How hot is to hot?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tomphot, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. tomphot

    tomphot Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm getting my first shipment of baby chicks next week. My plans are for the brooder to be in the unoccupied garage for the first week so we can keep a close eye on them. I live in Atlanta, @ 9:30 pm, it's 87deg out there - hit a peak of 95 today. Should I reconsider my plans or is this ok?
  2. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Day old chicks need that near 100° temp, and they can handle it for quite a time even though most people taper them off 5° a week... So no worries about the keeping them in the garage to be brooded, especially if you open up the windows and provide ventilation and sufficient water supply... As long as they are out of the sun or not confined to a stuffy hot coop they can handle the 95° temps even as adults just fine even though they might not always like it... Just make sure they have plenty of water...
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2016
  3. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    And you probably won't need any additional heat. Yes, I know what the guidelines say, 95F the first week. But most chicks don't need it that hot. So try them without the extra heat first.

    The reason I'm cautioning you to try it without extra heat is because chicks get into more trouble with too much heat than with too little. If you have a heat lamp on them when the ambient temp is already hot, there won't be any way for the chicks to shed excess heat. Therefore, there is more danger of them overheating if you add a heat lamp.

    If the chicks aren't warm enough, they will make an awful racket and will be piling in a close huddle. As long as they're running around, they are fine.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Broody hens regularly raise chicks in those kinds of temperatures. They can handle that kind of heat but if it gets much warmer than 95 they definitely need plenty of water. Too hot is more dangerous than too cool. Make sure your brooder is not in front of a window that lets direct sunlight in to heat them up.

    If you provide a heat source of any type, I strongly suggest you make that brooder really big so they can get away from the heat if they need to. Give it lots of ventilation, like keep the top wide open. Some side ventilation would be good too.

    I don’t believe in those guidelines either. They are intended to be supersafe. If you follow them the chicks will be absolutely safe even if you have a lousy brooder. But broody hens don’t follow them. The chicks can handle lower temperatures, especially after a very few days. I agree the first couple of days are more critical.

    My main suggestion is to watch the chicks and see what they tell you. If you provide a heat source and they crowd the heated area and give a plaintive peep, they are cold. If they get as far from the heat as they can, they are too warm. If they are kind of spread out, they are doing great. I don’t know how cold that garage gets at night, probably not very. You can provide a low wattage heat source at night and see where they sleep, but don’t cook them during the day. You can probably turn the heat off after it warms up just a little bit if you even need the heat at night.

    I once raised chicks in my brooder in the coop during a heat wave. Daytime temperatures were over 100, nighttime lows were in the 80’s. My elevated brooder was built out of wire, even the floor. I used a low wattage bulb, can’t remember the exact wattage, and turned that off at day 2 during the day. I turned it off at day 5 for overnight heat. Even in the coolest part of the morning they were lined the far reaches of that 3’ x 6’ brooder. Looking back on it, I could have turned the heat off even sooner, especially during the day, but sometimes you have to experience it to be comfortable.
  5. azjustin

    azjustin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    We haven't turned on supplemental heat for about 2 months now, even for the 1 day olds. Our temps are higher with less humidity but pretty close to yours. The brooding area is in an insulated shop, much like a garage.

    As long as there is enough of them, they will crowd for heat if necessary. Chances are they will crowd anyways until they figure out what temp they like, ours always do the first day even if it's 95 degrees in the shop. I try to keep it at 80-90 and this seems to work out pretty good for anyone 1 day to 2 weeks old before they hit the great outdoors.

    Make sure you show them the water first thing out of the box. They won't know what it is or where it is if you don't show them. Once one gets it, the rest will follow suite. Again, show them the water as they won't survive long in those temps without it.

    If you don't have any supplemental cooling, moving the air around will help if it gets too hot and everyone is panting with their wings up.

    To answer your original question: You'll be OK!
  6. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Moving air really does not help chickens cool off much unless it's ruffling their feathers as they lack the ability to sweat, but it can take the stuffiness out of the area... They instead pant to cool down instead...
  7. tomphot

    tomphot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks all - the chicks are shipping today, I should have them Tues or Wed. The garage temps have been mid 90's during the day, dropping to low 80's at night. I'm going to use the heating pad method for heat should they need it, it will also make it much easier to get away from it should they want. I'm going to move them to the coop after the first week or so, pretty much the same temps out there.
  8. Adb4090

    Adb4090 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 13, 2016
    Pace, Florida
    Great post just what I was looking for!

    I'm expecting 15 baby chicks tomorrow. Where I live is extremely hot and humid this time of year, too. The Florida panhandle. I also plan to keep the chickens in my garage until I am sure the coop and run are secure from the foxes. The garage stays between 95 during the day and 85 at night. I was thinking about placing an ice pack on the floor for them to stand on, what do you think? and maybe frozen treats after a few days?

    Thanks for the great advice all!

  9. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    Where i live it gets to 110 degrees outside. What i do is wrap the entire run with shade cloth. 98% Then inside their run they have their own box fan. And last they have a personal mister. The mister plus the fan acts as a cooler. Their run is also under a shade tree. Hope this helps for when your girls get older .This really helps beat the heat! Of course you wouldnt want to do this until they are older. Mine were hatched April 11 2016. They stay cool now due to my set up.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  10. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    On extremely hot days, I give my chickens a big ice block with canned corn frozen inside. They peck away at it all day long working their way to the corn, and they end up drinking the cold melt water. It entertains as it cools them.

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