Adjusting to outside temps...


10 Years
Aug 13, 2009
Walla Walla, WA
My banty chicks are going on six weeks old (next Monday). They're all very well feathered out and we've started turning off their heat lamp and letting them outside during the day, but we turn the light back on when we lock them up at night.

In the last couple days though the temperatures have dropped (from the 80's and 90's to about the mid to high 60's). We've been leaving the heat lamp on inside but still giving them access to the outdoors.

I think they're more than ready to handle outside temps, but I don't want to shock them with a sudden temperature change. What's the best way to ease them into the fall weather?
It depends on how many chicks you have and how big the space you keep them in is, and how well insulated, etc. If you have a bunch of birds, and a reasonably small space that doesn't have too much heat loss, they could be okay. I have 5 full grown full sized hens that coop up for the night in a 2x2x4 cage wire hutch, covered with a blanket. Our night temps are dropping into the 40's, and they are doing fine. Once they are big enough, they cuddle up together and their body heat provides all the warming they need -- but I don't know a specific answer for young bantams.
I've got 9 chicks, and they are currently living in the compost bin. It's 4x4 (4x8 actually, but there's a divider down the middle). It's made of pressure treated 2x8ish boards. There's no insulating except that the bin on the other side of the divider is full of compost (grass clippings and manure). The top is covered with chicken wire and some sheets of plywood. I cover it up completely at night and during the day one board stays in place to supply shade and/or shelter from the elements (there haven't been any elements yet except the encroaching cold.

Inside they've got thick bedding, a wool hat that they used to all fit inside, and now sit on, and a cardboard box that they like to climb on/inside. Also roosts and food and things. I would guess that at night it holds the temperature fairly well, there are certainly no drafts.

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