Chicks & Winter

KikiDeAnime

Crowing
Dec 29, 2017
2,519
4,051
377
Battle Ground, WA
I have four 3 wk old chicks that I'm going to be keeping inside longer than I usually would. They have a 10 wk old chick inside with them that they've already bonded with so I'm not separating.

At what age would they be able to go outside in winter?

We got fall chicks last year but stuck them outside right when they got all their feathers. We lost one chick due to the severe cold so this year I decided not to do that.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,503
20,775
907
Southeast Louisiana
I've had chicks less than 6 weeks old go through temperatures below freezing (mid 20's F) with no supplemental heat. The coop they were in had great ventilation up high and great breeze protection down low where they were. And they were acclimated. The brooder they were raised in was in the coop. One end was kept toasty but the far end really cooled off. They played in all parts of that brooder so they were used to colder temperatures.

You are on the wet side (thanks for including your location). I don't know what happened to that chick last year, it's age, or what conditions it saw. Maybe a combination of damp and cold had more to do with it than just cold. Or maybe something else entirely. The others going through the same temps did not die, did they?

I don't have a safe age or temperature for you where there is absolutely no risk. In general once they are fully feathered they can handle a lot. But there can be other factors.
 

KikiDeAnime

Crowing
Dec 29, 2017
2,519
4,051
377
Battle Ground, WA
I've had chicks less than 6 weeks old go through temperatures below freezing (mid 20's F) with no supplemental heat. The coop they were in had great ventilation up high and great breeze protection down low where they were. And they were acclimated. The brooder they were raised in was in the coop. One end was kept toasty but the far end really cooled off. They played in all parts of that brooder so they were used to colder temperatures.

You are on the wet side (thanks for including your location). I don't know what happened to that chick last year, it's age, or what conditions it saw. Maybe a combination of damp and cold had more to do with it than just cold. Or maybe something else entirely. The others going through the same temps did not die, did they?

I don't have a safe age or temperature for you where there is absolutely no risk. In general once they are fully feathered they can handle a lot. But there can be other factors.
The other chicks from last year that survived are the 3 in my profile picture.
Last year's weather got down to the low 40s/high 30s when we had put the fall chicks out. They had been kept in our chick coop which is just a small triangle coop.

This year's chicks are almost fully feathered.
 

Ghosty

Crowing
Jun 26, 2018
671
1,083
251
SW Missouri
My best feathered, almost 5 week chick died from cold the other night. She had a 250w lamp, but she fell asleep on the cold side by herself? I have a space heater above the brooder now. I had meant to have one all along, but my Grandpa passed away and by the time I got back home they had already been through two cold nights on a 125w bulb. I thought they would be ok with a bigger 250w bulb on the third cold night (low 30's), so I stopped by the farm store for one. The next morning she was dead, her head tucked under her wing on the cold side.
 

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