how would you go about hardening chicks off now (in my situation)

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by haTHOR, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. haTHOR

    haTHOR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Near Asheville, NC
    i have 6 black java chicks that are are 8 weeks (barely). there were moved to a 62 degree room with a 60 watt bulb from 4.5-6 weeks, and then to a brooder space in a coop outside for the last week and a half. i have one bulb on during day and two bulbs on them at night (40 and 75 watts) because i have been afraid that with just one bulb it might go out. i want to be done with heat and light for them, and just wondering how you would proceed at this point to harden them off.

    my coop is not insulated and is ventilated. DLM, plastic over the drafty doors. floor space is 2.5'X5.5' and it's the top floor of an a-frame, so not a lot of headroom.

    common sense says to turn off one of the lights and get them used to that for a few days, then turn it off and go without. my question is, if i do that, what happens if it goes out (with no backup light).

    i am in arkansas but the extreme NW corner--abutting missouri and kansas. we do live in a microclimate due to the mountains and are cooler than all the rest of arkansas.

    forecast for the next few days--
    current 34°F | °C
    Current: Sunny Wind: S at 7 mph Humidity: 49%
    Mon Sunny 50°F | 25°F
    Tue Partly Cloudy 46°F | 29°F
    Wed Partly Cloudy 49°F | 26°F
    Thu Partly Cloudy 50°F | 30°F

    would you be comfortable going to one light for the next few nights even though there's a chance that it could go out completely?
    i do for sure feel comfortable taking light away completely during day (and putting them in a safe pen as much as possible--with these warm temps!)
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  2. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    I have a double light set up for my young Faverolles, but I'm going to wait another month or so before I turn it out. You may want to wait also. The futurecast weather for Arkansas, says it's going to get below zero temps., in the next 10-14 days.
  3. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Off topic but I read something in the news about huge numbers of birds falling dead from the sky in Arkansas over the weekend. Did they ever find out what caused it?
  4. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Not yet.
  5. IdealisticRoo

    IdealisticRoo Chicken Tender

    Oct 18, 2010
    They generate a lot of heat themselves! I am surprised when I reach into a snuggle of chicks just how warm they are!

    I am of the opinion that 8 weeks is old enough to keep warm. I have had the water frozen solid and my 12 now 10-week-olds are doing fine!

    My coop was built out of scrap almost 30 years ago and it has no vents, just drafts. I would like a newer coop with no drafts and cute vents, but drafts work for now.

    The smaller area where I keep my younguns is insulated, and has fewer drafts.

    I would leave the lights in place and put them on a thermocube (plug in turns on ONLY if temps goes below 30-ish).

    Keep in mind I am in Colorado and we have VERY low humidity here, so it does not feel as cold.
  6. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    Are the chicks fully feathered? If so, and you have a sheltered area in the coop for them (and it sound like you do, I do believe they will be just fine. If you're worried about only having one lamp in there with them, then replace it with a brand new one, and be sure to cover it so they can't bonk it and break it. But the sooner you get them off the heat, the sooner they will grow their own feathers for protection. I know it sounds rough, but I would remove both lights and give them a chance to acclimate before the colder temps hit. They will protest at first, and probably huddle and act like they're dying... but usually within 24 hours, or as soon as they're hungry, whichever comes first (LOL!) they will snap out of it. Give them lots of shavings or hay to snuggle into, and I'm sure they will be fine. [​IMG]
  7. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2009
    By 8 weeks I have all of my birds outside with no light. I used to 'baby' them with heat lamps and I find it just makes things worse in the long run. The earlier you harden them off the better, IMO. I have chicks that I bought and the previous owner had them outside with no heat on at 4 weeks. They are all healthy, happy and very big. I'm hardening off some orpingtons right now in the porch. No lights on during the day, but I'm putting the lamp on at night when it's quite cold.

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