How many weeks old before chicks go outdoors w/heat lamp?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by QChickieMama, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. QChickieMama

    QChickieMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    312
    2
    136
    Oct 1, 2011
    I've forgotten how to do this young chick gig. Can I put a 3 week old set of chicks outdoors in the winter (in mid-NC) with a light bulb and 2 sides of tarp to shelter?
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    14,271
    4,185
    456
    Jan 10, 2013
    Macon,GA
    Personally, I would wait til they are fully feathered about 5 - 6 weeks. When you do, make sure the heat lamp is secured well to avoid a fire issue and give them room to get away from it…just like you probably have been doing thus far.
     
  3. QChickieMama

    QChickieMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    312
    2
    136
    Oct 1, 2011
    So, about a month in the garage in a brooder. I think I can handle that.

    Thanks!
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,451
    3,545
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'd put them out. At 3 weeks they'd be out from under momma hen all day long, pretty much only going back under at night. Make sure the heat lamp is low enough they're nice and toasty underneath. I don't know about the 2-sided tarp, though...is it enough of a wind break? As long as they're dry and out of the wind, they should be fine. As long as they have access to a warm spot, they can be in ambient temp that's quite cold.
     
  5. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

    5,000
    1,199
    366
    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    I use a plastic tote or a barrel(cut in half) turned upside down with a door cut in it. I "did" add a light(for heat) securely attached in the top/back 1/3rd. This gives them a secure place and keeps the wind blocked off them. I use what size wattage bulb I feel they need and some bedding.

    Now I add 2 lights, with two cords so if its not going to be real cold---I just plug in one light, if its going to be real cold I plug in 2----this also helps if one bulb was to blow during a really cold night. Always remember that CF bulbs put out very little heat and are easy to break, then they become very dangerous so don't use them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2014
  6. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,401
    172
    143
    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    You can put them outside at any age as long as they have heat & shelter.
    I brood my chicks in wire bottom cages in low as 30* temps. (rarely gets any colder where I live) I don't use a huge bulb to heat the whole cage and lower the temp 1* each day or how ever "they say" to do it.
    I put a piece of cardboard under the light for them to stand on so they won't get cold from underneath and use a 60w bulb about 6" off the floor. If they pile up and cheep that means they're cold so I lower to bulb an inch or so. If they scatter all over the place that means they're hot so I raise the bulb an inch or so. When they in a loose little circle under the bulb that means they're just right. This will work for about 20 chicks.
    I use at least 2 lights in case one of them blows. Use a good quality bulb, not the cheap value pack bulbs from the dollar store that have a short life span.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by