Temp transition help

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by donsgirl67, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. donsgirl67

    donsgirl67 In the Brooder

    Oct 15, 2013
    De Soto, MO
    My chicks are 4 1/2 weeks old and in the house. I'm getting ready to remove the light soon as the lowest the temp will get in that room will be 65. How to I transition them from there? I want to move them to the garage soon. Temps in garage will go down to 25-30.

  2. ikesik

    ikesik In the Brooder

    Apr 17, 2013
    To me, 4-1/2 weeks seems a bit early to expose chicks to that kind of cold. Even 65 degrees seems a touch cold to me. For my chicks I followed the 5 degree per week decrease in temp until they were mostly feathered out. At that point, they were on their own. Granted, it wasn't getting down to the 20s at that time. I would just keep decreasing temp and watching feathers.

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    Last edited: Dec 14, 2013
  3. Stewarts

    Stewarts Songster

    Feb 26, 2013
    PEI, Canada
    Most people vary the times the put them out of the house, some wait till they are 8 to 12 weeks old to make sure they are completely feathered before moving them to a lower temperature area. It also depends on what time of year it is and the area they are being moved to. They need protection from elements including drafts. I began with lowering the temperature in the brooder by lifting the heat lamp higher, after a week of this I would turn it off for the middle part of the day. At 2 months old I checked them for down feathers and kept the heat lamp off all day, having it on for about 3 hours in the evening. I had our flock in our spare room.
    Once we built the insulated coup, we moved them into that with a heat lamp when they were 3 months old and had the lamp on for the mornings and evenings, turning it off overnight; I've never had a problem with them. We moved them in Summer when it was still quite warm outside. They adjusted quickly and none sickened.
    Sometimes just the transition can upset them so as a precaution I watched them carefully to see if any of them would begin to ail. One did so I added 1/4 tsp of SuperBoost to 1.5 L water for the flock and the one recovered. The extra minerals, vitamins and general antibiotic really helped to keep them healthy. I also mixed a mash of their starter and later on, grower feed and yogurt to make a lightly moist crumble and gave that as a treat to help with digestion. You never know what can upset them or how they will react to change.
    If you want to move them to the garage, keep the heat lamp on them and watch how they are doing to decide whether they still need the lamp or not. I prefer to be on the side of safety, that's why we waited till they were 3 months old. Dealing with sick birds is no fun and its time consuming because you have to really watch them and hopefully, react in time.
  4. Stewarts

    Stewarts Songster

    Feb 26, 2013
    PEI, Canada
    I agree with ikesik, 65 is too cold for them and 25-30 is even worse at that age.They are still too young and they will not be feathered out yet.

  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    In a different situation than yours I’ve had chicks 5 weeks old go through nights with a low in the mid 40’s and chicks 5-1/2 weeks old go through an overnight low of the mid 20’s Fahrenheit. But those chicks were getting acclimated form the day I put them in the brooder. The unheated coop had great draft protection. There were about 20 of them so they could help keep each other warm. I don’t recommend putting them through those temperatures at that age to everyone.

    What I suggest is that you build a fairly large brooder in the garage, maybe using a big appliance box or something like that. Heat one area and ventilate the rest so it really cools off. Give them the option of where they want to be. I think you’ll find they play all over that brooder, just going back to the heat when they need to warm up. They’ll probably sleep in a pile pretty near the heat.

    For what it’s worth, my brooder is in the coop. I don’t use it in brutally cold weather, more from a concern of losing electricity than anything else, but I do use it in cool weather. I heat one area and let the rest cool off as it will. That way they feather out pretty fast and get acclimated.


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