First Batch of Meat birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by RedemptionFarm, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. RedemptionFarm

    RedemptionFarm Just Hatched

    Mar 9, 2017
    I have my first batch of Cornish rock. They are 2 weeks old right now and outgrowing the brooder quickly. I feel like it would be optimal to wait until they are 3 weeks old and also for the nighttime temperatures to be over 34 degrees, but they are really getting crowded fast. I'm considering putting them out in the coop with a heat lamp this week. My major concern is that this week, the nighttime temperatures are predicted to dip down to 20 degrees a couple of times. This has given me pause, but im getting more and more concerned about them getting too crowded in the brooder. Does anyone have anything to share about their?
  2. eviemethugh

    eviemethugh Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2015
    North Carolina
    How many do you have? Can you add on to the brooder?
    Most likely, they can survive the temps better after the third week, but will suffocate each other trying to stay warm no matter the age. Cornish are known for piling up and suffocating each other. Especially with a heat lamp and temps under freezing - the bottom center of the pile will be the warmest place, and the edges will rotate in as they chill
    If you are in a cold climate, you need to harden them off by lowering the temp they are used to in the brooder everyday a couple of degrees until you are near the outside temps. Even in mild climates, generally people wait until the end of the third week, or longer, when they are more feathered.
  3. AkChris

    AkChris Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2014
    SE Alaska
    You could also try putting them outside just during the day. I sometimes do this with my younger chicks. Gives them a bit more room to spread out during the day and helps them adjust to being out. You'll still want a light on them in the outside run but they should do ok. Then when the temps drop in the evening bring them back inside to stay warmer overnight. They might still be a bit crowded overnight but if you use a red heat lamp and otherwise keep it dark they will mostly hunker down and sleep until morning. So the lack of space won't bother them as much.
  4. RedemptionFarm

    RedemptionFarm Just Hatched

    Mar 9, 2017
    That is a great idea! Thanks!

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