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Heating Baby Chicks in Summer

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Grace Berestecky, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. Grace Berestecky

    Grace Berestecky Hatching

    Jun 11, 2017
    Hi, I'm new to BYC and my name is Grace and my mom's name is Suzanne. We decided we wanted to raise chickens in our backyard. We just ordered today our baby chicks, five of them. Unfortunately, our coop we ordered can only hold up to 4 chickens, so we will have to give one up, unless one dies during the travel process. We ordered an Easter Egger, a White Maran, a Buff Brahma Bantam, a Golden Laced Wyandotte, and a Barred Plymouth Rock. We are getting our baby chicks in the mail July 17th or the 18th. I've been researching a lot about how to raise baby chicks, and read that you have to use a heating lamp 24/7 starting at 90 degrees the first two weeks and then reducing the temperature by 5 degrees each week until the chicks are about 5 weeks old or until the temperature is at 70 degrees. The only thing I'm wondering about is do I still need to keep the heating lamp on even if it is 80 degrees outside? Please let me know what I should do! Thanks!!

  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    For the first 3-4 days of a chick's life I leave the heat source on all the time. Thereafter, I turn the source off once the ambient temperature warms up, and only turn it on again, once it cools down, towards evening. Monitoring chick behaviour will let you know if they are too cool - they will huddle together and chirp a lot. Too warm, and they will avoid the heat source and possibly show signs of panting.
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Free Ranging

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Hi :frow Welcome To BYC

    Brooding your chicks directly in the coop is the way to go. Consider using something like the Mama Heating Pad (MHP) - this is a DIY heating system that works well. This gives one warm spot for chicks to get under at will and if your coop is very small, it's a little safer than a heat lamp.

    I have brooded chicks in July with a heating lamp in the coop, but MHP, imho is better.
    Warm days - your chicks will most likely not use the heat, but nighttime they will need some warmth.

    As @CTKen mentions, observing your chick behavior is the best gauge as how much heat your chicks need.

    fwiw - coop space for grown large fowl is best at 4sq. ft. per bird and run space is best at 10 sq.ft. per bird.

    Good luck with your babies!
    NorthTexasWink likes this.
  4. debid

    debid Crowing

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    I second the mama heating pad. I had all kinds of trouble trying to avoid overheating the little coop when it was warm out. I used a 100W bulb in a brooder fixture and it was still too much in a 3'x3' space. So, I did unplug whenever I saw them avoiding the light and still panting. That also meant remembering to turn it back on later.

    For this spring's batch, I built a MHP and never had to worry about over or under heating. SO MUCH EASIER being able to use the same setup for nights in the teens and days in the 80's.
    NorthTexasWink and Wyorp Rock like this.
  5. jeria

    jeria Songster

    May 5, 2017
    Independence MO
    You mentioned 80 outside. Are the chicks inside in the AC like mine are? my basement runs about 70 when the main floor is 74. It was 95 yesterday, my chicks heat lamp was on doesn't matter what the outside temp is. Also a newbie.
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I also agree with the many benefits of the heating pad system. It is superior to a heat lamp, and would especially excel in the summer. As important as it is to keep chicks warm enough, it's even more important to NOT overheat them. In a summer heat wave, it's very possible to overheat chicks, even without a heat lamp, which can lead to death. I would go with a heating pad cave, and brood them in the coop. i'm concerned regarding your coop. If you have ordered a pre-fab coop and are following the manufacturer's recommendations for square footage for your flock, I want to warn you that most manufacturers grossly misrepresent their products. The general recommendation is for 4 sq. ft. in the coop and 10 sq. ft. in ther run per bird.
  7. Grace Berestecky

    Grace Berestecky Hatching

    Jun 11, 2017
    @jeria , My chicks are going to be in my shed outside in a large bin until they are ready to go into the coop. But, I have been getting suggestions that I should put my chicks in the coop when I get them and use a MHP.

  8. Grace Berestecky

    Grace Berestecky Hatching

    Jun 11, 2017
    @lazy gardener , My coop is the Eglu Go Up Chicken Coop with a 3 meter run. Now that you said I need about 4 square feet per chicken in the actual coop itself, without the run, I am starting to wonder if my coop is too small. I hope it won't be too big of an issue. The run may be a little cramped also for 4 chickens, but we are going to let them free range in our backyard during the day while we are home. Please give me anymore advice!
  9. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Must hatch more Premium Member Project Manager

    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    Not having enough room can cause all kinds of problems.
    Could you possible add on to your store bought coop?
  10. jeria

    jeria Songster

    May 5, 2017
    Independence MO
    With you saying outside temp, that had me concerned that the chicks were inside in the AC. Next time I will probably use a MHP set up, even though on here somehow I missed that option. My brooder box is now pulled further away from the lamp and babies are doing well. Instead of raising the lamp I'm scooching a bit further away, paying more attention to behavior than the temps.

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