How long do we keep chicks with heat?

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
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South Park, Colorado, USA
101a2531f3f85260b50fdaa142040d18.jpg
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,838
21,950
907
Southeast Louisiana
What kind of conditions will they be in? Will they be in a climate controlled area with a steady temperature? If so, what temperature? Will they be outside with huge temperature swings? If so, what are those temperatures, high and low?

I assume they are in a brooder and not with a broody hen. How big is the brooder? Is it set up so there are cooler spaces in it? Too much heat can be as dangerous as too little. The ideal brooder has one area warm enough but the far reaches should be cooler so they can find their comfort zone. The temperatures in that chart above are fine for the warm spot but it works a lot better if there are also cooler spots.

So tell us a bit about how you are set up and what is going on.
 

Amber.charlie

Chirping
Mar 20, 2018
65
54
73
Dorset, UK
They are 6 weeks old, almost fully feathered. And they are in our brick outhouse. It’s not actually heated in there although, it’s warmer than a garage or shed.
They are in a chicken arc at the moment they’ve outgrown the brooder. They are partially covered over throughout the night and have a heat lamp on through the cooler parts of the day and all night.
We’ve not had them from hatch... we rehomed them when they were 4 weeks old. And have no experience in chick- we have fully grown chickens ( but obviously they are completely different)
I’ve noticed the last few mornings I’ve gone out to them that they aren’t under the heat at all. And they are rarely under it throughout the day when it’s on too. So unsure whether they actually still need it on?
 

Amber.charlie

Chirping
Mar 20, 2018
65
54
73
Dorset, UK
mine are a month old and i took the heat lamp away but mine are in the garage
Ours are in an outhouse. And are 6 weeks. So is it ok to take the heat away? They don’t seem to be huddling under it anymore. So I’m assuming they have decided they no longer need it? But I’m anxious to turn it off.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,838
21,950
907
Southeast Louisiana
You still did not give what kind of temperatures you are working with. That could be an important detail. You might modify your profile to show your rough location, that can help a lot with questions like this.

for what it is worth I've had chicks go through nights in the mid 20's F when they were younger than yours. No supplemental heat, great ventilation up high, great breeze protection down low where they were, and they had been exposed to colder temperatures so they were acclimated some. Without knowing a bit about what you are dealing with I'm hesitant to say they don't need it but I think that is what they are trying to tell you by not being under it.

At the least turn it off during the day and observe them. If they are cold they will let you know. As long as they can get away from the heat it will not hurt them to have it in but I think you are wasting money for electricity you don't need.
 

Amber.charlie

Chirping
Mar 20, 2018
65
54
73
Dorset, UK
It’s been between 46 F and 50F Without the heat lamp on. With no draft either.
There little house is plenty big enough for them to get right away for the heat which seems to be what they are trying to do at the moment.
I’ll try Turing it off throughout the days first and see if I hear any complaints, before I turn it off completely.
I’ll amend my profile. I’ve only just joined, so wasn’t aware you could do that. Thank you. ☺️
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,838
21,950
907
Southeast Louisiana
With your number of posts I did not notice how new you were. Definitely welcome to the forum. Glad to see you joining in as much as you are.

With those temperatures and at that age and having been exposed to those temperatures plus no breeze I'd expect them to be fine with no heat at all. But i don't blame you for being a bit cautious. If you ever get the chance to see a broody hen raise chicks you'll have a new appreciation fro how tough they really are.
 

Morrigan

Free Ranging
7 Years
Apr 9, 2014
3,046
12,154
692
N. California
A couple of years ago, I had 4 chicks in a outside brooder. Well ventilated, not drafty. I turned off their heat lamp completely when they were 10 days old, and I was in a mini-heat wave, with daytime temps in the 90s, and lows in the 70s. When they were 2 to 3 weeks old, the heat wave had dissipated and the lows were in the mid-50s. By week 4, the lows were in the low 40s. As the temperatures dropped, I would go out with a flashlight checking on them to make sure they weren't distressed -- they weren't. I think the key was the the temperatures dropped gradually enough from day 10 to week 4, so that the chicks had time to adapt to it.

One thing I have learned by watching broody hens raise chicks, is that chicks are a lot tougher then they look. At a few days old, they will be out running around the yard in 50 degree temperatures, only returning occasionally for a warm up under Mom.
 

MANNA-PRO

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