Heat for chicken tractor

Darlene30683

In the Brooder
Oct 7, 2020
21
9
13
I have ten, ISA Brown chicks, one week old. They are currently in a box inside our house. (I'm only going to keep four of them.) My husband is making a chicken tractor and we're trying to decide on a good heat source when needed. The nest box and roost, will be enclosed above a wire pen. What type of heat do you suggest? We live in Northeast Georgia, so it doesn't get below zero here, but temperature in the teens for a few days is not uncommon. These babies really like to stay warm. It's going to be hard to get them adjusted to outside, especially this time of year.

I tried to add a couple of short videos showing them on their little swing and playing in the garden, but the mp4 format is not supported.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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NY Southern Tier
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I have ten, ISA Brown chicks, one week old. They are currently in a box inside our house. (I'm only going to keep four of them.) My husband is making a chicken tractor and we're trying to decide on a good heat source when needed. The nest box and roost, will be enclosed above a wire pen. What type of heat do you suggest? We live in Northeast Georgia, so it doesn't get below zero here, but temperature in the teens for a few days is not uncommon. These babies really like to stay warm. It's going to be hard to get them adjusted to outside, especially this time of year.

I tried to add a couple of short videos showing them on their little swing and playing in the garden, but the mp4 format is not supported.
Babies do need supplemental heat.
Adults do not.
You need absolutely no supplemental heat in Georgia when the flock is fully feathered!
If you are planning to finish brooding them in the tractor, use a brooder plate.
My flock lives in an uninsulated very well ventilated coop and have experienced temps as low as -23F. They are all fine.
 

Darlene30683

In the Brooder
Oct 7, 2020
21
9
13
Currently using a heat lamp above their box and also a pet heating pad. The temperature stays about 85°F to 90°F depending on which end of the box you are checking. I'll be taking the heating pad out today.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
24,466
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NY Southern Tier
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Currently using a heat lamp above their box and also a pet heating pad. The temperature stays about 85°F to 90°F depending on which end of the box you are checking. I'll be taking the heating pad out today.
It would be ideal if one end of the box was closer to 70°F. They need a cool spot. Brooder plates are safer, replicate natural chick heating better and practically eliminate pasty butt from occurring.
I've brooded chicks outside in a built-in brooder in below freezing temps with a brooder plate. The chicks thrive in all the fresh air and just dart under the plate when they want to warm up.
 

Darlene30683

In the Brooder
Oct 7, 2020
21
9
13
It would be ideal if one end of the box was closer to 70°F. They need a cool spot. Brooder plates are safer, replicate natural chick heating better and practically eliminate pasty butt from occurring.
I've brooded chicks outside in a built-in brooder in below freezing temps with a brooder plate. The chicks thrive in all the fresh air and just dart under the plate when they want to warm up.
Is it important to change the temperature gradually? If so, how should I go about it?
 

svh

Songster
Dec 24, 2019
298
1,685
196
Mid Missouri
I put out 10 - 3 1/2 week old chicks, with a brooder plate, in the big girls run, with temps of 60s at night, and 70s during the day.

Within a week or two, I removed the plate, and they are thriving.

They are almost 10 weeks now, and have been integrated with the hens for almost 5 weeks now .....
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
24,466
186,228
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NY Southern Tier
My Coop
Is it important to change the temperature gradually? If so, how should I go about it?
You want one end of the brooder warm and the other end cool. This is nearly impossible to accomplish in small solid sided brooders.
Aim the lamp to one end only and keep the food and water at the opposite end. Watch the behaviors of the chicks. If they are active and happily zipping around and peeping, you've got the temp right. You raise the heat source to cool the warm spot.
If they are trying to get as far away from the heat as possible and lethargic with their wings out from their bodies they are hot.
If they are huddled together peeping loudly, they are cold.
 

Darlene30683

In the Brooder
Oct 7, 2020
21
9
13
You want one end of the brooder warm and the other end cool. This is nearly impossible to accomplish in small solid sided brooders.
Aim the lamp to one end only and keep the food and water at the opposite end. Watch the behaviors of the chicks. If they are active and happily zipping around and peeping, you've got the temp right. You raise the heat source to cool the warm spot.
If they are trying to get as far away from the heat as possible and lethargic with their wings out from their bodies they are hot.
If they are huddled together peeping loudly, they are cold.
You want one end of the brooder warm and the other end cool. This is nearly impossible to accomplish in small solid sided brooders.
Aim the lamp to one end only and keep the food and water at the opposite end. Watch the behaviors of the chicks. If they are active and happily zipping around and peeping, you've got the temp right. You raise the heat source to cool the warm spot.
If they are trying to get as far away from the heat as possible and lethargic with their wings out from their bodies they are hot.
If they are huddled together peeping loudly, they are cold.
Maybe I can attach a single photo. You can see one is on the swing, some are down on the heating pad, some are at the cooler end near the feed and water. Several like the rolled-up towel. Overall, they seem fine right now. It's just getting them adjusted to outside that concerns me.
 

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DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
24,466
186,228
1,592
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
Maybe I can attach a single photo. You can see one is on the swing, some are down on the heating pad, some are at the cooler end near the feed and water. Several like the rolled-up towel. Overall, they seem fine right now. It's just getting them adjusted to outside that concerns me.
How close is their coop to being ready for them?
They are going to need a bigger brooder very soon. If you can move them to their permanent coop with a brooder plate, that would be ideal.
 

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