Do my birds still need the heat lamp?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by KathyK, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. KathyK

    KathyK Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    109
    Dec 10, 2009
    Liberty Hill, TX
    They are 4 weeks old. I have been running the heat lamp in their tractor when temps drop below 50 degrees. Most nights it has been in the 30's with daytime highs in the 60's. I go out at night and they are nicely huddled under the light. I've read that they shouldn't need extra heat when fully feathered. Being Cornish Crosses, they don't really fully feather... ever. Here is a pic showing the various stages they are in. I'd love to be able to not have the heat lamp on at night, but don't want to stress them or have them smother each other trying to keep warm. We are supposed to have some cold days ahead with rain and daytime highs only in the 40's. Thanks for your input.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. EggsForIHOP

    EggsForIHOP Chillin' With My Peeps

    488
    2
    121
    Apr 18, 2010
    TEXAS
    Well...I'm no expert by far...but mine have been outside since they were 3 weeks old and I haven't bothered with a light at all! We are now at the 6 week mark and admittedly a little on the small side (at least according to my friend whose daughter raises them to show every year)...right at 4 lbs each...actually probably more as I haven't weighed any of them in a while and I'm just guessing at what I feel when i heft one up in my arms. I also restrict their feed probably just a little more than most - the get 8 to 10 hours of feed every day because I'm just not going out any earlier or later than I already do, especially as dark and cold as it is out here at night!

    I would say you should be fine - your temps sound much the same as ours - just be ready to turn the light on again if it gets REALLY cold outta nowhere...you know how this crazy Texas weather is and all [​IMG]
     
  3. barrybro

    barrybro Chillin' With My Peeps

    110
    0
    109
    May 22, 2009
    SW Michigan
    They can handle it a lot colder that 50 degrees. They are fine and probably would have been fine a week or so ago.

    Barry
     
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    5,532
    187
    273
    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I'd rather run a heat lamp than lose any of them. It's not for very long. However, they can handle weather colder than 50 degrees. Maybe turn the heat on at 40 degrees. You can get a plug-in thermostat that will turn the heat lamp on for you when the coop gets cold.

    It's going to make a huge difference what sort of housing they have. If they are out of the wind, it is different than if there is a 30 mph 32 degree wind blowing on them all night.

    I don't worry about my ducks, but the ducks are wearing thick down coats. The Cornish Cross don't have much insulation.
     
  5. KathyK

    KathyK Chillin' With My Peeps

    109
    0
    109
    Dec 10, 2009
    Liberty Hill, TX
    Yeah, I need to get one of those plug in thermostats. The coop is covered with a tarp on 3 sides, so they are out of the wind, but no insulation at all.
     
  6. barrybro

    barrybro Chillin' With My Peeps

    110
    0
    109
    May 22, 2009
    SW Michigan
    Really - they are fine. Have you ever held a cx. They are virtual heat machines. They will be fine.

    Barry
     
  7. EggsForIHOP

    EggsForIHOP Chillin' With My Peeps

    488
    2
    121
    Apr 18, 2010
    TEXAS
    Quote:That is SO true! I noticed the other day (last week maybe) that one had been sitting on TOP of the thermometer in the brooder - NO HEAT LAMP ON - just room temp and the house was in the low 70's...THAT THERMOMETER READ 115 when I pulled it out from under that 2 week old chick! I'm sure the chicks themselves are a little cooler - but being squished between it and the shavings it was TOASTY!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by