Chickened Out? Did I do The rIght thing?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rhoise, May 12, 2012.

  1. Rhoise

    Rhoise Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2012
    Boise, Idaho
    Ok I couldn't take it anymore, after listening to them nervously peep themselves to sleep out in the new coop( i had to go in the house), and temps got down to 50 degrees by 10:30pm (20 colder than they've ever experienced and still dropping), I CHIKENED OUT!! not the chickens!!! Five of them were on the perches snuggled together, four on the floor huddled in a corner. Now safe in the dining room again( i'm desperate for a nights sleep!!) up to this point they've been without a light for a week in my house at 68-72 degrees

    What is considered too cold for 6 week old chicks? Night time temps starting this coming Sunday will be 10 degrees warmer(54-57) for a few days, here in the valley it can be 90 in the late afternoon and 50 at night so will a 40 degrees drop be to drastic and hurt them? ....Maybe tomorrow or Sunday when it isn't so cold at night? husband really does love me!
  2. Mskayladog

    Mskayladog Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think you did the right thing. I carry mine down in a box to the coop during The day and bring them back up to the house for the night. We have a really big brooder thankfully!! I may continue doing this till they are 12 weeks old.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It depends some on how drafty your coop is where they are sleeping. If you haved open vents where a cold wind is blasting them when it is cold outside, that is a bit harder to answer. Even adults can have problems under those conditions. But if the coop keeps cold wind off them, they can handle a whole lot. Your individual coop makes a difference.

    I raise mine in the coop from Day 1. I only heat one area and let the rest of my well-ventilated but draft protected brooder cool off as it will. They play all over the brooder and go back to the heat to warm up when they need to. They get acclimated to cooler temperatures. I don't know how much that acclimation helps.

    Last fall, I put mine in my grow-out coop when they were 5 weeks old. It has no heat, is well ventilated, and protects them from drafts. When they were 5-1/2 weeks old, the overnight temperature got down to the mid-20's Fahrenheit. They were fine.

    I can't tell you what to do with yours. I never raise them in the house and never wait more than 5 weeks to take them out of the brooder. Sometimes in the middle of summer I turn the daytime heat off at about 2-1/2 weeks and overnight heat off at 3 weeks. Sometimes if it is cool, I go longer. It just depends on how they are acting and what the weather is.
  4. CarolJ

    CarolJ Dogwood Trace Farm

    Jun 3, 2011
    Middle Tennessee
    At six weeks of age, they should be pretty much feathered out. They'd be fine in an unheated coop. They huddle together and keep each other warm. I keep my brooder in the unheated coop - but with a heat lamp for the first few weeks. But after week 4 - they thrive without the heat lamp. IMO, if you bring them inside, it's for your benefit - not theirs.

    At six weeks - maybe below freezing would be too cold - but I'm not even sure about that. They have one of nature's warmest coverings - down/feathers. They were probably chirping because it was a new experience - not because they were cold.
  5. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Once they are fully feathered at 6 weeks of age, they can easily tolerate the temps you are describing in a draft-free coop.
  6. madamwlf

    madamwlf Nevermore Acres

    Aug 22, 2010
    Mount Airy, MD
    I say bad move. I had my 2 week olds outside running around at the middle of April. No peeping at all. They knew where to go heat up and they made the decision to stay outside. They feathered in quicker and loved being outside. Don't know why we coddle our chicks but if momma hen can have them outside in February I don't see why they can't be out as long as they have a heat source.
  7. highpointfarm

    highpointfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 29, 2012
    Orange County NY
    My personal opinion (like it even matters [​IMG]) is that people "baby" their chickens way to much, I harden off my chicks at the age of 2 weeks, when they then go outside into the coop with a heat lamp... By 5 weeks old I leave them without the light at night as long it is above 32 degrees.... You birds should be fine, without hardening them off, down to about 40 F, as long as their is no draft....
    1 person likes this.
  8. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    /agree. My chicks have been off heat for a week and they are 5 weeks old and outside in a barn. And I don't even use heat lamps, just an ecoglow. I put them outside a few days after birth and kept my barn about 50.

    It's been about 40-50 here. My babies with a broody are two weeks old and have been outside with mom since day 3 when it was 40-ish and raining. :p
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  9. TonySorrento

    TonySorrento Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    South Wales, New York
    As a new chicken owner I understand your fear ... as someone a month past where you are, I can say that your birds will be absolutely 100% unequivocally totally FINE! It will only take one to realize this .... make it tonight ...
  10. Izzymoon

    Izzymoon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2012
    My Coop
    I think we all have our own way of taking care of them, all ways are right. I know that I baby mine too much, but this is my first time and I have never even thought about having a chicken before this, so everything is new to me, and I'd rather be safe then sorry. So many people have been buzz kills about me raising chickens "a lot of work, smelly, no vacations"...the list goes on and on...and in truth none of those things have happened. If a lot of work is feeding and changing their water twice a day? really? I am waiting to put them out because their heads are still fuzzy (no full feathers) and also our temps are up and then down, I am afraid they'll catch colds. lol? Today is our first sunny day that I am off, I will take them outside and let them hang in the coop for awhile.
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
    1 person likes this.

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