.

    Thanks for the input :)
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    They're well old enough to be outside. You may think your temps are cold, but you're in the more temparate part of the States. Folks way north of you have much colder conditions and their birds do just fine.

    Don't use a heat lamp in your coop. Your coop is too small, and the litter is a fire waiting to happen. And they just don't need it.

    With your weather, you will need to concentrate on keeping them dry. This does not mean they can not go out in the wet, it means they need a dry spot to retreat to as they choose. Birds that are out of the wind and wet can tolerate quite cold temps easily.

    Also--folks like to get concerned about wind chill numbers. Really, those only count if you're in the wind. Doesn't apply to the temp inside the coop, where's secure.
     
  7. homeschool2boys

    homeschool2boys Just Hatched

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    Jan 4, 2017
    NW Florida
    This is what my gut says too, thank you
     

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