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temps for first night out in the coop

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mommawolf, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. mommawolf

    mommawolf In the Brooder

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    Dec 27, 2015
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    Greetings fellow chick lovers. I just moved my 5 week old - 11 Brahma's outside in their coop that turned out to be more like the taj mahal! I put lino down first liner second, play box sand third and 4" of pine shavings. Yep they are snug and happy. I also placed the heat lamp in the top corner facing to the cneter of the 6X6 coop. I placed their water and food containers that they have used from day one in there where they cannot be tipped over. Here is my question: It has been hotter than, well you get it, 90+ during the days and in the 70's at night in the upper NW corner of GA. Tonight it is to drop to 67 degrees. I do have vent slates at the top of one side at the top of the coop that is 4' high. I was wondering if I should also leave one of the screened windows ( 12"12" ) open so not to over heat, what do you all think? Thanks all.
     

  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Colorado Rockies
    You have everything covered perfectly, except for that dreadful heat lamp. The chicks at five weeks and those mild temps do not need extra heat. In fact, it will be detrimental to good feather development.

    People should understand that chicks, in most circumstances, do not need heat past four weeks unless they are moving from an indoor environment into a coop in below freezing temps.
     
  3. Dreamrsmom

    Dreamrsmom Hatching

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    Aug 22, 2016
    We just got our baby chicks yesterday. We have them set up in our insulated shed with a white heat lamp. My family is worried that they aren't warm enough and want me to add a "red" heat lamp to their nursery. Do they need it? We live on Whidbey Island in Washington state. It's rained yesterday and today. So, it's chilly out in the shed. Tonight, I added a mini space heater to keep them warm until I can pick up another lamp, tomorrow. Is this too much or do I really need the additional "red" lamp? We want our babies to be happy and warm, I'm just worried it might be too much. When I add the other light, tomorrow I won't be using the space heater. I just added the heater for the night and will remove it once I have the other light in place. Any thoughts???
     
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  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

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    Africa - near the equator
    The best way to know if its necessary or not is to observe your chicks. If they are huddled together and chirping - they are too cold, if they avoid the existing heat source all the time, they are too warm (gaping beaks also is a good indicator if they are too warm). The brooder should be set up so that there is a warm area, and then cooler areas surrounding it and chicks should sit under the heat source for a short time, and then venture out (just like they would under a mother hen).

    If you check out the thread "momma heating pad - picture heavy" this is a good alternative to using lamps as heat sources - as are the brooding heaters made by companies such as Brinsea.

    CT
     
  5. Dreamrsmom

    Dreamrsmom Hatching

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    Aug 22, 2016
    Thank you for your answer. I'll sneak in and check on them to see how they are doing and decide if another lamp is necessary. They have been just under the light, not churping...just snuggled together.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Colorado Rockies
    It would be very helpful and instructional if people who plan on brooding chicks were to observe a mother hen caring for newly hatched chicks.

    Up until a month ago, for the past nine years I've been brooding chicks in makeshift brooders or outside in my run. This time I permitted my broody hen to care for the single chick she hatched. What I noticed is that the chick was all over the place after day two. She didn't remain under the broody hen for any longer than to get a quick warm-up, and it certainly wasn't a warm environment like you would encounter in a brooder.

    The last two springs, I brooded several sets of chicks outdoors in my run with the heating pad system. Again, what was very noticeable was the chicks, even when the temps were below 70F and sometimes in the 30s, didn't spend much time under the heat. They seemed to suffer no ill effects being exposed to very cool temps.

    In fact, from my observations, they benefited by feathering out much sooner than indoor brooded chicks. All the chicks brooded outdoors, whether under a heating pad or broody hen, were well feathered by age three weeks. This single chick I have now is four weeks old precisely, and she has all her feathers except for a little bit of down sticking out on the back of her head. The other night I peeked at the chick the see if she was sleeping under the broody hen still. She was not under the hen when night came, but simply snuggled next to her mama.

    People tend to judge the heat needs of baby chicks by their own comfort level instead of what the chicks actually require. They do not need a constant and uniformly warm environment. They are not cakes baking in an oven. One single heat source is all they need for the first month. The rest of their environment can be any temperature, even down to freezing and below, and they will be just fine.

    So, yes, rigging up more than one heat lamp is not only unnecessary, but it's counterproductive and even dangerous. When those notorious heat guidelines were established, it would have been much more helpful if it were to be stressed that chicks need the benefit of cool temps as well as a single heat source, and that it's just as important to reduce the level of that heat on a regular basis so that the chicks can be weaning off heat right from the start. And that continuing supplying heat to chicks already well feathered is not a good thing.
     
    2 people like this.

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