no more heat....am I cruel?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rooneytune, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Rooneytune

    Rooneytune Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my chickies are 5.5 weeks old and very nearly fully feathered (just a few downy wisps here and there) they have been in the outside coop for 2 days with a light bulb on them. I went out to turn on the light tonight and they were all snuggled together in one of the nesting boxes. They seemed to be ok and actually yelled at me when I turned the light on! I live in WA and it gets into the 30s still at night... am I cruel to leave the light off?
     
  2. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    I always leave a light on for my birds. A "nightlight", if you will. I prefer a red 25 watt bulb when the heat bulb is no longer necessary.
    I had an instance where they all decided that it was either too warm in the coop or too nice out to go to bed. So when they finally did decide to go in, they couldn't see to jump up on their roost. So now they have a nightlight. [​IMG]
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Quote:I too raise my birds in WA. At this time of year, even with ocassional frosty mornings... I take away both heat and light! I say leave it off, they are tougher than you think.
     
  4. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Recommended temps for brooding chicks:

    1st Week 90 - 95*
    2nd Week 85 - 90
    3rd Week 80 - 85
    4th Week 75 - 80
    5th Week 70 - 75
    6th Week + 70

    However, don't consider the above temperature guidelines as your only guideline. Pay close attention to how the chicks behave.

    Cold chicks may be huddled together underneath a heat source and may cheep loudly and insistently. In this case, you need to increase the heat in the brooder. Either lower the lamp or move the heat source closer to the chicks (not close enough to burn them though) or add another lamp. This could also mean that the box is too big and the heat gets dispersed too much.

    If the chicks stand apart from each other and away from the heat source, they may be too hot and could possibly suffocate. You may also observe them panting (with their beaks open). In this case, either raise the heat lamp, reduce the bulb wattage or get a bigger box.

    Ideally your chicks should be making contented "peep" noises and pursue their normal activities of walking around, pecking at the food, drinking water - or sleeping when they are tired.

    And, copied from here:
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/685/environmental-factors-to-control-when-brooding-chicks

    Research has shown chicks that are subjected to cold temperature have impaired immune and digestive systems. As a result, cold stressed chicks have reduced growth and increased susceptibility to diseases. Cold stressed chicks will exhibit higher incidence of ascites, a metabolic disorder that results in reduced performance, increased mortality and increased condemnations at the processing plant. In research studies where groups of chicks were brooded at either 80 degrees F or 90 degrees F, the chicks reared under the warmer temperature had better weight gains, feed conversion and livability.

    Chicks brooded under 80 degrees F experienced reduced growth compared to the high brooding temperature treatment. The chicks reared under those temperatures did not catch up in body weight and as a result weighed less at market age than birds that were brooded properly. Not only do chicks exposed to low brooding temperatures have reduce growth rates, but they will consume more feed to keep themselves warm, reducing feed efficiency and increasing feed costs.
     
  5. rechena

    rechena Out Of The Brooder

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    Last night I removed the heat lamp from my chicks, they are 5.5 weeks old also. The temperatures here (Portugal) at night are around 57º (14ºC).
    We removed it cause we've been noticing for the past nights that they were always sleeping away from the lamp and near the run door which stays open, so this night we unplugged the heat lamp and apparently they did just fine [​IMG]

    They have been in the coop for a week so far. And they are growing fasstttttt [​IMG]
     
  6. winnman

    winnman Out Of The Brooder

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    I am a softy I my chicks a two day past 7 weeks old. I have them out in their coop every night now , but I leave a red heat light on at night. I live in wa. also. looking to hook up with other wa back yard chicken growers. good luck.
     
  7. definetlydeb

    definetlydeb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] Good Morning all...and I have come to the conclusion that....my 4 week babies...are never, never going to be able to go without thier light/heat. I have them in my heated living room (older mobile home, mind you). I am always checking on thier well being and looking for signs of content, happiness, heat...you name it...I spoil them...boiled eggs everyday, oats...yadda, yadda, yadda!!! Well, spring has not found its way here yet, and temps outside are just finally starting to hit the 50's with lotsa rain and wind...but...there have been days when it gets pretty warm in here, so i will turn thier light off....they seem to enjoy it...until they notice??? Uggh, I have been trying to adjust thier light farther from them as they grow, it only lasts .....it seems until they notice?? Yesterday, we had a day in the 60s, wind, occasional shower....turned thier light off....they did pretty good...until....sun goes down...now i am planning/hoping to get them moved outside, this weekend, they are just to big....but as it was warm in here I thought well, we should be able to do the small red bulb for them....nooooo, they peeped and chirped and huddled as though they had been thrown in a freezer...OMGosh....I thought I know they can't be cold, so I thought, let them be a little bit, they will bunker down and go to sleep....nope, notta chance, till I finally got up, put the heat bulb back in....poor things must have been froze!!! Why it was within..5 min, no more peepin, not a stir....they were all spread out snoozing!!! So, I guess, getting them ready for the outdoors is not working here, so I will def be taking the heat lamp....and chicks out this weekend or well maybe next...hehehe, Oh I love them dearly and fear thier first nite out, or better yet how it effects me...I love these lil ones...but man are they spoiled rotten!!!!
     
  8. stonykill

    stonykill Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't think your cruel at all. The birds will be fine. And it will toughen them up.

    All the people who heat lamp their birds..... what it going to happen when your heat lamp burns out, and it is REALLY cold out that night? Say like a night we had here last winter. 20 below zero f, and windy. My birds do NOT have heat, and were just fine.....snuggled together. When it warmed up to around zero that day, they were out walking around.Your birds will not be prepared for it. Just saying.......

    If your chicks are cold, they will let you know.
     
  9. miraclz5

    miraclz5 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I obsessed about making sure that my thermometer was EXACTLY following the guidelines.....then after several days of watching our chicks, I realized they WILL tell you what they need! So I don't worry about what the thermometer says....and more about what my chicks are doing and where in the brooder box they are hanging out!! Good luck!
     
  10. definetlydeb

    definetlydeb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] I know right, that is my fear...them not adjusting to the weather outside....but when I take the light away, move it farther away...they all huddle and peep non-stop...I have tried on several ways to move it...and reduce heat...they are not having it.
    stonykill
    Today 6:32 am I don't think your cruel at all. The birds will be fine. And it will toughen them up.

    All the people who heat lamp their birds..... what it going to happen when your heat lamp burns out, and it is REALLY cold out that night? Say like a night we had here last winter. 20 below zero f, and windy. My birds do NOT have heat, and were just fine.....snuggled together. When it warmed up to around zero that day, they were out walking around.Your birds will not be prepared for it. Just saying.......

    If your chicks are cold, they will let you know.

    And they do just that....huddle and peep non stop.....not a calm huddle....up and down, tryin to get closer and closer to one another, and peeping, not the cutesy lil' peep....they are very loud...and it happens everytime.....same thing, I have tried on several occasions....I am frustrated, and have done previous posts with my concern....these babies are just not having it!!! I have told myself, to just let them peep and give them time to adjust....it is not working...I am at my wits end....if they weren't cold, or unhappy, they wouldn't carry on so. I am by all means well aware of the issues you have addressed stonykill, I just can't justify listening to them when they are so unhappy and things aren't just so....and believe me I have tried....i think, at 4 1/2 weeks, I guess they are now, they should be able to be in my living room....without heat....but it just doesn't work, they won't allow it, and I am not going to have them all crunched up in a corner...almost screaming peeps at me....everyone always says...listen to the chicks....I am....and we aren't moving forward very fast!!!!​
     

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