Is it too cold for 4-wk old chicks to move outside with a heat lamp when night temps are mid 40's??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ILoveFarms, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. ILoveFarms

    ILoveFarms Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2014
    My chicks are 4 weeks old and sooo ready to get out of their brooder! This is my 2nd batch of chicks, but my 1st time raising them in the Fall. And now that they are ready to go outside, it is suddenly getting chilly in Georgia. So, I'm thinking of possibly using their heat lamp in their grown up coop outside if need be. During the day the temps are going to be in the high 60's to low 70's, but at night, they will be mid 40's. They are all winter hardy breeds, so I don't want to use the heat lamp for longer than I have to. They will have a run to play in during the day and I will close them up in their coop at night, of course. I only want to turn the heat lamp on at night with a timer. So my question is; will they be okay to move outside, or should they wait a bit longer?
     
  2. DRGLENNON

    DRGLENNON Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have a lot of experience but I would use heat at night for awhile. Think gradual change rather that all at once would be my guess.
     
  3. ILoveFarms

    ILoveFarms Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2014
    Thanks Debbie....I'm thinking gradual change too. I don't want to freeze my babies. I just know they are so bored in their brooder.
     
  4. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seventy degrees is too cold for chicks that age. You will stress them and they may die. If you are going to move them outside, make sure you run the heatlamp 24/7 in an area where they can go to warm up and escape the wind. If your temps hit 80 during the day, you should be able to turn it off for a few hours, otherwise keep it on. Depending on the breed, it usually takes about six to eight weeks for birds to fully feather and not need an additional heat source.
     
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  5. ILoveFarms

    ILoveFarms Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2014
    Thank you! I may move them out, but keep them inside the coop with the heat lamp on. At least that way they can have more space.
     
  6. LanceTN

    LanceTN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 18 three week old Black Astralorps got out outside in their coop a couple days ago, I live in Tennessee.

    Before that they spent their third week in their brooder with no heat.

    They've been great. I provided some trays in the coop with bedding and they just gather up in the corner and snuggle together. The first night it hit the mid 40s and I was concerned so I went out and checked on them, I could feel the warmth they were producing by touching the floor and walls they gathered by on the outside.

    They're fine, and their feathers are coming in at a rapid pace since being taken off the heat lamp.
     
  7. ILoveFarms

    ILoveFarms Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2014
    Okay, that is encouraging! I want mine to grow their feathers in faster also. My coop is an 8x6, but with 16 chicks I'm hoping they will keep each other warm. I'm still thinking heat lamp for at least the 1st week or so. I also have 3 older hens in the coop, but we've put up a temporary fence to keep them separated. [​IMG]
     
  8. LanceTN

    LanceTN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have the option to give them some heat, that seems like a good idea. Just shine the lamp into one area so they can go there to get warm if they want.

    I just wouldn't give them a lot of heat, they need to get used to not having heat.

    So hang the lamp kind of high and point it at a good spot for them to sleep.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Ok, four weeks old and lows in the mid 40’s in Georgia. Thanks for the details, they help.

    I put my chicks straight from the incubator into a brooder in the coop, whether in August or February. Of course I handle heating differently, depending on the weather. My brooder is 3’ x 6’. I heat one end and let the far end cool off. In February there may be frost in that far end some mornings but the end they and the food and water is in is pretty toasty. In August I sometimes turn the heat off when they are pretty young. During one particularly nasty heat wave a few years back that was day 2 for daytime heat and day 5 for overnight heat. In some winters I normally run it to over five weeks. Part of that is to provide heat for them but part is to keep the water thawed. Each time I brood them, something varies.

    I’ve had chicks less than 6 weeks old go through nights with the lows in the mid 20’s with no supplemental heat. Those chicks were in a well-ventilated but very draft-resistant coop and they were acclimated to the cold by playing all over that big brooder. We all have different conditions and ways to raise them.

    I see absolutely nothing wrong with heating one area for them so they can go to it to warm up if they need to but letting the rest cool off so they can acclimate. Just don’t start a fire with the heat. When you are comfortable doing it, turn the heat off. In Georgia that should be another two weeks but you can go longer if you feel like it. There are no hard and fast numbers for any of this. We all have different conditions.

    Good luck!
     
  10. LanceTN

    LanceTN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just watch for pasty butt the first few days as one cause for it is chilling. Make sure to check them daily after the change, and particularly the smallest and least feathered of the flock.
     

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