how old do chicks need to be to stand 50 degree weather at night

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jonara, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. jonara

    jonara Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 12, 2009
    Hi everyone..I'm a new baby chick owner [​IMG] I have searched and searched the net and can only find info stating that babies start out at needing 95 degrees and then can be taken down 5 degrees every week. then it says they can go outside (some say 1 month some say 2 months..or when they have all their feathers) in 'normal' weather.

    What is normal weather?

    I can only estimate how old my chickens are because I got them from two different people..mommas and brothers and sisters were eaten by pit bulls. From trying to remember when I was told about them..and comparing pictures online I estimate they are about 1 1/2 months old. I have one black one from a friend that is def a rooster, he's got the taller comb on his head and his tail feathers are already going out and curving down. Then the two others are tannish/yellowish and are from my sister. No comb other then small bumps on the head and straight tail feathers.

    One of the tannish ones is tiny though about half the size of it's sibling. I read about the stunted syndrome a little so realize it could be that and she may have a short life. She acts fine..normal..happy..eats sleeps poops and plays. But I worry about her needing it warmer then the others because she is smaller? She does seem to have a little more down still then the others..I think the rooster is all feathers now.

    I am also perplexed about this inbetween stage and how big they will get before I can move them. I have them in a 23 1/2x16x15 inch bird cage. They are okay for now because it's tall and they have two roosting bars. I take them outside at least once a day for an hour for dirt/sun bathing and bug hunts. I have them in my office w/ me and open the cage door when I'm in here so they can get out and walk around on the towels around the cage. So they get space off and on..but I'm worried they are going to outgrow it soon and that the bigger ones will be ready to go outside before the smaller one is. I will hate to have to separate her and leave her by herself [​IMG] Is that what I would have to do?

    I live on Maui..however I live up in Olinda...higher we are having 75 deg days and 51-53 at night. I have not lived up here for a winter yet but I've heard we will be in the 40's at night. The place I have for the chicks will not have electricity for a heat light.

    I would love some guidance on what they can handle. I'm wondering if I will need to build an inbetween sized cage for them that can sit in the carport so it will have access to electricity for a heat light.

    sorry for all the questions.

    Thanks for your help..I've really gotten a lot of good information off of this forum! jme [​IMG]
  2. Hens4Fun

    Hens4Fun Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2009
    Sacramento, California
    I'm no pro. But my chicks were 7 weeks when we started having temps in the 50's and lower. I have a heat lamp in the coop and it's about 5 feet above them. I think the temperature on the nights it's been in the 40's outside, the temperature in the coop when I looked was in the mid-50s. They would sleep on the ground at first in a close circle, but not on top of each other. One thing I made sure of though, was that they were fully feathered before I put them out in the coop. Now they are about 9 weeks and sleeping on the roosts side by side (which brings them closer to the heat) ...and now we've had nights in the high 30s recently (which means that the coop was into the 40s). When I go out in morn they are up and moving about on the ground without a care, not huddled in a mass, so I'm assuming they are fine.[​IMG] I wouldn't seperate your one .... she would cozy up to another to get warm if needed ... just be sure she is feathered.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  3. gkeesling

    gkeesling Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    I had my chicks in 40 degree weather when they were fully feathered and they did fine. I don't remember exactly, but I think it s 6 or 7 weeks.
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    My babies are 7 weeks old. I put them outside in an uninsulated coop at 6 weeks with a heat lamp. We had a bad storm come in with a foot of snow, followed by temps as low as 14 degrees. The heat lamp kept it above freezing inside the coop, but just barely. They were fine.

    So where you are, I wouldn't worry at all. If they are fully feathered, they'll be fine.
  5. Overeasyplz

    Overeasyplz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    Quote:This is a good thread! thanks for this story, if my eggs hatch I have a uninsuated coop they can go into with a heat lamp when they get 8 weeks old. Oh, what a relief! I was thinking they were gonna live in my laundry room till march or april....
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My chicks were handling the 50s at 5 1/2 weeks old. That's when we turned their heat lamp off for good.
  7. jonara

    jonara Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 12, 2009
    Sounds like they just might be okay out here then. we warm up in the day at least they don't have to be cold all day. I'd so much rather put my time/money into making the dog kennel on our property ready as their coop then having to do an in between one as well. We have a two sided chainlink dog kennel here w/ a roof and a cement base with a hose and spicket right next to it for easy cleaning out. I talked to our vet who has a dog kennel turned coop and he's got tarp around his to keep the wind and rain out (have a lot of that here on Maui) and then of course the nesting shelf and something to roost on.

    the smaller one looks like she has a lot of down still on her head and neck and's so fuzzy. I was reading that the eggs don't grow but stay viable for a while until the hen is broody and starts sitting on them and heating them they all hatch around the same time. before I read this I totally thought she was the last of the 6 eggs and was probably a week younger and that was why she was smaller. With her size and feathers..she looks at least couple of weeks behind the other one. I hope if she has that stunted growth syndrome that he feathers will actually all come in.

  8. jonara

    jonara Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 12, 2009
    Quote:haha! I'm glad it helped! I love my chickies in my office here w/ me..but it's really not gonna work much longer!
  9. Cornychick

    Cornychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2009
    Sebastian County, AR
  10. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Also, if you post a few pics of your new young ones, people can get a better idea of whether they appear to be "fully feathered out."

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