So today.....


11 Years
Apr 5, 2008
Northern California
I was talking to a neighbor and was telling her i was getting chicks. I said the only issue with me is keeping them in the house for those first six weeks. I don't have a garage or coop that has electic to it so only other option was in my house.

She says why would you keep them in your house. I told her i need electric for the heat lamp. Then she told me i don't need a heat lamp. She said she just put hers out in her barn in a box with food and water and they did fine. That was in the beginning of the winter and now they have all grown and are laying. We live in California and our winters are pretty mild.

So what do you all think of that? Was she putting her chicks in danger by not using the heat lamp?

I honestly had no idea that raising chicks was so complex.
do you have an outdoor outlet anywhere???? Something you can plug an extension cord into???? Chicks need 90-95 degrees when they're day olds and growing....I can help you with an idea if you have an extension cord you can run outside....
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Sadly there are people out their that think "chicks lived outside for this long as babies without our help why not now"...well chicks need heat as lil babies. That's why the mother hen keeps them under her wings.

I had mine in the house with no problem. If you keep the brooder clean there is no smell. The only problem is the dust, which is easy to clean as well.

My neighbor lost 2 chicks so far from chill because she had them outside. She did have a heat lamp but they weren't in a draft free area and they died.

I wouldn't risk it.
I think she was very lucky. Why would someone spend the money on these little buggers and not pay the small price for a heat lamp??? I just don't get people sometimes! Did she tell you how many she lost in the process, or is she just painting a pretty picture of the ones that actually survived?
I think most of it is a lack of knowledge. I know I spent about 50 hours online researching the care of baby chicks before I even ordered mine.

Knowledge is the key here! I've had chickens for about a year now and only lost two, one died in shipping and the other was killed by a snake. I currently have 24 happy healthy chickens (including a blind hen) and I do believe that it's because of all the reasearch I did and this site as well.

Good luck with the babies...they are SOOOOOO much fun!!!
I have 16 in my kitchen right now. And like Trish said, if you change the newspaper daily there is no smell. Plus when they are in the house they get to know you really well. Mine come up to me now when I am changing the paper and chirp....they actually get in my way! It a little dusty but that is okay. The only thing I would recommend is a regular light during the day and a red or green light at night so they learn when it is time to go to bed. We have a red flood light and it works great.
We don't have electricity to out hen house either, but we run a really long extention cord to give them a heat lamp. That's just for the hens. The chicks stay inside with us.
Oh i didn't plan on risking it either. I was just wondering if she was correct. She told me none of them died.

I am going tomorrow to pick up my supplies...heat lamp, dishes, shavings and etc.....

Now what is this about dust? I had read on here somewhere else that the dirt isn't needed in the i'm a little confused by that.

OHHHHHHHHH and do chickens attract snakes???? :|

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