Temps for 4 week old chicks? I need tips for keeping them outside.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Andora, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. Andora

    Andora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    My chicks are almost 4 weeks old now, and they are getting a lot of feathers. They've been inside my house since they hatched, but today I had to move them outside--I couldn't take the dust, smell, and constant chirping any longer! My husband was getting extremely annoyed at me, so for the sake of peace they have moved to the (unattached) garage. I have 14 chicks--EE's, buff orps, and some from the Ideal crested special. One of the cresteds looks like a bantam, it's always been significantly tinier than the others. Oddly it is also feathering out much slower.

    Our garage isn't very drafty, but it is cold. The chicks are inside of a 3 ft tall 4x4 ft. double thick cardboard box. I have a 2x2 ft. wire rabbit/brooder cage sitting inside the box with the 250 watt heat lamp on it. They have shelf liner covered with pine shavings for the flooring. The digital thermometer probe is right on the shavings under the lamp, and it's only reading 62 degrees. I don't think that's warm enough, is it? Some of the chicks are puffed up, but none are even standing under the light! They're running all over their box chirping and pecking like it's nothing.

    It's 40 degrees outside right now, so I guess the chick brooder stays about 20 degrees above outside temp. It's supposed to get down to 10 degrees tomorrow night. Do you think they'll freeze? I'm worried! Any ideas about what else I could do to further insulate them without creating a fire hazard? Do you think buying a second heat lamp would be a good idea? Is it safe to plug in two 250 watt heat lamps to the same outlet? If the two lamps make it too hot in the brooder cage, they are able to get several feet away within their huge box enclosure. I'm also considering lining their giant box with foil on the sides, just halfway up...but I don't want to turn it into a chicken roaster....
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
  2. magsrags

    magsrags Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 12, 2008
    Staten Island NY
    I was in the same predicament 10 days ago. fed up, the Dh said OUT of the garage and brooder and into the coop/run.
    I can't really blame him as all power tools etc. are covered in "chickie dust" in a double garage. My mistake for sure. Just had to get them out.

    Your's should be OK for now. Just moniter them for the cold as they might need a smaller box to keep the "body heat" in when it gets really cold. I've got 2...5 week olds hidden in my basement right now .LOL So I understand!
     
  3. magsrags

    magsrags Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 12, 2008
    Staten Island NY
    Cover the entire box with a tarp or blanket at night to keep yourself sane.:<) It stinks worrying at night when your trying to fall asleep hoping the babies are warm. Been there! There right now actually!
    It is in the 20's here and my 8 week olds are outside with no heat. All locked up & covered up very well though.
    Good luck!
     
  4. MissJames

    MissJames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 17, 2008
    Coastal SC
    Quote:This is kinda funny.My husband is DONE als:hmmurs were hatched on Nov 5th.It's still fairly warm here,but getting colder.My hubby is trying to finish up the coop to get the chicks out there this weekend. With the red light they will be fine.I've been taking them outside a little bit during the day.It was 79degrees yesterday! but the high Monday will only be 59.Lows in the 30's.I may get a sleeping bag out for me [​IMG]
     
  5. Andora

    Andora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Mine hatched on November 24th.

    Do you think covering the big box with a heat lamp inside would be a fire hazard? That makes me nervous, but I am desperately worried enough to try it LOL.
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks &amp; Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Andora, I assume since you have a heat lamp out there you have electricity in the garage correct?
    Why not run a heater to warm the garage up and then with that and the heat lamp they will do just fine.
    My chicks were never in the house - my SO just wouldn't go for it and I can't blame him.
    We put them in a draft-proof shed with a heater going for about the first week and after the first week, just their heat lamps and they were fine. Having a second heat lamp is ideal, if you can arrange it so that the chicks still have room to get away from the heat if necessary. That way if one heat lamp burns out, the chicks are still getting some warmth.
    Going by the decrease temp. by 5 degrees a week rule, your chicks need it to be about 75 to 80 degrees in their 4th week.
    Walmart sells an oil filled electric heater that is very safe, although a little expensive to run. I have two of them. When I saw them in the store the other day they were $35.
    I wouldn't put anything on top of the brooder where it might come in contact with that heat lamp. You're right to be concerned about the fire hazard.
     
  7. magsrags

    magsrags Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 12, 2008
    Staten Island NY
    Quote:This is kinda funny.My husband is DONE als:hmmurs were hatched on Nov 5th.It's still fairly warm here,but getting colder.My hubby is trying to finish up the coop to get the chicks out there this weekend. With the red light they will be fine.I've been taking them outside a little bit during the day.It was 79degrees yesterday! but the high Monday will only be 59.Lows in the 30's.I may get a sleeping bag out for me [​IMG]

    Ugh,, it was in the 20's here today and I went out with hot oatmeal/raisons....salads and cracked corn to make sure mine are OK. God darn cold!!!! figures I'd raise chickens this year and we'd get into a big freeze.[​IMG]
     
  8. kelliepulido

    kelliepulido Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2008
    st.john's mi
    Mine have been out in the coop for about 2-3wks. and they were hatched out nov.14,we have had very cold temps.10 at nite.I have a heat lamp out their for them.They did have a little covered up den that kept them at about 45-50ish,lately they moved out of the den area so I took that out and just left the heat lamp on above the area that they like to roost at we will see how that goes tonight it will be the coldest yet.They seem to be doing fine.
     
  9. how big is your coop. Can you find a dog pen, metal, to put in with the chickies ? If so and you have the room, you can put in a electric/oil heater or even a ceramic one as long as the chickies can NOT get to the heater. The heater should fit in the metal pen/kennel and keep the shavings away from it. Many people have done this on a temp. basis to get through cold nights. A heat lamp will help too. 4 week old chicks should have a temperature of about 75 to 80 degrees. I have lost a few that are now 6 to7 weeks old in temperature at 50 degrees with heat lamps. I just keep praying they will huddle and preserve their buddies until they are old enough.
     
  10. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2008
    Mid west Michigan
    I had a post like this going a couple weeks ago.
    I've never done this before but hatched some eggs out mid Nov. They're now outside in the coop in a corner we boxed off (about 3 x 6 ft.) with plywood and have 2 - 250 watt heat lamps going 24/7.
    We have a plastic tarp covering their area.
    They seem to stay warm enough but what a dismal existence. I feel sorry for them.
    I will never do this again!
     

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