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chick questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by atr04screw, Jun 18, 2011.

  1. atr04screw

    atr04screw Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2011
    I just got 5 chicks, and this forum has been great with help. Since I know very little about chickens, I have been asking and learning as I go, and they are doing good. My questions are (1) Should I have a heat lamp on them? They are about 2 weeks old and have some feathers growing, and they are in a metal watering bin with wood shavings on the bottom. The outside temp. w/o the lamp is about 90-100 degrees, but they have been acting odd lately and I think they might be hot. (2) When should I move them to the coop? The bin they are in now isn't too high, so I think when there head is about 12-14 inches high I might have to move them. Is this too early? The chicks are 4 plymouth rocks and 1 blue cochin. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Hot chicks will usually pant and hold their little wings out to cool themselves. At those temps. I think they would do fine in the coop, but if it drops below 80 or so in the coop at night you might want to let them be in the coop during the day and bring them back to their watering trough/brooder at night.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    It sounds like they are outdoors -- if so, I would not have heat on them at those temps during the day. If you watch how they act, you may find they don't even need heat at night any more, depending on your night temps and the individual chicks. I would definitely think that by the time they are 12" tall they can be in the coop without added heat. I'll add (if I'm saying things you already know, just ignore me!) that chickens tolerate cold much better than heat and actually 100 degrees is about their limit -- a bit tricky since brand new chicks need it nearly this warm, I know. But at 2 weeks they will handle being cool a lot better -- some breeds more than others.

    I have some Black Australorp chicks in my coop that are about 5 weeks old. They have been there since I brought them home from TSC at 3 or 4 days. Their pen was maybe 5' X 6' so they had plenty of room to get completely away from the heat lamp if they wanted. I had a heat lamp on them at first, but by 2 or 3 weeks they were avoiding it, even at night, with nighttime lows around 60, so I turned it off.

    Enjoy your chicken adventure!
     
  4. atr04screw

    atr04screw Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2011
    I just went and looked at them and they were laying down on the opposite side of the lamp with there wings stretched out a little so I turned the lamp off and they seemed to be happy. They are currently on my back porch so they are in the shade but it is approaching 100 degrees outside so I'll probably only turn it on at night.
     
  5. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    They say to start at 95 degrees with day-old chicks and reduce by five degrees each week. So at two weeks old, 85 degree heat is plenty, and I suspect if they are spending time outside they are acclimating well to even lower temperatures.

    I just gave baby chicks to my broody hen and they are out running around in low-60-degree weather for ten minutes at a time and then diving under mama to warm up. They're only six days old! If they're cold, they will huddle together. Doesn't seem like that's an issue for yours.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:I've had broody raised chicks doing this at three days at 45 or 50 degrees. I was amazed.
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:I've had broody raised chicks doing this at three days at 45 or 50 degrees. I was amazed.

    Yep, with Doe's first chicks she had them outside in February with snow on the ground at less than a week old. They did fine.

    I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck.
     
  8. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    "I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck."

    Exactly! I noticed that my broody brought the gang back into the coop from the pen and couldn't believe she managed to herd all five of them 30 ft. To her great annoyance and a lot of stern clucking, I managed to do a head count and, of course, everyone was there. No human could accomplish what she did!
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Or teach them chicken smarts the way a mama hen can. Us humans are poor substitutes.
     

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