Moving chicks out in WARM CLIMATE

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SweetT, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. SweetT

    SweetT New Egg

    Feb 16, 2016
    Suburban Houston
    I've been reading and reading but I cannot find the answer to my satisfaction:
    What age can you move your chicks to coop if the nights are 50°-55°F and the days are 70-80F?
    I live in Houston and there is still a chance it could possibly get down to 40 a couple more times this year but very unlikely. The almanac says our danger of frost is past Feb 24. I could put a reptiile nighttime heat lamp in the coop If it gets too chilly some night, or bring the chicks in.

    I have a 5 week old Ameuricana and 6+ week old RIR and Ameraucana.

    I also have 2 tiny baby chicks I will need to know this answer for them too soon. The weather will be even warmer in a month when I'm starting to wonder with them.

    I would love to hear from others in warm climates. What do y'all do in Florida and Hawaii, for example???

    I used to live in Oregon when I had chickens before so I knew the answer for that climate.
  2. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2014
    Buffalo Wyoming
    I've often read that at 6 weeks old a chick can handle any temperature that an adult chicken can. Wyoming is not a warm climate this time of year but it is pretty hot thru the summer. I usually let my young chickens be without heat at 6 to 7 weeks when the nights don't get below 55.
    In the early spring when it still gets cold at night I will give them a small heat light until around 8 weeks.

    I use the reptile bulbs all the time. That way I'm only using the wattage that I actually need for heat. [​IMG]
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Have you been getting them out during the day? I'd put the older ones out during the day, and get them used to being out all day, every day, then put them out at night. One reader, I think Kassaundra made a "mama broody" box to help chicks transition to "no heat" She tied strips of fleece to the underside of a 5 gal bucket that had been cut in half lengthwise and laid on it's side. Knot the ends of the strips and drop them through holes drilled in the bucket. The chicks can then go in the bucket and snuggle among the fleece strips. An other option would be to tie the strips to a milk crate.

    You might also want to look at this option.

    I'd be doing this for the babies and get them all out at once. It will make integration much easier.
  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    There are just two things you need to understand about baby chick heat needs.

    The first one is until they feather out, around four to five weeks old, they need a heat source under which to warm themselves. Typically, that heat source should be between 85 and 90F or 30-35C during the first week. That temp is measured directly beneath the heat source. It can be any temperature in the rest of the brooder or room in which you have placed the brooder. In fact, it's better to have it much cooler.

    You only need to gradually decrease the heat source temp a bit each week during the first month, slowly acclimating the chicks to needing less heat until they're ready for no heat source at all around age five weeks or so.

    If your chicks have been living in a hot house brooder environment, meaning the brooder and surrounding environment is on the warm side, you will need to subject your chicks to decreasing temps before you put them in the coop if that temp is much colder than where they've been raised. You can accomplish this by letting them have field trips to the outdoors and bring them back in when they show signs of chilling.

    When your chicks are avoiding their heat source, you can take that as a signal they're ready to go live outside in the coop. Make sure the coop is protected from cold drafts and they should do just fine.
  5. SweetT

    SweetT New Egg

    Feb 16, 2016
    Suburban Houston
    I was letting my pullets out in the yard in the daytime but a hawk got one. [​IMG] A longhorn named Esther. So I stopped that.
    But now we just finished a large run (6'x24') that is ultra secure. I let them roam around it today for the first time. It got up to 82°. I am letting them sleep in the coop tonight, with a heat lamp on. It's midnight and 65° but supposed to get down to 53°. I will let them out in the run during the day every day now. I'm gonna start weaning them off the heat lamp at night gradually.
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Those 5 and 6 week old birds do not need a heat lamp. They should be fully feathered now. Last spring, with temps much colder than what you're experiencing, my 3 week old chicks were refusing to go under their heating pad even at night, and the temps were down into the 40's.
  7. jennlynn

    jennlynn Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 28, 2015
    Austin, TX
    I was wondering the same thing. I live in Austin and have 6 4 week olds that I moved to the coop at about 1 week at the end of January. At about 2 weeks old I started letting them in the run during the day and they LOVE it. Last night I decided to turn off they're heating pad (I'm using the mama heating pad method). I just went out to let them in the run this morning at about 730 and it was 49 degrees. They were just fine and happy to be in the sun, as they always are in the mornings. The "formula" people use for lowering the heat source by 5 degrees each week is a bit misleading, in my opinion. Yes, they need to be warm until they're feathered out a bit but I didn't stick to that advice. My chicks feathered out quicker because I let them outside early on. They're tougher than we give them credit for!
    I'm actually more worried about how to keep them comfortable once we reach 100 degrees every dang day this summer...
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The reason you can’t get universal agreement on this is that we do this so many different ways. Most chicks will feather out at 4 to 5 weeks and will be able to handle practically any temperature, but how you feed them (higher protein levels help them feather out faster), heredity, how many you have to provide body heat so they can keep each other warm, how good your draft protection is in the coop, how good your ventilation is, and how much exposure they get to cooler temperatures all have an effect.

    My brooder is in the coop. I heat one end but sometimes I see frost in the far end in the winter. Mine get acclimated to colder temperatures. I’ve had five and a half week old chicks raised that way go through nights in the mid 20’s Fahrenheit with no problems. I raise them that way.

    A few years back in a ridiculous heat wave I turned the daytime heat off at 2 days and the overnight heat off at 5 days. Their body language was telling me they didn’t need it and they were right. They didn’t need any heat at all during the day to start with, silly me.

    Each situation is unique. If you are comfortable you can provide heat without burning the coop down it will make you feel better and it won’t hurt them as long as they have room to get away from the heat if they want to. I seriously don’t think your 5 or 6 week olds need any heat at night in those temperatures.

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