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I am (STILL) surprised so many hatch this late in the year

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jmc, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    sure maybe some southerners can do it.

    But for any people in cold snow areas................you're gonna have chicks in your house all winter....

    Can one really put outside a 8-12 week old chick in mid January????

    I am still tempted to run a few eggs, but i'm in MA!!! [​IMG]

  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Well, I'm not hatching now (but if that little hen goes broody you can get I'm gonna let her hatch some out), but if I were I'm definately not keeping them in my house! Chickens here go in the barn or a coop. And yes, 8 weeks is really old enough to go outside. They're basically as feathered as they're gonna get. I think too many folks coddle them with heat lamps too long, and thus have weaker birds, unable to handle the changes in weather. My broody kicks them out from under her around 4-5 weeks, and they last just fine, even in early spring. That's why they huddle together on the ground, instead of roosting.
  3. jmc

    jmc Songster

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    Quote:even in the teens temps of Jan, with some sub zero nights?

    OF COURSE, the birds have a coop and can be out of the elements AS MUCH AS THEY CHOOSE..............
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  4. Barbedwirecat

    Barbedwirecat Songster

    Sep 16, 2011
    Worst comes to worst you can set up a brooder in the coop with a lamp. I worry less about temp and more about the other chickens picking on the smaller ones.
  5. Impress

    Impress Songster

    Jun 4, 2011
    Gray, TN
    I have a mud room, which just has the extra fridge, washer and dryer, and the brooders in it. I give them a lamp to start, then I start moving the lamp up and cracking the windows more and more. I don't mind having a chilly laundry room, and that was they acclimate and can go out to the grow out pen once they are fully feathered. That room is dusty anyway from my crappy old dryer, and they do just fine getting tossed out on their feather butts when the time is right, I have all the lights hanging from a chain and I take it up a link or so every few days until it is on the ceiling.
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I buy day olds, incubate and use broodies. Regardless, my birds go in an outbuilding from day 1 no matter the time of year.
    If just a few they get a heat lamp,
    This pic was taken 2 days ago, It's been in the 40s at night. The light gets turned off during the day when it's over 80.

    if 25 or more they get a brooder with 2 lamps but allowed plenty of room to get away from the heat.
    These pics were in late October last year.



    They always feather out quickly and I've never lost a bird to the cold.
    They were in this unheated building except for the lamps.


    I've had week-olds escape and hide in the woods overnight in temps down to the low 50s and were chipper and healthy the next morning.
    Weak birds may not have survived but hardy birds are just that.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  7. babyrnlc

    babyrnlc Songster

    Jan 30, 2011
    Tulsa, Ok
    We had chicks last winter. We put them in a cage in the shed with a heat lamp (actually two at first, one during the night, a red one, and both on during the day) It could be lowered and I slowing started lowering it. They went out around 4 weeks and then I had them weaned off the lamp by about 8 weeks and into the coop soon after. (With a hidey hole to escape the big girls.)

    I also do not believe in coddling them. I want them weather hardy. My girls love it cold more than they like the heat. (My hens laid an egg a day all winter without a lamp, just lots of warm bedding and a cozy coop)

  8. I have 3 week olds out in a brooder with no lights. Lows in the upper 40's at night, no ill effects. I just hatched 15, when they are 3 weeks, I will have my final batch of the year hatching. They will go outside as well. I will add heat lamp if necessary. Setting 42 eggs tonight.
  9. misslady

    misslady Songster

    May 1, 2011
    The Great Lakes.
    I think it really all just depends on what you're used to, and how you do it. I live in Michigan, and feel more used to doing things in colder weather than in the heat of the summer. It's easier for me to plug in extra heat lamps, add insulation, etc. But when it comes to cooling things off, I feel like there is only so much that can be done outside, short of installing their own air conditioner. Growing up on a large poultry farm, excessive heat was always more deadly than the cold. I think that they're tougher than we give them credit for, once they're fully feathered, they are able to handle going into the coop. I just make sure to add treats and scratch more often to their diet when it's colder out to give them more energy to keep warm with. [​IMG]
    And like someone else said, I think the bigger concern is how well your established flock accepts the new one, and that is an issue no matter what time of year you raise them. [​IMG]
  10. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    That's one of the reasons why I don't let my girls hatch any more. It's too late in the year and I am afraid of the cold weather and me having to provide additional heat for the new babies. And because I have too many as it is. [​IMG]

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