Overnight temps in the 20s, 30s during the day

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kickinchicken, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. kickinchicken

    kickinchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2010
    Rhode Island
    I have 2 EEs that are about 7 weeks old and a Silkie, same age. They are bantams.
    I have had them off the heat lamp for about 4 weeks now in the basement. Temps in the basement are about 60 degrees. I do let them out during the day to let them free range and acclimate to the outside.
    I want to start letting them stay out with the other 4 bantams. Everyone free ranges together, so no social issues.
    I have a heat lamp hanging from the rafters for the bigger hens, one is a Sultan and NOT cold hardy.
    The 7 weeks olds still don't roost at night, they huddle together in a ball and snuggle up.
    Will adding a 100w lamp about 2 feet off the ground be sufficient for them to make it overnight? I really rather not move the actual heat lamp as it is really on lock down and a PITA to move. Its secure!
    I will secure the 100w lamp to the wall, obviously.
    Oh, the coop is 4x8 with a 5 ft ceiling. I have lots of ventilation in the rafters that I just filled in with newspaper to cut down on heat loss, yet allow for adequate ventilation.

    Ashlee
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    They are 7 weeks old. They should be fully feathered out. You have been letting them outside in 30 degree weather. They should be getting used to those colder temperatures. They are sleeping in a pile instead of roosting. Perfectly normal at that age for my brooder raised chicks. Broody raised chicks often start roosting earlier but my brooder raised chicks usually wait until they are 10 to 12 weeks old before they start roosting, even in the heat of the summer. Your three sleeping in a pile will help keep them warm.

    If your coop floor is well protected against drafts and has bedding in it (bedding is great insulation) they should be OK without a heat lamp at all. If you want, you can provide a heat lamp and gradually move it higher to acclimate them, but in your case, I don't think it is necessary. You seem to understand the need to very adequately secure it. It would not surprise me if they sleep somewhere other than under the heat lamp. With their down coats they really can take cold weather pretty well.

    I'd also check on them pretty early the first morning or two they are out there. They may not have any social issues when they are free ranging, but confined in a space where they have a harder time avoiding the older birds may make an unpleasant difference. Thye may be fine, but I'd check pretty early and open the pop door so they can get away if they need to.

    Good luck!
     
  3. kickinchicken

    kickinchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2010
    Rhode Island
    I set up the lamp (100w) about 24 inches off the floor, set up a 2x4 in a t-shape on the floor and even put an overhang so that they can huddle under it to be more snuggly. I separated the 7 week olds from the older pullets with a few of the dog's x-pen panels. Works great so far. I am hoping to remove the divider in the next week or so.
    Well, lets hope it all works out. They seemed happy!
     
  4. kickinchicken

    kickinchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2010
    Rhode Island
    Well, I removed the divider yesterday. I added a good layer of straw to the nesting box (that they don't lay in because they are lazy pullets and its just a cool hang out. [​IMG] ) and even added shavings to the newspaper under the roost. The babies are now about 8 and a half weeks old. They free range all day and I turn off the 100w lamp at 8:30am and put it on at 5pm when they all go in for the night. So far so good.

    Now on to my next project....rescuing battery hens. [​IMG] Its the ADD, I swear. My mind LOVES chaos. [​IMG]

    I even perused the Emu, Ostrich, Rhea forum......help me! I was actually trying to see which of the 3 are the smallest so that I could get one. [​IMG]
     

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