My chicks are too big, but it's cooooold outside!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Barkerbunch4, Mar 13, 2017.

  1. Barkerbunch4

    Barkerbunch4 New Egg

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    Hello! I'm a first time chicken raiser. I have 8 chicks that are about 4-5 weeks old. They are currently in a tub, but they are way too big to stay. We do have a chicken coop, but it's still getting in the low 20s to teens at night. We keep bouncing anywhere from the 20s to 50s during the day. Gotta love Michigan! They are currently in our garage, but we do have a barn. Any suggestions? We don't want to spend a lot of money on anything new. I do want my babies to have enough room and be able to stretch their wings a little! :D

    Thanks!
     
  2. WillGriffin03

    WillGriffin03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Baker Bunch,

    Congrats on your first hatch! Ideally the chicks shouldn't be outside until 6-8 weeks old and if it's still cold outside just make sure they have some warm bedding! \


    Thanks,
    William
     
  3. Ducks4us

    Ducks4us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How well feathered are they? I usually brood chicks outside with a heat lamp(very well secured). This past winter i brooded outdoors. Under heat lamp was around 80 and edges of coop were below freezing . They still ran around alot. And then run back to warm up for a bit. And they feather in quite fast. And by 5 weeks are doing fine without heat.
    But depending on how warm they have been kept they may not be feathered in as well
    I have never kept a chick indoors past 5 weeks. And they have always done well
    8 chicks is also plenty to keep each other warm.
    Do you have a picture?
     
  4. Barkerbunch4

    Barkerbunch4 New Egg

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  5. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

    Those chicks are big enough to be outside. They are feathered out. Give them a warming pad and an enclosed area if you want they will do fine. Keep the wind off them.

    I have chicks outside (in Minnesota), that I put out at 3 days old. I made a small compartment and put a small light in it to keep them around 80 inside and feed them outside in an unheated area. I protect them from the wind.

    They huddle at night and run around during the day eating and playing in the cold. It speeds the feather growth up and they do not even notice the cold. They are 3 weeks old this week and I have the heat down to about 60 in the compartment.

    I should take the heat away but I am a softy, they are doing great.


    BTW Welcome to BYC!!
     
  6. Ducks4us

    Ducks4us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They look great. I beleive they will be perfectly fine outside as long as they are in the enclosed coop with no super drafty areas. A good area they can cuddle up together in.
     
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  7. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As long as they have a dry, draft-free coop with some deep bedding to huddle in, they should be fine. I've heard of people using a "huddle box" for them to huddle in...a cardboard or wood box turned upside down with a opening cut in the side.

    We ran into the same over crowding problem when our chicks were young. Our chicks were 3-4 weeks old, temps at night were high 30s but we needed to get them outside. We did keep the popdoor and windows closed then. The coop is large and there is a ventilation opening near the roof so they had fresh air but it was probably warmer than whet they require now as adults.
     
  8. lutherpug

    lutherpug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they in your garage with supplemental heat? If not, I would imagine they'll have no issues at all. If you're still offering supplemental heat I would stop offering it and see how they do for a few days before you move them. I got my 2nd batch of chicks at the end of November and they've been outside since the late January/early February. I weaned them off of their heat source outdoors and they did just fine.

    People raise chicks outdoors in the winter from day one and wean off of any heat by 4-5 weeks. They're much hardier than we tend to believe :)
     
  9. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm guessing by the red glow that they have a 250w heat lamp and haven't had any exposure to cold yet. I'd transition them a bit more gently because of that. Either move them to a cold coop with a heat source in one area only (you want most of the space to be cold) or shut the lamp in the garage off and let them transition by huddle in their confined space. I don't think I'd force them to shift from 80s to 20s in a day.
     
  10. Barkerbunch4

    Barkerbunch4 New Egg

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    Thank you everyone for your help! We will transfer them to their coop this week.
    We will then ween them off the heat lamp.
     
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