8 Weeks, Freezing Temps...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bobchristenson, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. bobchristenson

    bobchristenson Out Of The Brooder

    May 31, 2011
    SE Michigan
    Here's where I'm at...looking for some advice:

    • Weeks 0-5 - Inside in a brooder
    • Week 5-6 - they were put in a small brooder/run in our coop. Heat lamp on all times, however with this mild winter so far, temps never really got below about 45.
    • Week 7 - I changed the heat lamp to be on only at night so they slowly get used to the cold. The coop rarely went below 40, although some days it went as low as about 33.

    This week is week 8 and we just got hit with the snow storm and freezing temps. So, my questions are:

    1. If the coop temps get below freezing (even down into the 20s) are they old enough to handle it during the day? They look feathered to me, but I question because of their age.
    2. Do I even attempt to phase them out of the night heat lamp at this point? My goal was to have them on no heat by about week 12.

    If I could get to that "week 12, no heat" point, it would be great, but I'm wondering if I'm just going to end up with the night light until spring. If I've learned anything its that chickens aren't people and they can take the cold like we can't. So, I dont want to coddle, but I want to make sure it's safe.

    Thoughts? (raising chicks in the winter makes you realize how easy it is to do in the spring!)
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I believe most birds could be okay without heat when fully feathered and are fully feathered by 8 weeks. I would advise extra thick bedding in the coop plus maybe a little extra protein and a draft free coop. I think they'd enjoy the heat until week 12 but could make it without it. Maybe reserve the light except on those days and nights when particularly bitter temps are forecast. Good luck to you!!
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    How many chicks do you have? If you only have a few, then I'd continue with the heat at night. If you have many, then they can huddle together for warmth. Don't take them straight off the heat lamp though - decrease the wattage in the lamp first. Switch to a 150 or 100 watt light bulb (or you can get these wattage heat lamps at a reptile store) and decrease them off the heat slowly.
    1 person likes this.

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