Spring Chickens? Cold temps and baby chicks.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by WYOwhy, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. WYOwhy

    WYOwhy Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 10, 2010
    Another form of chicken math:

    If my proven brooder setup is inside a garage, with a heat lamp and the possibility of a space heater, and the average temperature for the month historically is 38F, lows as cold as -20 and warms as high as 60, is it too soon to order 25 new chicks? I don't want anybody to freeze to death, but I'm really looking forward to the cheerful chirps of a new flock for the country 1/2 of my chicken partnership.
  2. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    It will probably be fine for you to brood them in your garage, as long as you have a draft free space and a good heat lamp. What I would be concerned about is the shipping - if its too cold, you could very possibly end up with a box of dead chicks arriving at your doorstep.

    Is there a feed store nearby that you can buy from?
  3. Mervin

    Mervin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2010
    Central Pennsyltucky
    I'm interested in other folks opinions because, I was thinking about tarping off part of my back porch and brooding there. The one thing I was didn't like was what if the brooder bulb burnt out. Which I guess could be a problem inside as well, but at least inside they'd be room temp. until you noticed. I was trying to figure up some fail-safe type rig. Last night, the DW said she sort of missed having fuzzy butts in a brooder in the spare bathroom. My jaw nearly hit the floor.
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I agree. Your setup sounds fine, but they have to travel to alot of places on their way to you and some of those places are still very cold this time of year.
  5. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    Quote:if you are afraid of bulb burn out have 2, so if one go's there is still heat, I use a heat emmiter, they don't burn out so fast, but you need to hand check them, no light
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If your brooding box was truly a box, as in having floor, sides and top, a 250w bulb could likely turn your chicks into chicken nuggets and the brooder into an Easy Bake Oven, which uses far less wattage, regardless of the garage being 25 degrees.

    Point being? You can make your brooder warm enough, through thoughtful design. I agree the shipping temps would concern me more.
  7. FMAFarms

    FMAFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2011
    Rural Michigan
    Our friends raise their chicks in their garage; their coop is also built into their garage, with the hens and roosters having access to the snowy outside through their little door, which is left open all year round. They keep heat lamps on and, although the garage floor is a dirt one, they've never had any problems with freezing temps and snow. And it's currently 20 degrees, with 18 inches of snow having fallen just yesterday. What I'm trying to say is that, if your garage is draft free, if you have heat lamps, and if the brooder is container (ie, not a bare concrete garage floor), you should be fine. I'll echo the concern of shipped chicks. Then again, ours arrive in three weeks, and we'll undoubtedly be in the same type of weather then, too. Make sure your post office holds your chick order for you so that the poor things don't freeze in an open mail truck winding its way through town delivering mail before it gets to you.
  8. magoochie

    magoochie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 26, 2010
    Grantsburg, WI
    As far as having chicks shipped to you this time of year, i say it all depends where you order from. I am in NW Wisconsin and I ordered chicks from McMurray and they arrive Feb 7th. It was 6 degrees outside when I picked them up. All arrived just fine.

    However, if you are ordering from a place farther away, I would be more concerned. I have heard a couple people on the forums this year have had alot of DOA chicks. But the hatchery reshipped the order and all were fine. I know some hatcheries put in a heating pad if you ask, though it may cost a little extra. It would be worth it in my opnion to keep the babies warm.

    Of the 27 birds that came in my order, I still have 23. A few died within the first 48 hours due to stress from shipping. But that is to be expected.

    We are brooding in the house, and the chicks will be moved out to the grow out coop with lights within the next week or two. By then they will be about 4 weeks old, and in a nice big coop with heat lamps.

    Overall, I am satisfied with my order and will order from McMurray again about the same time next year.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011

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