Pasture brooding temp

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by brandislee, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I've been pasture brooding my broilers this fall, and with the exception of a few mistakes (moving them out two days too early... see my UGH post) it's going really well (well, that element is, I'm having other issues...). Up until now it's been really nice out, with the lowest temps in the 50's.

    But tonight is going to get into the upper 30's and I'm worried. Does anyone have any experience with tractoring broilers when the temp is that low?

    I'm not so worried about the older batch- they're four weeks old now. Should they be okay at that low of temps, or should I give them a heat lamp?

    The younger batch is 2 weeks old. They have shelter off the ground with pine bedding that is completely covered on three sides and above (it's an insulated plastic dog house) and a heat lamp. I've checked on them on the cooler nights and they seem okay, but will they be okay at that low of temps? Should I set up a second heat lamp? Moving them inside really isn't an option, I don't have anywhere to put that many, but I could confine them to their little shelter for the night.

    I would appreciate advice from others who have had broilers outside at this temp! I know I moved my spring broilers outside with NO heat at 3 weeks and it was still really cold out (cold enough that my spoiled layers who were in the nice cozy coop still had a heat lamp), but of course I can't remember HOW cold it was. I really should write these things down!

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

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    Jul 17, 2009
    Better safe than sorry?
     
  3. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2011
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    I think you're right... I'm going to rig up a second heat lamp near the entrance to their shelter. I don't think it would be wise to do that AND confine them, though- even with temps in the 30's I think they would cook, as there isn't much ventilation in that little shelter. As long as I'm vigilant about keeping the chicks with the leg issues (who have a harder time getting in and out of the shelter) inside, I think they'll do okay. I think I'm going to take the same tact with the older chicks- the lamp won't hurt and it will probably help.

    I'm just running out of outlets outside!
     
  4. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2011
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    Purely for future reference (for anyone who finds this post in the future), the temps here last night got down to 34 (possibly colder, that was the temp when I got up at 7). The 2 week old batch ended up with two heat lamps as well as two 1x12's blocking most of the entrance (but they could get out if they chose to) of their 2x3 shelter to keep wind out and heat in. I checked on them before I went to bed at 11p and they were comfy, and many were sitting near the entrance. When I got up this morning to feed them there were already several outside ready to eat (and my response to them- it's 34 degrees out, what are you doing outside???). They seemed fine.

    The 4 week olds in the tractor had one heat lamp and shelter from the wind on three sides (typical tractor design). They also seemed great this morning.
     

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