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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MakNat, Apr 14, 2009.
How soon can you move chicks away from a heat lamp? There will be at least 10 of them together..
Some of it depends on where you are located, but the rule of thumb is: 90 - 95 the first week, decreasing by 5 degrees a week until such time as you are down to 70 degrees and/or they are pretty much feathered out.
I firmly believe it's best to get them off their heat lamp as soon as your weather allows it.
In my experience, as long as they are totally feathered out...by 8 weeks or so, they can withstand temps in the 30's. If you lowered the 90-95 degree temp by 5 degrees every week and you could maintain a temp of 70 degrees without your heat lamp I'd assume that they would be okay after 4 weeks or so. Good luck to you and your flock! Lets see what the "smart ones" say though.
We put our girls out last week, (new ones in the brooder this week). It got below freezing a couple of nights, we had no troubles. They huddled together in the tractor's Hen House and did fine. I put them on at 7 weeks, they were fully feathered. 12 birds in a 38x32x24 box for the night.
I was wondering if it matters if the heat lamp is red or not? My chicks dont seem to mind the white light we got, but I wonder if they would sleep better under a red light??
Hey MTChick2009 I am from Kalispell, welcome to BYC I think you will find it very helpful.
I don't know about the red light helping them sleep any better but it's possible I guess. I have used both successfully with out any problems. The red light is supposed to reduce aggression and any chances of pecking, lots of people swear by it.
Quote:It can help with discouraging pecking issues. My chicks were brooded outside, so they were exposed to natural light and periods of darkness from a young age. Red light doesn't interfere with this. I believe it helps them to adjust to periods of dark better and they don't freak out so bad when you take the light away.
Since I brood multiple ages I have a HUGE brooder and the heat is over one corner. Under there it's 90. In the rest of the brooder it ranges from around 60-80 degrees. They pick where they're comfortable based on age and feather.
Once I add them to the main coop, twice as large as the big brooder, they can choose the area over the heated kennel pad or under the light (in winter). I let em choose. I've never had a bird feather out and decide to stay on or under the heat source. When no one is interested in supplemental heat and all are feathered, I turn em off.
I've saved a few chicks who've gotten soaked or trapped and cold then got to the coop by there being something there for them to get to. Finding a wet or cold chick recovering by the heat lamp, instead of dead in a huddle has been useful a few times.
Some days I need to be warmer than others. Don't see why it wouldn't hold true for young growing chickens.
At a little over 7 weeks I took away the heat lamp for my chicks in the coop. It did get down to 29 one night, and there were no problems whatsoever. My grandmother is the one who assured me they would be fine, and that the heat was not necessary. Now at nearly 9 weeks, they leave the coop at sunup, while it's probably 40 degrees and are as happy as they can be.
Right now I have 3.5 weekers in my sunroom and I'm pretty sure it's about 75-80 in there during the day, and probably 65-70 at night (I leave the door to the kitchen/dining open at night so our central heat can circulate in there). They have no heat lamp and I cover their brooder with a blanket at night......all are as feisty and as healthy as they can be. They are also feathering beautifully.
I'm thinking these little birds are a lot tougher than we give them credit for.
Hiya JenMT, Thanks! I love this site, it has been SO helpful!! I think I am addicted to it now!
I live between Billings and Roundup Kalispell is such a beautiful area!
That's interesting about the red light reducing pecking. I have noticed a few of them peck each other, but no damage at all, so I may have to try out the red light.
This morning they were playing a game of keep away with a small peice of pine shaving, silly little chickies!