Some questions about raising baby chicks.

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Jun 27, 2022
Hi, I'm looking into raising some chicks but there are a few things I am still pretty unsure about. I hope no one minds if I ask a few questions.

1. When is it too late in the year to start raising chicks? I would be getting the chicks from someone else and they would probably be about a week or two old when I got them.

2. If the chicks are already a couple weeks old when I get them, can I just move them out to the coop and keep them separated from the rest of the chickens?

3. Do they really need a heat lamp if temperatures are consistently staying above 70-75 degrees? What is the lowest temperature chicks can handle? It does get a bit chilly at night, so would it be okay if I just turned the heat lamp on when I lock the chickens up for the night?

I'm total newbie when it comes to raising chicks so any additional info or advice would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Welcome to BYC.

I'm in the US Southeast in a much warmer climate so I can't answer question #1.

The other two are related. Chicks need heat until they're fully-feathered and capable of regulating their own temperatures. If they're not fully-feathered yet and you put them into temperatures that are too cold for them they can die from it.

There are a number of ways to provide heat, but the thing to do is to make sure that they have a place to go that is warm enough and another place to go that is cool enough.

The usual advice is to have that warm enough place at 95F for the first week and drop it by 5 degrees F each week. Some people have found that too high and too slow a drop -- but it's a reasonable starting point for a beginner.

Heat lamps are much maligned, but they are safe and effective if used properly.

I have converted to a brooder plate -- but some of them come with a warning that they're only effective above a certain temperature, often 40F.

Here's a useful article:

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