How cold is too cold?

MontanaDolphin

Songster
6 Years
Feb 16, 2013
1,051
81
168
Columbia, Virginia
My first batch of barred rocks are 7 1/2 weeks old and fully feathered (I think). I have been putting them outside in their almost completed run for a few days from about 10 a.m. to sundown. Yesterday and the day before I couldn't because my 10 year old son had to have a colonoscopy so I had to focus on him, and I didn't want to put the chicks out in the run without me here since it's still got a couple of spots that a predator can get to them. My son is doing great (thank you Lord!) so I can start putting them back outside now. Problem is, when I was putting them out before, the temps were above 70, and as high as mid 80's. Today a cold front came through and we are currently at 50 degrees but the sun is shining (although it won't be till about 11 or 12 till the sun hits the run). We're supposed to get up to 63 today and 61 tomorrow. Tomorrow night and Monday night we're going to be dropping to the mid 30's.

How cold is too cold for them without a heat source? Is the temp right now too cold for them to be outside? And I am going to try to get my chicks out in the coop at night (the first try was a complete failure a few days ago...I could hear them "crying" all the way inside my house and I couldn't take it...I ended up going out there and bringing them back inside) but I cannot put a heat lamp out there. They have been without one inside their brooder for almost two weeks now, but my house never drops below 70 degrees. Will the near...and possibly freezing temps be too cold for them without heat? The coop floor measures 4 ft wide by 8 ft long, and I have one and a half bags of pine shavings on the floor. Should I wait until those 30 degree temps are over with before I try putting them out for the night again? Even afterwards the temps are supposed to drop down to the 40's, but at least that's not freezing.

Maybe I'm totally overthinking this, but some advice would be appreciated! Again, there's no way to put a heat lamp out there!
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
59,189
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southern Ohio
I think they should be totally feathered out by now. Can you put a nightlight in the coop for them? A red fluorescent lightbulb would be ideal if you have one to wean them off of light. They should be able to huddle together to keep warm in the coop.
 

MontanaDolphin

Songster
6 Years
Feb 16, 2013
1,051
81
168
Columbia, Virginia
There is no electricity out there, and I refuse to run an extension cord (it's too far, and even if I connected two cords, I'm petrified of fire and will not take the risk). I have a battery operated coleman lamp...not the big kind, it's small and can fit in your hand...that I can hang from the ceiling. It's got a white light though. They've been weaned off the light, but that first try out in the coop I had put it out there thinking that would help them but they cried anyway and I couldn't do it...my heart was being torn to shreds!

What about the temp today at 50 degrees? They ok to be put out in their run?
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,001
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
There is no electricity out there, and I refuse to run an extension cord (it's too far, and even if I connected two cords, I'm petrified of fire and will not take the risk). I have a battery operated coleman lamp...not the big kind, it's small and can fit in your hand...that I can hang from the ceiling. It's got a white light though. They've been weaned off the light, but that first try out in the coop I had put it out there thinking that would help them but they cried anyway and I couldn't do it...my heart was being torn to shreds!

What about the temp today at 50 degrees? They ok to be put out in their run?
I put my girls (ages 6.5 and 8 weeks) out of the house this weekend. The night time temp has gotten down to 27 degrees. I feel bad for them, but they were making my asthma kick up. They have screamed both nights until they settled down. They are in the same tractor that they have been in for the last 6 weeks. They have an end that is enclosed with cardboard, a heavy rug over the top of that end, the whole tractor wrapped in a tarp, (obviously with some open area for air exchange) and straw bales around the outside edges. When the weather warms up, I peel back the tarp. No heat lamp, just room to snuggle together in the enclosed end. I'd go ahead and put them in their run with temps in the 50's.
 

TwoCrows

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BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
47,959
107,291
1,712
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
50 degrees should be fine at their ages. They really should be outside at 7 1/2 weeks of age. A few years ago I had taken my 5 1/2 week old Australorps outside permenantly and a few nights later, the temp got down to 20 degrees! Yes, they were a bit cold, but none worse for the wear. I warmed them up in my jacket for a few minutes and that perked them up. They were fine and no damage done!
 

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