advice needed

mamamage

Songster
Jan 25, 2018
166
163
121
South Carolina
i have 6 week old chicks still inside. they really need to go outside now but the nighttime temps get around 33 degrees. what should i do to acclimate these little guys? they've been off the heat plate for several weeks now, and the room they're in stays around 65.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,503
20,780
907
Southeast Louisiana
I feel your pain. If I had six week old chicks inside I'd probably be divorced.

What does the coop look like? Does it have good ventilation but also good breeze protection where they would be? If so they could probably go outside now. I've had chicks younger than that go through temperatures in the mid 20's. If you can take them outside early in the morning when it is that cold and see how they react. You may be surprised at how well they handle it. I understand your desire to acclimate them, I raise mine in the coop so they are acclimated. That may be one reason mine can handle colder temperatures younger but yours may be old enough without that.

If you have electricity out there you can provide heat, whether a heating pad, heat plate, heat lamp, incandescent light, or an emitter. With any of them be careful with electricity. That may be more for your benefit than theirs though, they probably won't need it. Once they are feathered out they can handle cold much better than many people think. Most chicks are feathered out at 4 to 5 weeks.
 

Shamo Hybrid

Songster
Jun 6, 2018
1,979
2,248
226
Are the chicks naked necks? If so, I would think they'd have a harder time weathering the cold.... but with that said you shouldn't worry too much. I have a few 1 week old chicks in the coop and they seem to do fine, they are getting close to 3 weeks now. But hey, you like naked necks? You should look into the 'Ganoi' breed.... the naked neck variety! They are oriental gamefowls. :wee
 

EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
2,241
5,431
577
Southeast Alabama
A heating pad or even a Wool Momma will keep them good to go. I've became a huge fan of Wool Mommas since using them the 3 or 4 times. They will get in the Wool Momma and their own body heat will keep them toasty warm. If they get a little too warm, they make their way to the outer edge, if cold, they go in deeper. And no electricity to risk fire or shocks.
:thumbsup
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,543
130,173
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
If you can, close off the brooder room from the rest of the house and crack a window in there to start lowering their ambient temp.

I've used a huddle box to transition from house brooder to coop:
Make them a 'huddle box', put it in the brooder after turning off the heat(you might have to 'persuade' them to use it) then move it out to the coop with them.

Cardboard box with a bottom a little bigger than what they need to cuddle next to each other without piling and tall enough for them to stand in.

Cut an opening on one side a couple inches from bottom and big enough for 2-3 of them to go thru at once.

Fill the bottom with some pine shavings an inch or so deep.

This will give them a cozy place to sleep/rest, block any drafts and help hold their body heat in.
 

lutherpug

Crowing
6 Years
Jan 5, 2014
602
639
252
Kansas City Area
I put my 8 week olds out this week as well. They had been in my outbuilding which stays around 50 degrees. The first day they were out we had blizzard conditions and it has been very cold since-single digit temps at the coldest. It wasn't an ideal transition but I really needed to get them out of my outbuilding as my young silkies and other hatchlings had outgrown their brooder and needed that space so I went ahead and did it. They've done fine. Good luck with your babies!
 

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