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How old should they be????

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by beebiz, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. beebiz

    beebiz Chillin' With My Peeps

    167
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    Jul 2, 2007
    W. Tennessee
    Unless something happens, I will be ording 25 Dark Cornish cockerels (NOT the Cornish X) next week. I've never had baby chicks in the fall or winter months before. I've always had them in the spring.

    Knowing that these guys will need a source of heat for a while, and knowing that it will only be a few more weeks before we start having night temps down in the 30's, I'm concerned. The breed description says that they handle the cold temps well. But, common sense tells me that this means the adults.

    So, here's my question. How old should these Dark Cornish be before they are able to go to their outside coop here in northern West Tennessee without having to have artificial heat?

    Thanks in advance for any input you have.

    Robert
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Usually once they are fully feathered they can join the adults without heat. Since it will be cold winter rather than spring, I say 10 weeks to be safe safe. It gets to the 40's at night here now... and my chicks get a 40W on a dimmer at 5 weeks... It's on about half way... so probably about 30W equivalent since light you see and energy required is not a linear relationship. Oh... 16 share this light too.
     
  3. beebiz

    beebiz Chillin' With My Peeps

    167
    1
    131
    Jul 2, 2007
    W. Tennessee
    Thanks for the info, silkiechicken. I had figured that they needed to be fully feathered out in order to protect themselves from the cold. Here, we usually don't get much really bad cold weather until January or February. But as goofy as the weather has been this year, everything might very well freeze solid by Novemeber 1 and not thaw out until June 1, 2008![​IMG] I sure hope that's not the case!!

    Back in the last part of February or the first part of March, I got some BO chicks. I kept them in a cardboard box in our spare bedroom until they were between 50 and 60 percent feathered out. With a 100 watt lightbulb over them, they stayed nice and toasty warm. Then, I moved them out to a coop that I built for them. I still kept a 60 watt light on for them and they seemed to do very well.

    For the Dark Cornish, I figured I'd do the same thing, but in reverse. Use the 60 watt while they are in the house and a 100 watt in the coop. If it gets too cold, I also have one of those infra-red heat lamps that I can put in there for them. It's got the reflective dome over it, and X guard on the bottom of the dome. And, I'll keep it hung high enough that noone gets burned and none of the bedding can catch on fire.

    I just wish that I had some way of rigging an alarm to warn me if the light were to blow. At least until they get big enough to fend the cold for themselves. I'd sure hate for these guys to get to about 5 or 6 weeks old, have the light blow one night while I was asleep and loose them! Guess I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed, check them frequently, and make sure I say my prayers at night, huh?

    Anyway, thanks again for your input.

    Robert
     
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I think a lot of people use two lights for just that reason...if one blows they still have the one.
     
  5. beebiz

    beebiz Chillin' With My Peeps

    167
    1
    131
    Jul 2, 2007
    W. Tennessee
    Thanks for the input, Katy! Using two bulbs is probably what I will do too. I was using two lights one February when I had hatched out some chicks. I don't know what the odds are of such happening, but one night both bulbs blew. I lost a few chicks, but not many. Fortunately, they were still in the spare bedroom in the house. So, they didn't get horribly cold like they would have outside.

    Anyway, the two light suggestion is a good one.[​IMG] I thank you for it.[​IMG]

    Robert
     

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