Is it too cold for baby chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Gonzo, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. Gonzo

    Gonzo Songster

    May 25, 2009
    Southwestern, In
    Hi! Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! Got a question.... We live in Southern Indiana, Its been getting cold here around 32 at night. Anyway, our son has wanted to get some Jersey Giants since this summer ( he's 8 going on 25) I finally found some chicks here locally. I was wanting to get about 5 of them, I usually set up a brooder in out garage. I use a very large plastic storage tote with a home made snug fit rabbit fence lid. My husband thinks it'd be a disaster because it's cold out. I think with the red heat lamp they'd be fine. I'd hate to get them, and then loose them to the climate, plus Kam would be heartbroken. And not to mention I'd NEVER hear the end of it from my hubby! Any suggestions? I can't bring them in the house. I have bad allergies, and we have 2 Westies and a cat that would think Santa came early this year! This is our first year with chickens and we've been Very Lucky so far. This past spring, we had about 25 - 1 day olds and did'nt loose 1. I wonder if 5 would be enough for them to be able to snuggle together if they do get cold? [​IMG]
    EggWalrus likes this.

  2. chickenvirgin

    chickenvirgin In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2009
    Blaine Lake, SK
    Baby chicks need to be in a temp of a 100 degrees and 5 degrees cooler every weeks after the first week:)
  3. silky ma

    silky ma Songster

    Sep 14, 2007
    Since you cant bring them inside I WOULD wait till warm weather sets in. Even though you have a very large plastic storage tote with a home made snug fit rabbit fence lid I would be concerned about it keeping a constant temp, power outages in the middle of the night.
    and enlarging the housing area as they grow and maintaining the needed temps as you enlarge it.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:That's a little hot for them. They need temps. of 90 to 95 the first week, decreasing by 5 degrees a week until you are down to 70 degrees. My chicks were never comfortable at that range, and at 3 days old preferred 80 to 85.
    If it were me, I would talk your DS into waiting for spring. He'll be able to raise his chicks without as much worry about them getting chilled.

  5. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Mine are rarely happy at less than 95F the first few days and often want 100F for at least a day or 2. However I do usually have them down to 80F by 3weeks. For the last few batches I've started with a 100w bulb that kept it at 98-100F for 3 days, then a 60w bulb at a little less than 95F for 3 days, move the heat lamp so it drops to 90F, and leave them for a week so they are about 2 weeks old at that point. Then put in a 40w bulb that drops it to around 85F for a few days, move the heat lamp, and they are at about 80F from then until I decide to move them outside. If it's a cooler time of year and the house isn't as warm then before moving them out I turn the heat lamp off so they are at the temp of the house (60-70 right now depending on if the furnace is working or not) for a week and then they go on the porch or in the small coop and get a heat lamp again since it's 30-40F out this time of year. Also the cooler it is in the house or outside the higher the chicks tend to want the brooder. If it's 85F in my house then they don't mind the brooder slightly below 95 but if it's 60F in my house they aren't happy unless the thermometer reads 100-102F for the days right after they hatch.

    All you can do is set up the brooder, put a 250w heat lamp bulb over it, and put a thermometer in there. See if you can at least get close to 95F and make sure it's not getting too much colder at night. You can use a digital thermometer with a min/max option so you can check the min temp every morning for a few days. If you are getting feedstore or hatchery chicks that are already several days old they will be able to withstand slightly lower temps such as closer to 90F than if you move newly hatched chicks out there. One warning though. Hatchery chicks shipped this time of year have a much high casualty rate due to the cool weather. It would not be uncommon to receive at least one that is weak or dead.
  6. prancie

    prancie Songster

    May 29, 2009
    i've got 24 chicks in a brooder right now an they are fine. As long as you have enough space and an area that's heated enough at all times then they will be good. the entire enclosure doesn't have to be 95 degrees, just a part of it. I put some big river rocks under the light in my brooder and the heat up providing some additional warmth. We have hit 32 degrees here and not had any problems. My brooder box is quite big, so i cover the wire top with cardboard to keep too much heat from escaping.
  7. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm

    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    Like prancie, I've hatched when it was very cold and had them in a brooder on the porch (with extra covering - insulation rolls when needed) and it worked out....It's certainly up to you....The main thing is having that warm area with enough space for them to grow.

    Best of luck and have a blessed day!

  8. Ms~Silkie~Girl

    Ms~Silkie~Girl Songster

    Feb 7, 2009
    New York STATE
    I think you could, but you would have to keep them in the garage prob. a little longer than normal. Also they would need a heat lamp the whole winter probably. Good Luck!
  9. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    rule of thumb if you are brooding chicks watch the chicks: if they are too warm they move away from the heat, too cold they huddle and pile under the heat.
    it is really a personal choice as to when/if to raise chicks or hatch.

  10. I have a Buff Orpington hen that acts like she may want to start sitting. But Im gonna make her wait till spring.

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