Do my broilers need heat until processing?

nvdirtfreak

Chirping
5 Years
Sep 14, 2014
31
1
57
I bought day-old Cornish X on 4/26 (so now 3 weeks old) and would like to put them outside soon as they are nearly fully feathered, but I have been told they require heat at night their entire lives. Next week will be lows in the 50s, I built a chicken tractor but it does not have access to electricity for a heat lamp. Can't really take them outside during the day then bring them back in at night. Brooder will not be big enough to house them past 6 weeks or so (22 chicks, 24 square feet of space).

Am I screwed? Or can I put them out when fully feathered like I normally would for layers?
 

BlueShadow

Songster
5 Years
Jun 13, 2015
476
368
186
Nebraska
I would feel comfortable putting them outside when they are fully feathered, as long as you have acclimated them to those temperatures. They might not grow as quickly because they are using some energy to stay warm at night. You always can get some large pieces of cardboard to put around the sides of the tractor at night to keep out drafts if you feel that is necessary.
 

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