Cold and 6-8 week old chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bayerchicks, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. bayerchicks

    bayerchicks Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 12, 2010
    Tangipahoa Parish
    Hubby brought home some chicks that are 2 and 3 weeks old. I read online that they can go outside at about 6 weeks. I am worried about the temperatures getting cold at night. Can they be out in a coop at that age? Do they need to be older to sustain the cold weather? My children are already attached so I would hate to loose any (they have named them all and we got them today!) I am new to owning chickens and have learned so much from this site. Thanks for the help [​IMG]
  2. bonder

    bonder Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 2, 2010
    There's a lot of variables to consider.

    1. Where are you at? How cold will it get?
    2. How insulated is your coop? Is there electricity in the coop that you could run a heat lamp to it if you need to?
    3. How many chicks are there?

    Hope that helps. If I were in your shoes, I would look up brooding on this site in the box on the upper right hand corner. You could probably be up all night reading about how to care for the chicks. Keep them warm, give them chick food and lots of water and they will be fine.
    Good Luck and [​IMG]

    ETA: I didn't read carefully enough the first time. I thought you were asking about what to do between now and 6 weeks, not what to do at age 6 weeks.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  3. bayerchicks

    bayerchicks Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 12, 2010
    Tangipahoa Parish
    I live in south Louisiana (guess I should have said that) in a town where the coldest month of the year is January with an average minimum temperature of 38.10 degrees Fahrenheit. The day and night temp difference during winter is an average difference of 24 degrees Fahrenheit. It's only snowed here a handful of times in the last 10 years.

    The coop is not insulated yet. My hubby and friend are almost done with it. They were worried about insulating it and then having ventilation issues since summer temps where I live are often 95-119 degrees F. I can run an extension cord and lamp.

    At what age in the winter would you recommend the chicks going outside?
  4. bayerchicks

    bayerchicks Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 12, 2010
    Tangipahoa Parish
    Forgot to mention, there are 8 chicks.
  5. chickee

    chickee Chillin' With My Peeps

    My Ameraucana chicks are 5 weeks old and our temps have been in the low 30's overnight and 50-65 during the day. I keep a 60 watt flood light on in their house at all times about 2 feet off the floor. I open the door during the day so they can go out and get some excersize. When they feel cold they come back into the house and sit under the warmth of the light. I always shut the door at night to keep them warm and safe from predators. I plan on giving them the heat from the lamp until they are at least 8 wks old.
    Have fun with your new chickies! [​IMG]
  6. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    Quote:The insulation may also keep the coop cooler in the summer.
  7. jomoncon

    jomoncon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2010
    New Orleans, LA
    I'm in New Orleans, & have 8 4 week old RIRs. They have been outside for the past week - I just had to get them & their mess out of the house. The temps here have been in the mid 70's during the day & the mid 50's at night. My coop is not insulated, although I did cover the wired sides with plastic.

    I'm using the same heat lamp at night that was in there brooder, hung very securely, to keep the temp around 80-85. I'm about to change the heat bulb for a regular 100 watt bulb. We completed the run yesterday & they loved being outside. They even knew to go back inside the coop at dusk.

    Like you, my coldest month is January. By then, my chicks will be 11 weeks old, and should be able to withstand the cold. If we get some of those rare nights where temps fall below 30 degrees, I may put the heat lamp back in - or not. It will depend if they're fully feathered or not.
  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    At that age, they are fully feathered and are fine to deal with cold temperatures. I don't see any problem as long as you take them off the heat source slowly. Don't take them from 70 degrees to 30 degrees, but gradually take them off the heat. And 8 chicks are certainly enough to keep each other warm if it gets really cold.

    I've had chicks outside at 4 and 5 weeks. I've also had hens molting in 14 degree weather and be fine.
  9. HorizonSon

    HorizonSon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2010
    Pacific NW
    My Hatchery chicks have been outside all their lives; with no mama.
    Take care [​IMG]
    Here's a pic of my temp makeshift brooder with week old chicks:


    I should note that its been quite warm here; only getting down to the upper 30s (not including wind chill factor). At worst, mid Winter, it rarely gets below the mid-20s here right on the coast of Oregon..
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  10. catdaddy66

    catdaddy66 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2009
    Lugoff, SC
    your 6-8 week old birds are now able to withstand the temps in your area well. A bit of shelter from rain and wind is good but have good ventilation. The breeds are different but most commomn breeds are fully feathered at 6 weeks. Some slow maturing birds may need to go to 8 or 10 weeks but those are few and far between. You should have good results outside now.

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