Girls almost ready to go out to the coop but it's SOOO hot!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by nharbison0722, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. nharbison0722

    nharbison0722 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2016
    Hi friends!
    As I've stated before, I'm a complete newbie chicken daddy. I have 4 RIR's and two Cukoo Murans. They are reaching the 3 week mark and coming along nicely. I've got them in a huge dog kennel wrapped in hardware cloth with a heat lamp that I've now got down to about 86f. The coop that I have has two vented Windows, basically just two vents and one window that won't open. I am in the process of building a 20ft chicken run that will attach to their chicken tractor. My question is whether or not they are going to have problems adjusting to the 90+ degree weather here in central Texas. Yesterday it was 94, with a heat index of 101! My run has no shade, unless I build something into it to provide shade. I could move the whole thing under the trees in our backyard, but I'm not sure if I did that that I would be in compliance with the 50ft city ordinance. Any ideas? All ideas and help would be greatly appreciated, as I want to do the right thing for my girls!
    Thanks again and here's a pic of the tractor. I plan on building the run straight off the front of the coop, giving them plenty of room to run and play!
  2. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Queen of the Coop

    Mar 3, 2015
    I would try and put something in the run area for shade, also always make sure that their water supply if fresh and cold. You also try putting frozen treats (homemade or cold fruit) into the run area for them to enjoy. Good luck with your transitioning!
  3. nharbison0722

    nharbison0722 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2016
    Thanks for the advice- I think I'm gonna try to get them
    Under some trees if I can. Should I take them out little by little to get acclimated?
  4. caj1985

    caj1985 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2012
    Ratcliff, AR
    Summer heat can really be an issue with those of us that live in the South. I would definitely put up a tarp or something to provide sufficient shade. Shallow pans of water that the birds can wade in when older will also help. At 3 weeks of age, I would be more concerned with how cold it gets at night. I know here in AR we are still getting down to 65 or so at night (or were as of last week.)

    I never had a young one suffer from heat. I would say you definitely do not need a heat lamp during the day, but will need an area where they can get out of the sun. From the looks of your coop, you will have a problem with babies getting out the ramp and not being able to figure out how to get back. I always had to put them in by hand at night. You definitely want to keep them in a confined area at that age if they aren't being raised by a broody. After they have been confined to the coop and run area for a couple of weeks, they will put themselves "to bed" in the coop at dusk.

    Good luck.
  5. nharbison0722

    nharbison0722 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2016
    Thanks! That's really great advice and I appreciate it. I am working on building their run so that they will also have more space as well as those coop. Thanks for the advice again!!!
  6. nharbison0722

    nharbison0722 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2016
    Should I start to acclimate them to being outside by taking them out every day for "field trips"? Also, how do they adjust going from having a heat lamp and light 24/7 to the darkness of night time?
    Thanks everyone! Everyone here is so kind and helpful. I'm so super glad I found this site!!! :)
  7. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    We've been having high 90s here in MO lately. I move my chicks outside to the grow-out coop when they're a few weeks old. It is in partial shade most of the day, although there is a single clear corrugated panel in the roof to provide light and sun-bathing opportunities. I had been changing out their water for fresh and cool, but I did lose one chick to the heat on the day we matched a record high. The next day I installed a small high-velocity fan in the coop. I also froze water in plastic butter tubs and added the ice along with lemon slices to their waterers. Everyone is a lot more comfortable...the chicks stand in front of the fan when they get hot and no one is panting anymore. If it gets any hotter, I'm going to feeze water in 2L soda bottles to put near the fan for "air-conditioning".

    My older chicks and pullets get to free-range outside their pens and have lots of spots of shade. Plus, since the ducklings and goslings are in the same area, I have shallow vessels of water all over the place. I thought about getting one of those misting systems for them, but they seem to be doing fine as is.
  8. limited25

    limited25 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2016
    Have 5 four week old chicks in a 10x10 dog pen covered with hardware cloth (top also). We also covered the top with a tarp. They have a little coop in there that they will outgrow. It was 94 today with a heat index of 104 ... they are in the shade and have a mister connected to a hose that they can run through. Today is the first time they have eaten anything different than crumbles ... gave them a slice of watermelon. At first they ignored it but a few hours later they were all happily gobbling it down. Also gave them a little chick grit.

    Others have given you excellent advise ... and yeah, they would probably love "field trips" ... just make sure hawks and such cannot get to them.
  9. saulsx

    saulsx Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 7, 2016
    Good advice so far.

    We have 4 RIRs that are about 4 weeks old. We've been taking them outside and putting them in a temporary pen me and the kids made out of hardware cloth and metal posts for about a week now. Had to build a more secure pen since our first one was basically a cage turned upside down and weighted down, and our own dog, who busted his collar and got off his leash, managed to tear it up in no time. They go into their box, which is in the laundry room attached to the house, at night and will move into their tractor/portable coop next week. The chicks seem to be doing well with their "play time", scratching around in the grass, trying to figure out the whole roosting thing, and taking dirt baths. Usually leave them out for most of the day.

    Been getting in the mid-to-high 90s here lately. We cover the top of the pen with hardware cloth for protection from predators (lots of hawks around here) and throw on a piece of scrap board for shade. Part of the pen is exposed to sunlight. We put a frozen watermelon slice in the pen for them. They take turns sitting on it and pecking at it 'til it's mostly gone. The rind goes in the compost pile and a new slice goes in the pen. Change out the water periodically so it's fresh and cool, adding a few ice cubes if needed, and also put a second water dish (a small tray) on the ground with some frozen corn and frozen berries in it. They haven't waded in it, yet, but it's loads of fun watching them fight over the treats. We did the frozen bottle of water, too, when we saw a couple of the chicks panting one day, but just sat it on the ground under the shaded part of the pen. They kind of huddled up next to it for a short while then got back to scratching and eating.

    Our tractor looks similar to yours, but we're fencing off that back part that's underneath the coop, where the wheels are, so they'll have a little more room and some shade when they're ready to go into it full-time. And we have plenty of tarps on hand if one needs to go over the run for extra shade.

    Not sure about the heat lamp/light since we haven't been using one at night.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by