New chicks in cold weather? HELP!

lvlzbth

Hatching
6 Years
Mar 10, 2013
4
0
7
I've got 34 chicks (chickens) coming in the next few days and the temp decided to drop to the 20's and 30's at night and 40's and 50's in the daytime for the next few days, I've got an old brooder box that i'm using, it's in the chicken house which is not insulated but is draft free. we got the internal heater working when it was in the 60's outside it had the temp at 95 but now it can only keep it at 80, I thought about putting the chicks in a large rubbermaid tub with heat lamp suspended over it for the first week or so until it gets warmer but I don't know if that will keep it warm enough when all around the tub it's 30 degrees. Please help, this is my first time with baby chicks and I really don't want to mess it up. Thanks!
 
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WalkingOnSunshine

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
4,210
526
328
Ohio
Your babies will do fine. I'd put them in the rubbermaid tub for the first week or two if you have the room. You can tell if the chicks are cold or too hot by watching them--if they all huddle under the heat lamp, lower it. If they all stay away from the lamp and kind of sleep in a circle around it, they're too hot and you should raise the lamp. Check out the BYC Learning Center. There's several great articles that will help you out.

ps Baby chicks are hardy and difficult to mess up. And being a little cold some of the time won't hurt them. They only need heat in one part of the brooder. If they were with Mama Hen, they'd run around all over the place, and only duck back under Mama if they were feeling cold.

Welcome to BYC!
 

ECBW

Songster
8 Years
Apr 12, 2011
812
41
133
NJ
Where do you live? It is ard to imagine 30's in April.

Not the entire brooder need to be at 95. Imagine the babie chicks running in and out of the mother hen (the heat source) in nature. As long as there is a heat source (around 90) where the babies can run to warm up, they will be happy. In fact, I have a few chicks that are older. The younger (by 4 to 5 weeks) chicks would wedge themselves under the wings of the pullets.

I use heat lamp and raise and lower to adjust the temperature at floor level depending on how the chicks behave.
 

lvlzbth

Hatching
6 Years
Mar 10, 2013
4
0
7
I live in the Texas panhandle, we've had a slew of freezes recently, it'll freeze for two days and then be in the 60's and 70's the rest of the week. It just so happens that the day my chicks are supposed to arrive its going to freeze for two days. I'm just really nervous about them getting too cold during those first few days because they'll already be under some stress from traveling.
 

WoodlandWoman

Crowing
12 Years
May 8, 2007
5,717
83
283
Wisconsin
We've brooded in the coop, with a heat lamp over a box. It worked fine. Just get your set-up ready a couple of days early, so you can experiment with adjusting the temperature. I'm sure they'll do fine. Just make sure you secure your fixture so it can't fall, even if a chicken, dog or child knocks it around like a pinata. I usually loop a length of chain around a rafter to hang it and use a c-link to attach the chain to itself, to make adjusting the height easy.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
16,118
34,422
1,112
On the MN prairie.
Where do you live? It is ard to imagine 30's in April.

Not the entire brooder need to be at 95. Imagine the babie chicks running in and out of the mother hen (the heat source) in nature. As long as there is a heat source (around 90) where the babies can run to warm up, they will be happy. In fact, I have a few chicks that are older. The younger (by 4 to 5 weeks) chicks would wedge themselves under the wings of the pullets.

I use heat lamp and raise and lower to adjust the temperature at floor level depending on how the chicks behave.
Here in MN, we're having yet another snow storm. As a matter of fact, the school tornado drill was cancelled today because school was dismissed early due to the storm. We haven't been above 40 all month.
I live in the Texas panhandle, we've had a slew of freezes recently, it'll freeze for two days and then be in the 60's and 70's the rest of the week. It just so happens that the day my chicks are supposed to arrive its going to freeze for two days. I'm just really nervous about them getting too cold during those first few days because they'll already be under some stress from traveling.
They will be under some stress, but if you have food and water for them, and their coop is draft-free, they'll be fine in the brooder with a heat lamp. Last April I brooded 52 chicks in the coop. Our "brooder" was some plastic garden edging in an oval shape so they couldn't pile up in the corners, with two heat lamps over it at different heights. As Walking on Sunshine said, watch your chicks. They'll tell you if they're too cold or too warm.
We've brooded in the coop, with a heat lamp over a box. It worked fine. Just get your set-up ready a couple of days early, so you can experiment with adjusting the temperature. I'm sure they'll do fine. Just make sure you secure your fixture so it can't fall, even if a chicken, dog or child knocks it around like a pinata. I usually loop a length of chain around a rafter to hang it and use a c-link to attach the chain to itself, to make adjusting the height easy.
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