Adjusting chicks to Texas weather

Misssaint

Hatching
Aug 6, 2020
4
1
8
Hi all,
We are raising our first chicks, born 7/22. As we live in Texas, I have thus far been able to just move the brooder outside during the day for them and bring them inside at night with a homemade heat plate/cave type set up.
Now, they are getting older and needing less heat just as August is really cranking up. Today, they were panting by 2pm and I had to move them inside.
I have seen masses of information about acclimating chicks, but always to cold/colder temps than what would be indoors, but can’t find any about acclimating them to heat. Our chicks are all heat tolerant breeds, but am I right in assuming I need to treat them gently until they are older? They likely won’t go outside to the coop full time until Sept, when we are hopefully done with 100 degree temps, but what do I do in the meantime to acclimate them and when? Do I do it gradually, letting them outside in the heat a bit longer and a bit longer? At what age should I start? Thanks for the advice!
 

Joalla

In the Brooder
May 13, 2020
46
52
46
Texas
Hi! Fellow Texan. I had these same questions about a month and a half ago and unfortunately I also couldn’t find any good “official” answers. However, I ended up doing what you said—letting them out supervised for a few hours to watch how they handled it and they were out full time at 5 weeks at the beginning of July. I also froze plastic water bottles for them to sit on as needed, have little shallow “wading pools” that some of them like to stand in, and made sure to put the coop and run in the shadiest portion of the yard. I would say play it by ear re: how they are handling it and put some beating the heat tricks to work. If they are alert and active and have figured out how to use the cooling aids you’ve given them they will likely be ok.
 

Misssaint

Hatching
Aug 6, 2020
4
1
8
Hi! Fellow Texan. I had these same questions about a month and a half ago and unfortunately I also couldn’t find any good “official” answers. However, I ended up doing what you said—letting them out supervised for a few hours to watch how they handled it and they were out full time at 5 weeks at the beginning of July. I also froze plastic water bottles for them to sit on as needed, have little shallow “wading pools” that some of them like to stand in, and made sure to put the coop and run in the shadiest portion of the yard. I would say play it by ear re: how they are handling it and put some beating the heat tricks to work. If they are alert and active and have figured out how to use the cooling aids you’ve given them they will likely be ok.
Thank you so much, Joalla! I appreciate the advice a ton. Hope you are well!
 

Mamatomany123

Songster
Mar 14, 2020
2,189
2,660
203
Midland, tx
I live in west texas and have brooded my chicks outside since day 1. They do pant sometimes but I treat them the same as I do my older girls. Deep shade, fan, cold water, ice bottles to lay against, and occasionally some frozen fruit or veggies.
 

Infinitydreamer

In the Brooder
Apr 21, 2020
8
17
21
We are in the so cal high desert. Our temps have been in the 95-112 range for a little over a month now. Our chickens are 4 months old and 6 weeks old. We have shade cloth around the sides of our runs and we installed misting hoses. Our chickens aren’t down for frolicking in water at all, so this keeps them cool despite their best birdbrained efforts to overheat. We also give frozen veggies midday and they are all about it. They do pant a bit still during the peak of the day, but they seem to be making it through just fine and we haven’t lost any yet.
 

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