chicks in FL


In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 29, 2008
W central FL
I have three EE (pretty sure, but sold as Ameraucanas) pullets. They're about 2 weeks old, I guess, judging by their size. Totally guessing, using photos online for size reference. Very cute.
They're living right now in a gerbil cage, and I take them outside in the morning and they hang out and peep and scratch in their food and whatnot. Yesterday they were outside for several hours in shade, and I brought them in when it looked like rain. They're spending their overnights in our laundry room- no A/C so they stay warm. It probably stays around ~80 in there at night give or take, and our daytime highs are 85-90. Our nighttime lows are around 70, so I think they're still too young for them to be out all the time- besides, they're still so little. When do I put them out full time, though? Here they are:
They need to be fully feathered in order to stay out. Baby feathers don't hold the heat. I have some that are going on 6 weeks and I still have them inside. Maybe at about 8 weeks I'll let them go to the coop full time, not sure though.
Perstephone...we're in Gainesville and I don't put mine out full time until at least 8 weeks. And then, you'd better have them in something that is absolutely predator-proof!!

In Feb/March/Apr...We don't put them out at night until about 3 months...or we put a 250 watt bulb in their coop.
We're in Lake City, Just N of Gainesville. I put my girls in the coop @ one week and just ran an extension cord out to and put the heat lamp in and just turned it on at night. Did that for a couple of weeks and now they are on their own as far as heat source goes they are 4 1/2 weeks old now.
Something I meant to say in my previous post...

It's not that they won't "survive", but I've found that they grow faster and are more healthy with the increased heat source. When they have to use all their energy to create warmth, they have less energy to grow.
I don't have an answer for you but a question instead... I'm in the Virgin Islands and want to get chicks but am unsure if I ned a heat lamp... I'm pretty sure our weather is similar. Did you use a heat lamp at all?
Any lamp will do. With my last couple chicks, my quail and my guineas and packing peanuts. The lamp made it too hot as they were in my house where I don't have AC and in a very warm room. I think I used the lamp for a couple days. Then I noticed that they were as far away as they could be and panting. I think the room was 85.

I've laid a table lamp on its side so that the light rests on the metal grate that goes across the top of the brooder.

Yes, and predator proof for chicks is something with holes smaller than 1" that coons can't stick their hands through. (lost a 3 week old chick that way)
I'm from the Ocala, Fla area. I kept my brooder in the barn initially with a 60 watt incandesant bulb in my brooder lamp 24 hrs a day until they started getting their feathers, about 2 wks. Then I made an enclosed area outside in the sun where I put their brooder, then I only put the brooder lamp on at night when I would take their brooder back into the barn. I made a covered area for their brooder so the heat from the bulb would heat the brooder. I would check the temp daily. I didn't want to overheat them and I didn't want them to get to cold. I put a box that holds a case of 24 soft drinks in the brooder with some pine shavings in the box under the light, and all the chicks would snuggle and stay warm. Sometimes some of the chicks would wander around the brooder. This is what my brooder looks like. The only differance is that the wire mine are made of is smaler mesh wire.

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Nope, no lamp at all. They seem to be pretty happy with the current situation, which is inside at night and outside for the day. They're in mostly shade and our highs have been low-mid nineties. I have them in their run today, sort of. I took the top off the gerbil cage and set it directly on the ground- they're still in a small area, but they're scratching in real grass. They seem to be enjoying it, as far as I can tell.
I'm going to keep them sleeping indoors until they've got some real feathers, but I'm not super worried about it. They seem ok- I haven't noticed them acting overly cold or hot.

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