Ready to be outside all night? What does "fully feathered" look like?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by JessicainOhio, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. JessicainOhio

    JessicainOhio Out Of The Brooder

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    Our chickens are just about 5 weeks old. I've been taking them out to the run during the day and putting them back in the brooder at night. I'm not sure if they're "fully feathered" yet, which seems to be the marker for when they're ready to spend the whole night in the coop. If anyone's willing to head to our chicken blog and check out the photos I posted from today and can let me know if these ladies look "fully feathered" I'd really appreciate it! Or maybe you know off-hand that 5 weeks is way too young.
    It should be 56 degrees overnight tonight.

    www.bexleychickens.blogspot.com

    Thanks!!
    -Jessica
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010
  2. Lensters

    Lensters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The last place they feather in is usually the top of there head. So when the top of there head is nice and smooth looking, then they don't need the heat.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    From Ideal Poultry's chick care FAQs:

    "Proper temperature at bird level under the brooder or heat lamp for the first week is 90 to 95 degrees. Reduce the temperature 5 degrees each week for the first five weeks. After that time the poultry will normally not require supplementary heat. Remember, baby poultry need to be provided with enough space so that they can move to the heat or away from the heat source according to their needs."

    At the end of week five, they should do just fine in a draft free, dry coop.
     
  4. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Five week-old chicks at my house are definitely in the coop. [​IMG]

    If it's a little cool, they'll cuddle for warmth and be fine. Just as long as it is draft free, like gritsar said.
     
  5. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    You didn't mention if you have other -larger chickens? You didn't mention if you have a protective area for them away from said chickens... I would think we need a little more information about your set up...
     
  6. JessicainOhio

    JessicainOhio Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok! All good questions.
    We do not have other chickens, just these three girls. The coop is a upstairs/downstairs type pre-fab coop. It's dry and draft free up top. I guess they're not "fully" feathered because they still have some fuzz on their necks, but they just look so darn big to me, that it seems they should be ready. Plus, it's not supposed to be too cold tonight. I could just add a lot of extra bedding (pine-shavings) for extra insulation. Or I can round 'em up and put them back in the garage for tonight.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010
  7. Rockerchic

    Rockerchic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your chics will need some bedding to nestle into for warmth. Usually wood shavings or straw, deep enough to hold their body heat. Even shredded paper will help.
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    They'll do absolutely fine closed up in the upstairs of your coop. The only time you run into trouble is if you have had them all warm and toasty under a heat lamp in the house and suddenly stick them out in a cold coop.
     
  9. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    Cute coop and I agree w/gritsar. Have fun
     
  10. JessicainOhio

    JessicainOhio Out Of The Brooder

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    I think this is a good test night because it's unseasonably warm -- it's still in the 70s now! We've been keeping the brooder in the high 70s at night and turning off the lamp during the day, so it shouldn't be too much of a shock to them. Right now they seem happily tucked in.
    Thanks for all the great advice!!
     

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