New chick care in the wintertime questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by grullablue, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. grullablue

    grullablue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I am planning on ordering some chicks in January/February, hoping to have some eggs later in the summer. I raised some chicks last year, but they were hatched the end of March, so it wasn't quite as cold as it's going to be here in January/February (WI).

    For those of you in colder climates where it gets below 0 at night, and sometimes struggles to get above 0 during the day, where do you raise your chicks? I raised the last batch in my garage...which is insulated, but not heated. I have my bunnies wintering in the garage, and we have had a few nights where their water bottle has frozen, but although I don't have a thermometer in there right now, I'd say it stays above freezing most of the time. Will I be able to regulate their heat with a heat lamp if I keep the sides sheltered from drafts) in the garage? I don't really want to raise them in the house, with three housecats who'd love to break in and eat them for lunch! Then I was thinking by April when the weather is nicer I can move them to the coop.

    Would love ideas! We did ok raising chicks late march thru april in the garage last year...but I'd like to start with chicks earlier this time around....

    Angie
     
  2. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Angie,
    I'm in warm southern California [​IMG] , but the first thing I thought about was the size of the chicks. They grow sooo fast (as you know) and it would be hard to keep them contained in the garage at eight weeks I would think. Though our chicks stayed in the house until that age, they were outside and about in our backyard during most of the day. I think the sunlight is good for their development, also.

    Just a thought.

    Carla
     
  3. grullablue

    grullablue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Thanks, no I wouldn't leave them in a box in the garage that amount of time....lol...guess I should have proofed what I wrote. I could move them to the coop and run an extension cord for a heat lamp earlier.... but my main question is concerning while they're real young. I remember from the last batch...they grow very fast! They didn't last long in the box! [​IMG]

    Angie
     
  4. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

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    The first 4 weeks I would keep them in a heated area after that the garage then the coop. How many are you going to have? Large amts make it hard in the winter to house them. I will be getting chicks in feb. around the18th or so. Thats what i plan on doing except they will be on a porch when they turn 4 weeks since it will not be as cold here as there. Is there a way to have heat lamps and cold barriers in your garage? If so you might keep them in for 2 weeks and then put them out there with heat lamps. Jean
     
  5. chickenchickenbulkbulk

    chickenchickenbulkbulk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It really isn't easy to keep chicks in this cold weather without a momma. I have 30 chicks in an insulated box with 3 heat lamps. It has been a worry and I will never again hatch out chicks in Nov. I check on them during the night and all through the day. I worry that the light will go out with our me knowing. I even bought extras so if one goes out. It is really hard keeping there area clean. The weather here in Ohio has been so much colder this year than in present years. Really think about where your going to put them and please make sure no cold breeze can get to them. I wish you luck. Raising chicks this winter has been a stressful event for me. I lost 4 in 1 night, I added the extra heat light and they have all there feathers now and I hope I don't loose any more. Good Luck to you.
     
  6. If your family can take it you NEED to raise them indoors. A garage has too many temperature fluctuations. You will need 95 degrees for the first week and a 5 degree drop per week afer this.
    So atfter 4 weeks you can get away with a 95,90,85,80, a 75 degree place and you MUST use a heat lamp during all this time just in case the little ones need to cuddle up under it.

    5 weeks is a touch and go situation with the temperature. I have lost a few just becuase of this.

    However your garage should be good with a heat lamp. I have a bunch of 8 week plus old chicks out in the "nursery". It is a portable building that i have portioned off and i have a heat lamp in and quartz heater that keeps the inside no less than 50 degrees.

    At 8 weeks you have 95,90,85,80,75,70,65,60, a 55 degree place and I do have a heat lamp. Chicks really do not completely feather out until the age of about 10 weeks. Then they can pretty much handle most any temp as long as they have buddies to cuddle up with.

    Some breed are hardier than others of course. It is soooo important that chicks get a good start in life. Having little stress in their younger days really gives them a head start into adulthood

    It is worth the electric bill to give them the best you can.
     
  7. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have mine in a shed, outdoors, its mostly draftfree, cold(below freezing) most of the time. As long as part of the area they are in can be heated with heat lamps so the chicks stay warm you will do fine. Mine are in a rabbit cage, with shavings in it. Now almost 6 weeks old, and only seem to go under the heat lamp to sleep, the rest of the time they stay out of the warm area.
     
  8. grullablue

    grullablue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Thanks for the input thus far. I'm not sure if I'm confusing people with my question, so just want to clarify.

    I raised 9 chicks last spring until they were pretty well feathered in my garage last year. Without a single loss. And I of course need and plan to use a heat lamp or two! Whether inside or in the garage.

    My question had to do with doing this over the winter, when temps are going to be much colder, and wondering if I'd be able to keep them warm enough with heat lamps in the garage. I guess, really, it's not much different than keeping them in an unheated coop or something really...it's just that I don't have power in my coop anyway.

    Maybe I ought to just set up the box, the thermometer and heat lamp and give it a test run before the chicks are ordered.... considering with chicks in it, it might be a bit warmer yet!

    8 or so RIR pullets, or a mix of RIRs and australorps is what I'm planning on.

    Angie
     
  9. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Angie,
    If you can keep the chicks out of drafts, and the heat lamps are warm enough, then yes, you can raise chicks in the garage. I think what most respondents are saying is that it makes them nervous. : ) I know with us, our chicks were quickly getting out of their large brood box. Our Buff Orp was always showing up in the kitchen unexpectly! [​IMG]

    You have a good idea to set up a brooder and see how it goes. The hard part is to make sure of what the fluctuations are during the night or a windy storm. And to be sure there's a back up heat source if needed. You've done this before and obviously have an idea of what's what.

    Carla
     
  10. grullablue

    grullablue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Hmmm...somehow I always miss the pinned topics...I just saw the brooder pics topic, and haven't made it through all the pages yet, but plan on it! So it got me thinking... just to keep the chicks' environment at a more constant temperature, I could probably modify something safe for them and maybe keep them in my basement. I mean, I think my garage would be ok....as long as I could make sure the temp stayed ok, but it's a garage. The door would be opening and closing twice a day for a vehicle to get in and out. I could perhaps set up a spot in my basement for them if I needed to, provided I had a safe set up that the house pets couldn't get to them. I loved the ideas I've seen so far on teh brooder pics thread!

    I have a rabbit hutch I'm not currently using. I will be once the weather gets nice again, but for now, it's clean and empty. However, I wouldn't know how I'd use a heat lamp for it.... I found a pic online of exactly what it is, and will share the link here to view it. I still welcome ideas. http://www.rabbitmart.com/shop/index.php?page=shop/photo&print=1&image=http://www.pet-dog-cat-supply-store.com/shop/shop_image/product/41ebbf467d7a1016ff009442be14edc8.jpg&w=295&h=300
    Thank
    you! I am eager to have chickens again!
     

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