Chicks Heat

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jefntami, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. jefntami

    jefntami Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2013
    Hi,
    We bought our Chicks 03/03/13, we think they were 4 to 7 days old when be bought them, which makes them almost 4 weeks old. It has been really cold in the NW where we live 33 degree tonight.
    We live in a neighborhood not a farm so we moved them from inside the house to the garage, becasue they have doubled in size. They are Speckled Sussex there feather and colors are starting to show. We have a 250 watt heating lamp right over them but it only get to 60 degress so we adding a heater whick makes it close to 80 degrees. We do turn off the heater for a little bit during the day a couple of times and they seem to be ok, there not climbing all over eachother trying to get warm .
    It is Spring so hopefully it will warm up a little. My questions is at this point as they get a week older we can reduce there need for heat by 5 degrees, is that correct? I think we all need to work with them more, can we give them a little cracked corn for a treat so they will come to us more easily?
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You are OK to give them tiny amounts of treats now, but keep in mind that after 8 weeks is the best time to start diminishing their protein a bit.

    So they need that high protein diet for now. It wouldn't hurt them to have just a bit of corn.

    As for the heat, the general rule is 90-95 degrees for the first week of life and decrease by 5 degrees until fully feathered, usually at 6 weeks. If it is cold outside at that time, I give them a longer time with the lamp but start decreasing the wattage. So 100 watts, 60 watts, then eventually nothing. They still don't have meat on their bones, even with all their feathers.

    At 4 weeks of age, they need 75 degrees with the ability to get away from the heat, always. So if you have a heat lamp hanging, under the heat lamp is plenty warm (check the temp under the lamp). That is all you need- you don't need to heat the whole garage up. I live in the Pac NW too and I have been raising my chicks in a shed with our now extinct-to-purchase 100 watt light bulbs (I use as many light bulbs as I need to get the temp under the light the correct temp.).

    My advice is to let them go near the light bulb if they are cold. At 6 weeks of age (or when they are feathered out completely, even on their heads) just wean them off the bulb. I think we are going to have another "Junuary" cold June that feels like January -late start to summer, the weather pattern that has existed for the past few years, and thus a cold spring.
    When they are fully feathered they should be OK if their coop is insulated. If no insulation use your judgement - I like to baby them for the first 8 weeks if it is cold. Do be careful with heat lamps and make sure that they are secured at least two ways not including the clamp- think flying chickens.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  3. DelcoChix

    DelcoChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The first 2-3 weeks they need the heat to be in the 90's, but the entire brooder doesn't have to be that warm. Then each week you lower the heat by about 5 degrees. You can do this by raising your heatlamp a little higher. With 250 watts I'm really surprised that it was only 60 degrees...did you have the thermometer in the actual area the lamp was? They need to be able to move away from the heat, the entire brooder doesn't have to be that warm. You should be able to tell just by their actions, if they remain all huddled together, never go out and explore, then it's too cold. If they are at the opposite end of the heat source and never go near it...too warm.

    I'm sure there are some other knowledgeable opinions out there, hopefully they will pipe up, but if it were me (and it will be next week:) I would keep only the heatlamp, securely fastened to something overhead, in a corner of your brooder and just watch your chickies to see how they act. At this point if their feathers are coming in they won't need it too much longer, they are about a month old, right?
    I wouldn't worry too much about the number on the thermometer at this point in time, sounds like you are on the right track...but I would suggest that you stop using the other heater as soon as you can unless you are 100% sure it's not a fire hazard...just keep hearing the terrible stories of homes, and coops burning up.

    And not sure how many you have but I love our S.Sussex, Annie. Beautiful birds and she has a lovely personality--enjoy! For treats, there's a ton of possibilities out there. I've mix a 50lb bag of chicken scratch feed (a mixture, not just corn) with a bag of black oil sunflower seeds in a utility tub...then take a 1/2 scoop or so and shake it and they come running! We have a double set of runs for the 15 laying hens and a separate small covered coop/run for the four bantams but they ALL know that sound. We let ours out to free range many afternoons and that is the best way to get them to come back into the runs if we have to leave before they head to bed.
    Ours let us pick them up with no problem but they don't come up for a cuddle....that's what the dogs and cats are for so I'm ok with it...

    Good luck!
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Oh I just reread your post where it says it only gets to 60 degrees- then you are right to add the heat. [​IMG]
     
  5. White Leghorn

    White Leghorn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2013
    North Carolina
    Honestly, I wouldn't give them ANY cracked corn for two months for this reason:

    I have had about 20 chicks die from a clogged crop due to me feeding them cracked corn. I massaged the crop and saved a couple of them but not them all.

    I would suggest following all the directions stated by the others above me but I would not give them cracked corn! The temperature for the fist week should be 100 degrees under the lamp then slowly reduced by 5 degrees each week. This helps to slowly wean them off of the heat where they can live without it once fully feathered.

    I hope all goes good and works out! Please feel free to PM me with any questions you have!

    Good luck!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. jefntami

    jefntami Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2013
    I have a thermometer in with the baby chicks. The crate is about 2 feet high and the heating lamp is just 4 inches above that. Our garage is pretty big and is not all insulated. It has been so cold outside, just 30 degrees this morning. I don't want the heater on 24/7. So during the day I turn it off like 3 or 4 for like an hour.
     
  7. jefntami

    jefntami Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2013
    The 4 baby chicks are totally active and acting normally. In fact even though we bougjt pullets we might have a roostet or 2. Is a couple are starting to act like they like to rule the roost. They don't seem sick or anything. My husband says I am worrying too much about it. I just went and checked on them, and I turned off the heater about an hour ago and the temperature is about 65 degrees. I am totally worried about a fire. I bought a brand new heater, heating lamp, and electrical cords. The heater is really neat I
    can set it at 80 degrees and it supposed to turn off when it gets to that temperature. The problem is in A only partially
    insulated large garage it never gets to that level. What is running all the time and never turned off.
     
  8. jefntami

    jefntami Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2013
    [​IMG] Where they are is where the heating lamp is. There food and water is up front.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  9. jefntami

    jefntami Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2013
    [​IMG]
     
  10. jefntami

    jefntami Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2013
    We have had chickens before. It has been about 3 or 4 years. Since we have had chicks. My daughter gave her Old English Bantams to a some really young new 4-H members last year, they had large chicken s that they couldn't handle. Our chickens we're totally calm and easy to handle , getting older and not laying anymore. Anyway, all the stuff we had from that from wear and tear look terrible. So i went and got all new stuff.
     

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