Newbie here - 4 week old chicks, too cold outside?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Janisrose, May 23, 2019.

  1. Janisrose

    Janisrose In the Brooder

    May 4, 2019
    Hi - i'm Janis, I'm new to this forum and new to raising baby chicks of my own. I have 6 chicks, each a different breed. While they have a lot of feathers they still have some fluff. The brooder is a large dog crate, they're currently in my garage and we have a heat lamp on one side of the brooder and a roosting bar on the cooler side and they have been using it. Today my mother came over and told me that they're getting big and that i should put them out in the coop and if i don't they'll start fighting etc. So I put them outside in the coop and it's about 50 degrees this evening, when i went out to check on them they were huddled and one was kind of off to the side, they didn't even bother to run when i picked them up, they almost seemed lethargic, so i put them in a box and brought them back into the garage, they were actually pretty warm, i got nervous that it was too cold for them. i'm hoping i did the right thing, as soon as i brought them back in the house they were back to their old selves. I did a little bit of googling and from what i read it should be about 65 outside for 4 week old chicks. Did i do the right thing?
  2. mike48851

    mike48851 Chirping

    Apr 4, 2019
    Lyons, MI
    I think so. When mine were four weeks, I don’t think it was even 50 out. But, i would let them outside for a few minutes sometimes. Just pay attention to them. If they’re huddling and maybe making distressed noises, probably get them back under the lamp. I found if you just pay attention to them you can tell how they are feeling. Have fun with the chicks! My flock is the first I’ve ever had. 2 Rhode Island reds, 2 isa browns and a leghorn. Almost 9 weeks now. Great entertainment!

    Take care!
    Henriettamom919 likes this.
  3. Stacyoung13

    Stacyoung13 Crowing

    Apr 9, 2018
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Can you put the heat lamp out in the coop?
    tamdeva likes this.
  4. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    They huddle not only for warmth but for security, secure babies are quiet calm babies.
    I think they were in a new place they huddled up and got peaceful.
    Not every huddle is a cold huddle, keep this in mind your next try.:)
    chkva, southern chooks and mike48851 like this.
  5. Janisrose

    Janisrose In the Brooder

    May 4, 2019
    They were really warm when i picked them up to bring them back in, i was nervous, i don't want to be responsible for killing them. i'm going to leave them in for another week. All week though it's going to be close to 70 every day and between 50-60 each night. I suppose i could run a heat lamp out to the coop, i'm just nervous about it starting a fire. Am i going to stress them out bringing them back n forth outside each day for a week or so?
    chkva and Chickassan like this.
  6. mike48851

    mike48851 Chirping

    Apr 4, 2019
    Lyons, MI
    I put my chicks in the coop right from the get-go. It was really cold at that time as well, but they seemed fine. My coop is fairly small (I wish I would have built it a lot larger) but is fine for the 5 chickens I have. I worried a bit about a fire as well but everything was fine. In my opinion, I would get them in the coop with the heat lamp for a couple weeks and after 6-7 weeks, I imagine they may be ready for the heat lamp to be gone.

    When I took my heat lamp out, they seemed pretty unhappy (because the “mother hen” was now gone) so I bought a $.98 night light and would turn it on in the coop for a couple hours, for the first few nights, and then I took it out Now they have no lights and are doing great.
    chkva likes this.
  7. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    They don't need heat now, none at all. And no you aren't stressing them if anything you're showing them.the path to.the coop.
    My guys still take a trip everyday. They are free ranging from 8 to 6 at 6 they go in the tractor to eat and at 7 I take them from.the tractor to their baby pen inside the coop.
    Once they learn the path and what i'm wanting them to do we can cut out that step and go straight to the coop.:)
    tamdeva and chkva like this.
  8. Henriettamom919

    Henriettamom919 Songster

    May 1, 2019
    North of Seattle
    I'm betting they'd be just fine provided you have a coop that stays dry but it's really a personal call. If it's any consolation we had a brutal winter for this area and I had a heat lamp for my girls pointed at one of the wire mesh vent windows for several weeks with no issues. Just get one of the cages that clips on to the housing to ensure the bulb doesn't come in contact with anything.

    These are a way safer alternative and great for that inbetween stage with chicks.
    Chickassan and chkva like this.
  9. southern chooks

    southern chooks Chirping

    Apr 18, 2019
    Make a huddle box. Fill it with warm bedding. Use a cardboard box big enough to fit all of them. If they’re truly cold they can get in there and if they’re just scared they’ll stay outside of it. Definitely old enough to go outside
    Chickassan, chkva and Henriettamom919 like this.
  10. chkva

    chkva Songster

    Mar 20, 2015
    I raised my new chicks since day 1 outside. The temperature was 50s and above at night and during the day it was 70s and above. I tried to put a heat source in their coop and they wanted nothing to do with it so I took it out. They're now 5 weeks old fully feathered and free ranging with my hens.

    Mine still huddle even on hot days and I think it's more for comfort and security than anything. I have two hens that huddle together in the shade and in the coop, they're inseparable.

    I think that your chicks would be perfectly fine outside. They were probably sleeping when you went and checked on them so they weren't fully alert. I believe whatever you choose will be what's best for them... I have learned that paying attention to your chicks and how they act, will be the key indicator on how you should deal with the situation.
    Chickassan and Henriettamom919 like this.

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