How long do I need heat for meat chicks?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by shadowfox, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. shadowfox

    shadowfox Songster

    Oct 22, 2016
    New Mexico
    My first batch of chicks, all hens for eggs, I raised indoors using the mamma heating pad method. They stayed in the house for 8 weeks. I'd like to raise meat birds, probably about 2 dozen, but I don't want to keep them in the house for 8 weeks. That's practically butcher time! And I don't have enough space. How long do CX chicks need to be under a heat lamp or heating pad? I'm thinking I'll raise them over the spring or summer when it warms up, that way I don't have to worry about heat quite as much. I currently don't have access to electricity outside, so that may be an issue.
    penny1960 and SongBaby33 like this.
  2. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land

    Dec 29, 2015
    Mossyrock, WA
    No worry about 2 dozen where you are should be fine they will huddle will they have any protection in a building or coop
    puffypoo and ChickNanny13 like this.
  3. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

    Jun 23, 2013
    The Big Island/Hawaii
    Thank you for having your location in your profile, saves from having to ask where you're located. It does get winding & chilly in NM but since you're using the MHP, one week in the house for observation then put them out in their coop. I used to raise in the house for 4wks :sick not anymore. Now I raise in a plastic bin with MHP in the house, potty pads floor covering for observation. Then they go outside with their MHP into the brooder I have in the patio until they're 8 - 12wks, then out to the Chicken House.

    From what I've read, when fully feathered they can be integrated into the flock or coop.
    penny1960 and puffypoo like this.
  4. Morrigan

    Morrigan Free Ranging

    Apr 9, 2014
    N. California
    I put mine straight in an outdoor shed with a heat light (at night) for the first week or so depending on weather. By day 10, I like to have them outside during the day, and back in the shed with no heat at night unless it is unseasonably cold (less than 50 degrees).

    I tried a huddle box with no heat last year, as we were in a heat wave (highs in the 90s and lows around 55-60) when the chicks arrived, but a couple didn't make it inside the box at night and I found them dead/dying the morning, so that was a one and done experiment.

    That said, they are very hardy birds that run hot, so you can turn off the heat much earlier then you think.
    ChickNanny13 likes this.
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Free Ranging

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I got 15, and found they were a hot bird, and grow at an incredible rate. Mine were in the coop in a week with a wooly hens, and did fine. I got mine in the early spring, as I wanted to butcher before the flies were out.

    I think heat would be more of a problem than cold. Our temperatures were around freezing at night, 50 during the days.

    Mrs K
    123RedBeard and ChickNanny13 like this.
  6. ourltlflock

    ourltlflock Songster

    Jan 2, 2014
    Las Vegas
    After 10 days to 2 weeks they don't really need a heat lamp. I had a 3 sided shelter for mine with deep straw, they were fine. In Las Vegas.
  7. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Crowing

    Oct 20, 2014
    Which state?

    What month?



    As mentioned above ... too high a heat is a problem ... depending on where you live in NM ... there are drastic temperature differences ... under 80 would be ideal.
  8. ourltlflock

    ourltlflock Songster

    Jan 2, 2014
    Las Vegas
    In Nevada. I do fall chicks in october/November. Or spring chicks going outside by March first, or the week after.

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