Summer brooding outside

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RoodyRodchester, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. RoodyRodchester

    RoodyRodchester Chirping

    Nov 16, 2015
    My 4x4 brooding box is in my unheated/air garage. During the early part of the year it was cool enough that I needed to use a heat lamp. But here we are 95* weather and heat indexes up to 110 that it gets very stiffling in there. I do have a couple of fans to push air around. But since I have a new batch due in a week and a half I'm wondering what I should do. Do I still use the heat lamp even though it's already very hot in there? Any other suggestions?
  2. crash0330

    crash0330 Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    Mecca, CA
    My Coop
    I had the exact same question last week, as I was getting my shipment of chicks coming this week. We have had temperatures of a constant 100 to 110, my brooder is outside though, but out night the temperatures drop to around the 80's. On the first night I turned on the heat lamp, but somehow if failed sometime at night and in the morning all chicks were alive and well.
    This past few nights I have turned it on with just a regular light bulb and they seem to be perfectly fine. So just keep monitoring them as much as you can, and they'll let you know if you are gonna need a heat lamp or not.
  3. Pendragonz

    Pendragonz Chirping

    Oct 10, 2015
    I am in NWA, and when I got mine the end of May I had a heat plate brooder that I had in there for them. Then when the temps started warming up by the time they were 3 weeks old, 90+, I had turned off the brooder and taken it out of the brooder box. I think you will be fine if you just keep them in the brooder. I don't think we are going to get cold enough to where you'll have to worry about a heat lamp. Best of luck, and enjoy your chicks.
    ETA - my chicks and brooder are in my unheated/ac'd garage as well.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    People follow rules even when they don't understand what purpose these rules serve. The heat guidelines for baby chicks are one of the most mystifying to people for some reason.

    Here's why you provide heat for chicks. Lacking feathers, and their down being so sparse, baby chicks will lose body heat if the ambient temperature (whatever the room temp is) falls below their body temperature of around 100 F. So we supply a heat source for chicks so they can warm themselves back up as they lose heat from their bodies.

    As a chick begins growing in feathers, which they do fairly quickly over the first four weeks, they need less heat under which to warm themselves, and you want to decrease the heat as their feathers grow in so they don't get too uncomfortable and even sick.

    Now, if the ambient temp is very warm, say 85-95F, chicks aren't going to lose much, if any body heat, so they really don't need much in the way of additional heat because they don't need to warm themselves if they aren't losing body heat.

    It's the same as when we humans go outside on a winter day. We're close to the same body temperature as a baby chick, and if we don't have proper insulating gear, we quickly lose body heat and need a heat source to warm up again. But if it's a warm summer day, close to our body temp, we are fine without any insulating coat and hat and don't need any heat to warm us up.
  5. RoodyRodchester

    RoodyRodchester Chirping

    Nov 16, 2015
    Thanks for everyone's feedback!
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    When temperatures are that warm, mine go outside during the day in a temporary pen. Chicks can over heat and can get heat exhaustion, so it's good you are using a fan. Use their behavior whether extra heat is needed. If they are tightly grouped provide heat, if they are spread out they are fine. I brood during the warmer months because so little extra heat is needed and most only need it for a week or two before they are on to bigger things.

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