Can I leave 3-week-old chicks out tonight?

FenDruadin

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10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
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I've got 3-week-old coturnix in a brood pen outside. I tend to go light on heat with baby fowl, finding that most recommendations for heat are way over what is necessary. As a result, these little guys are fully feathered, though only half the size of a full-grown coturnix. I've been leaving them outside during the days, with no supplemental heat. It's been quite cool for this time of year (60s). They seem quite comfortable at 50 degrees in the evenings, though they do start to cuddle up. I've been bringing them inside at night but WHAT A PAIN.

It's supposed to be 41 degrees for a low tonight. Any confidence that it's okay to leave them out? Or do I need to go out in the dark and bring them in (ugh, lol)?
 

FenDruadin

Crowing
10 Years
Jul 30, 2009
3,744
224
281
Charlotte, NC Area
Thanks! I did bring them in. They were sleeping together in a pile, nice and cozy warm, when I went out to get them. They might have been fine, but I slept better knowing they were indoors. I'll wait till temps are better or they're a couple weeks older. Thank you!
 

TwoCrows

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Mar 21, 2011
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Not only do quail need to be fully feathered, but it takes time for their bodies to develop the ability to regulate their internal temp and produce body heat. That develops with age. 3 week olds do not have the ability yet, at least most of them don't, to control or produce the heat needed to survive if it gets too cold. So it is best to wait till at least 4 1/2 if not 5 weeks of age. Some chicks and breeds even need to go to 6 weeks before they are ready to withstand chilling.
 

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