cold temps and 5 month old chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CPW Chicks, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. CPW Chicks

    CPW Chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2010
    Beaumont, PA
    Hi, we have just been offered six 5 month old chickens because the person can no longer afford them due to job loss. Our concern is we have never gotten new chickens during winter before. The person who is offering them has had them in their house under a heat lamp since they got them; and we would have to house them outside (they would be in an outbuilding (closed in on three sides) that we use for quarantine but we are worried that the temps being in the 20-30's will be to cold for them. Please let us know if you have ever put chicks this young out in cold weather or if you don't think it is a good idea. Thanks
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I have not done this myself, but have been reading a lot on here about chickens and cold weather. It seems that the chickens would have been better off if he had not kept them in the house under a heat lamp for so long. They haven't had a chance to acclimate to cold, so to go from a very warm environment into a very cold one doesn't sound like a great idea. They might have been fine had they gone outside at around 8 weeks and had the chance to acclimate.

    I'm sure you'll get a much more experienced answer than mine...
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Do you mean 5 weeks??? I just can't imagine 5 month old chickens kept in the house under a heat lamp...???
     
  4. CPW Chicks

    CPW Chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2010
    Beaumont, PA
    no not 5 weeks the person got them as chicks and keep them in their house the whole time. it was their first time having chickens and didn't know better. I have seen pics they are 5 months old.
     
  5. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    At five months, even though they have been under a heat lamp all this time, they should be able to acclimate. In my opinion. Not that we have a lot of cold weather around here, but they should be fine.
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Wow!! I've heard of one or two "house chickens," but not six... Okay, if your profile pic is indicative of winters in your area, then even for birds of that age a big/quick temperature change like that could be very harmful, in my opinion. When you speak of an outbuilding closed on three sides, are you talking about for a run, or for their housing?? Because that would (obviously) be quite drafty, and birds that are use to house temps., which are most likely at least 65 degrees, and probably more like 70 degrees, and a draft free environment at that, would NOT be prepared for freezing temps. Even for birds that are use to freezing temps, cold drafts can be a killer.
    Or I may be misunderstanding your shed layout... Can the shed be finished with a door and all so that it's draft free???
     
  7. newchickky

    newchickky Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 27, 2010
    Redford
    I kinda have a similar question. My chickens have been in the garage in a dog crate with a 100 watt bulb. They have outgrown their crate, and their coop is now ready. It is now 20-30 degrees out in Michigan. Can I put them out in the coop with no lamp at 13weeks??

    As for the 5 month olds, I would maybe add a lamp outside for 100% of the time, and they ween them off of it slowly. Just a thought.
     
  8. CPW Chicks

    CPW Chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2010
    Beaumont, PA
    Actually we have another building that we could use part of that is able to be totally closed in and I think that is what we are thinking of using. We would also put dog crates in there so they could huddle in a smaller area together for warmth. There would be little to no drafts in this other building.


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  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    So is Beaumont in Texas ('cause I'm sure there are lots of Beaumonts that I don't know of)??? So are 20s and 30s pretty much the coldest it gets in your area???
    Yes, definitely a totally enclosed building would be needed for birds who are accustomed to house temperatures, at least for this winter. By next winter they will have had a chance to acclimate themselves through the Fall and should do much better. If you're able, I would even do what newchickky suggested, add a bulb (just a regular 60W or 100W bulb in a proper lamp housing and chained or wired, not clamped) for a few weeks, going to a lower wattage every 2 weeks or so...
    But if not able to do that, then LOTS of LOTS of bedding piled up, maybe a huddle box, and really watch them closely, since this will be a big shock to them.
     
  10. CPW Chicks

    CPW Chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2010
    Beaumont, PA
    We are in PA not Texas. We get into the teens if it is a bad winter but it doesn't seem like it will be to bad this year but who knows it could change. We have discussed it and what you have all said and probably wont take them because don't want to shock their systems and harm them in anyway. It was a nice offer and if it was any other time of the year we would take them without question. Thank you all for your advice.


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