Ready to put chicks out in coop, but it's so cold still

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by melearningasigo, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. melearningasigo

    melearningasigo Chirping

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    and I'm afraid of using a heating lamp out there. We would have to run an extension cord and I'm a bit freaked out about a fire hazard to be honest.

    We bought them Friday, March 16 from Tractor Supply. I am guessing the little ones were almost a week old (I think TCS gets 1 day old chicks Monday morning) and the bigger ones were almost 2 weeks old. She sold us the bigger ones at a discount because they'd been there longer. We have 2 jersey giants, 1 silver laced wyandotte, 2 australorps, 2 orpingtons (we think), 1 black star, and 2 rhode island reds. All cold hearty breeds.

    We have had them in the basement in a brooder box with an infrared heating lamp. They started jumping out of the box within a week or two. The only two I don't know if I have seen jump out are the australorps. We have chicken wire on top so they don't get out unless we want to hold them.

    We have one sick right now, with what we believe is Vitamin E deficiency. We separated him/her just in case it's infectious. We are treating them all with vitamin/electrolyte/probiotic water.

    So, back to my question! :D It is just so cold here still. This week highs are in the low 30's and even high 20's this weekend. Lows are in the low 20s. Next week it will gradually get to highs at 50 or above.

    I think it is time to move them to a bigger space. They are more than ready to stretch their wings! Will the heating lamp be necessary? If we secure it properly, is there still a fire hazard? How is best to deal with it at this point. This is our first go at having chickens.

    Thank you so much for any advice!
     
  2. Speedychicken27

    Speedychicken27 Songster

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    Do you have a garage if so I would put them out there for 1-2 weeks, if thetheystay in your house turn off the light, if they go out side i would put a heating lamp! Good luck
     
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  3. debid

    debid Crowing

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    They need supplemental heat until feathered. I start mine outdoors and have used extension cords. Key is using a cord meant for outdoors and for heavy pull items like power tools. And yes, you have to secure the heck out of a heat lamp. Think chain and closed quick links, you should be able to play tetherball with the fixture and not have it fall.
     
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  4. Haihai

    Haihai Chirping

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    My chicken were be weeks when i moved them outside, i live in MI and it’s still very cold here.. I had two australorps and two SLW and two EE. They are all fine even with the temps at nearly 26. They just huddle together no supplemental heat. MIne were pretty much feathered. It was just to crowded in the brooder.
     
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  5. Haihai

    Haihai Chirping

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    Sorry 5 weeks lol
     
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  6. debid

    debid Crowing

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    Yes, my outdoor chicks moved to the roost (away from their heating pad hen) by 5 weeks even when it was cold out. But, there is a huge difference between 2-3 weeks with no chest feathers yet and 5 weeks and covered except under the wings.

    This is a group of 10 so a huddle box might be enough but I wouldn't personally make that kind of jump all at once.
     
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  7. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Start putting them out in the Coop during the day and you might need to bring them in at night?..If they huddle up then it's too cold..Acclimate them to the outside temps. They are tougher than people think..
     
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  8. melearningasigo

    melearningasigo Chirping

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    Thank you all :)

    I think we are looking to make the switch this weekend. My husband will rib the infrafred lamp out there too. Next week looks to be highs in the low 50s and lows in the upper 30s. They should all be 4-5 weeks old this coming weekend.
     
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  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

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    Huddling behavior doesn't always mean just that they're cold, although they may well be a little chilled. Neither chicks or adult chickens like change. Moving is a huge change. The play of light and shadow out there is different. The sights and sounds are different. The temperature is different. Even the slightest, barely noticeable breeze going through their feathers is different. There are no walls like in their brooder box so just the amount of space is intimidating. So they huddle as much for security as they do for warmth. They're likely to knot up together, sit tight, and stare and fuss, much like adults do when something big and new is added to their environment. In the process they are also warming each other.

    Give them a little time to adjust to both the change in temperature and the change in homes. Keep an eye on them. If the huddling is just from being scared, you'll soon see one or two of them start to venture off, exploring a bit but never getting too far from the others. Then suddenly, they're off. If it's from cold, they'll stay in that tight knot and begin distressed cheeping. But eventually they will need to adjust to both the new environment and the temperature difference. I think I'd prefer a gradual "hardening off", where they go without heat for a time and are exposed to the colder temps slowly but they are stronger than we think!

    Welcome to BYC - it's nice to have you here!
     
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  10. melearningasigo

    melearningasigo Chirping

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    Thank you! I was thinking of removing their daytime heat lamp this week and see how they do. The basement is 72 degrees. What do you think about doing that?
     

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