Hot weather for baby chicks?

karabeth05

In the Brooder
Jun 3, 2020
31
34
41
There's a lot of talk about cold weather for chicks, but it's hot here so I'm wondering when the chicks will be ok outside here. We've taken them out to play and noticed them panting some so I am curious about overheating. Temps are supposed to be in the high 90's and up to 100F this week and for the foreseeable future (lows around 70F). Their coop has a raised house with windows and a covered fenced area. We have Easter Eggers and I think they'll be a week old on Tuesday (we got them at the feed store on Wednesday, the day they came in).

I've been keeping them in a non-air conditioned room with a heat lamp on and adjusting the height of the lamp to try and keep it from getting too hot. I've noticed they've been on the far side of the bin and all spread out so I tried turning the lamp off and without it the temp is around 85. Will that work for during the day and just use the lamp at night? Or should I move their bin to an air conditioned room so I can keep the lamp on them?
 

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rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
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I'd keep them out of AC'd rooms but would also turn off the heat during the day, so they don't overheat. Just remember to turn it back on at night if temperatures start dropping. Also might want to reduce wattage of bulb (not sure what you have, but 250W would be way too much).

With that coop, I would absolutely remove most of the wall facing into the run space and replace it with wire. You need to maximize ventilation in hot climates.
 

karabeth05

In the Brooder
Jun 3, 2020
31
34
41
I'd keep them out of AC'd rooms but would also turn off the heat during the day, so they don't overheat. Just remember to turn it back on at night if temperatures start dropping. Also might want to reduce wattage of bulb (not sure what you have, but 250W would be way too much).

With that coop, I would absolutely remove most of the wall facing into the run space and replace it with wire. You need to maximize ventilation in hot climates.

Thank you for the advice! Do you think replace it with just wire or make it with a sliding door to cover the wire in the winter? The window you see on the side opens and leaves a wire covered opening and there is a small sliding door one on the opposite side as well.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,750
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Do you think replace it with just wire or make it with a sliding door to cover the wire in the winter?

Depends on how cold your winters get. In most cases having it open with just wire should be fine, but if you get very cold winters (below freezing), and/or have breeds more sensitive to cold, covering it partially in winter may be necessary.

Ventilation in winter is just as important as in summer, so don't be tempted to shut everything closed.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
6,239
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596
USA
I've noticed they've been on the far side of the bin and all spread out so I tried turning the lamp off and without it the temp is around 85. Will that work for during the day and just use the lamp at night?

For the way they were acting, they were definitely too hot. If they seem comfortable with the lamp off, then they are fine, no matter what the thermometer says. If they huddle and peep loudly, then try turning it back on. I think you're right that they might need the light at night for a bit longer (although they will tell you, by their behavior.)

If you can manage it, a much longer brooder would make your life easier. Then you could leave the heat lamp on at one end, and have the other end be at room temperature, and the chicks could just run back and forth between day and night. I've used a brooder space 6 feet long sometimes, and it's really nice! Just put feed and water at both ends and you're set for any kind of weather changes.
 

karabeth05

In the Brooder
Jun 3, 2020
31
34
41
Depends on how cold your winters get. In most cases having it open with just wire should be fine, but if you get very cold winters (below freezing), and/or have breeds more sensitive to cold, covering it partially in winter may be necessary.

Ventilation in winter is just as important as in summer, so don't be tempted to shut everything closed.

That's a good point, and with the roof over top and the wire up high leaving it open would be safe and protected. Worst case I can cover it if we have a cold snap coming. Our winters are generally pretty mild but do usually have a few hard freezes.
 

karabeth05

In the Brooder
Jun 3, 2020
31
34
41
For the way they were acting, they were definitely too hot. If they seem comfortable with the lamp off, then they are fine, no matter what the thermometer says. If they huddle and peep loudly, then try turning it back on. I think you're right that they might need the light at night for a bit longer (although they will tell you, by their behavior.)

If you can manage it, a much longer brooder would make your life easier. Then you could leave the heat lamp on at one end, and have the other end be at room temperature, and the chicks could just run back and forth between day and night. I've used a brooder space 6 feet long sometimes, and it's really nice! Just put feed and water at both ends and you're set for any kind of weather changes.

Yeah I've read that you can gauge how they're doing by behavior, but I'm just not that confident yet 😬 haha The long brooder does sound like a good idea, unfortunately I won't be able to do that this time around but I will keep it in mind for possible future babies. Especially since the weather here likes to do crazy things.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
6,239
11,950
596
USA
Yeah I've read that you can gauge how they're doing by behavior, but I'm just not that confident yet 😬 haha The long brooder does sound like a good idea, unfortunately I won't be able to do that this time around but I will keep it in mind for possible future babies. Especially since the weather here likes to do crazy things.

The chicks are more accurate than a thermometer for knowing when they're comfortable :) And you correctly identified that they were hot--so I think you will also recognize if they get uncomfortably cold.

Our winters are generally pretty mild but do usually have a few hard freezes.

A few hard freezes won't hurt most adult chickens, as long as you don't have a lot of wind blowing directly on them at the same time.
 

j1lly99

Chirping
May 13, 2020
40
124
89
Hurst, Texas (North/Central Texas)
There's a lot of talk about cold weather for chicks, but it's hot here so I'm wondering when the chicks will be ok outside here. We've taken them out to play and noticed them panting some so I am curious about overheating. Temps are supposed to be in the high 90's and up to 100F this week and for the foreseeable future (lows around 70F). Their coop has a raised house with windows and a covered fenced area. We have Easter Eggers and I think they'll be a week old on Tuesday (we got them at the feed store on Wednesday, the day they came in).

I've been keeping them in a non-air conditioned room with a heat lamp on and adjusting the height of the lamp to try and keep it from getting too hot. I've noticed they've been on the far side of the bin and all spread out so I tried turning the lamp off and without it the temp is around 85. Will that work for during the day and just use the lamp at night? Or should I move their bin to an air conditioned room so I can keep the lamp on them?
My chicks (2weeks old) are brooding outside. It is high 70s low 80s at night and high 90s during the day. I had the heating pad I the first week and after day 3, they stayed away from it and were perfectly fine. They are going out with the automatic door opener at 630am-ish. I have a fully enclosed run for them and they have loved it. They don't want to go in at night but they do. Listen to them and your gut.
 

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