To heat or not to heat our transition coop for 6 week old chicks

kat_and_hens

Songster
Oct 18, 2020
89
162
103
Maine
Hi everyone! Looking for some advice. We have 4 chicks, hatched 11/1. They have been in a brooder in our spare room and we removed the EcoGlow about 2 weeks ago. However the room stays about 65 degrees F.

They are now too big for the brooder (an old foot locker trunk) and we purchased a small pre-fab coop to be in our insulated attached garage until they’re big enough to go in our permanent coop (pictures attached). I got a “cozy coop” radiant heater for the little transition coop in the garage, because it’s pretty cold out there compared to our spare room - about 40F. Outside right now it’s consistently around or below freezing at 32-40F during the days. We live in southern Maine.

I have been reading more Amazon reviews about the cozy coop heater and now I’m paranoid about fires, even though I thought this was a safer option. Do you think it is OK to put them out in the garage without any heat even though it’s such a dramatic change in temperature? Or should I go ahead and use the radiant heater, maybe mounting it so it can’t be in contact with the bedding? It’s supposedly safe to touch the bedding but I’m scared I’m gonna burn my house down...

any advice or experience to share is welcome!
 

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azygous

Enabler
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Dec 11, 2009
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Chicks require gradual acclimatizing to cold temps. Going from 65 to 40 all at once is not a good idea. You do need some heat at first, and then you need to decrease it gradually until the temp matches that of the outdoor coop.

I have a Cozy Coop Heater and I have had it for several years and am using it presently. I have also read about fires caused by this heater failing. I wish I could reassure you it is safe. We had a thread where this heater was discussed, and I called the Cozy Coop heater company and spoke with a representative. I asked about the product failing and starting coop fires, and she promised to have a tech get back to me. It never happened. Draw your own conclusions. I have, and will not recommend this product on this web site, although I will continue to use the Cozy heater I have.

There are all sorts of alternative ways to heat the chicks. As long as your house and garage have been wired to code and properly inspected after installation, you probably haven't got any worries unless one of your heating units just happens to be defective. The Cozy rep gave me no indication that they had conducted tests on their product or investigated these incidents of product failure. It seems it would be advantageous to them to prove the fires were caused by faulty household wiring and not their product. So, again, draw your own conclusions.
 

Lacy Duckwing

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Premium Feather Member
Nov 6, 2017
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How they've been used to much warmer temperatures, I'd wean them off the heat. So, every few days to once a week, lower the heat by five degrees. Then, once you're getting closer to or are at the outside temps, remove the heater. If you suddenly remove the heat, it could be too much of a shock to them. Also, if you want, you can do deep-litter compost in the coop to add to the warmth.
 

WindingRoad

Crowing
Nov 21, 2018
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Maine
Hi everyone! Looking for some advice. We have 4 chicks, hatched 11/1. They have been in a brooder in our spare room and we removed the EcoGlow about 2 weeks ago. However the room stays about 65 degrees F.

They are now too big for the brooder (an old foot locker trunk) and we purchased a small pre-fab coop to be in our insulated attached garage until they’re big enough to go in our permanent coop (pictures attached). I got a “cozy coop” radiant heater for the little transition coop in the garage, because it’s pretty cold out there compared to our spare room - about 40F. Outside right now it’s consistently around or below freezing at 32-40F during the days. We live in southern Maine.

I have been reading more Amazon reviews about the cozy coop heater and now I’m paranoid about fires, even though I thought this was a safer option. Do you think it is OK to put them out in the garage without any heat even though it’s such a dramatic change in temperature? Or should I go ahead and use the radiant heater, maybe mounting it so it can’t be in contact with the bedding? It’s supposedly safe to touch the bedding but I’m scared I’m gonna burn my house down...

any advice or experience to share is welcome!
Can you post some pics of them? How feathered out are they. What breeds?
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
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Chicks require gradual acclimatizing to cold temps. Going from 65 to 40 all at once is not a good idea.

Agreed, but you can do that with a heater or with carrying chicks back and forth.

Just put the chicks in the garage coop for some time each day, gradually increasing how much time.

Given that they are six weeks old, and the garage is 40 degrees, you can probably do at least an hour the first time, maybe several times a day, and increase the time pretty fast over the next few days.

They will peep and be distressed at first, because it is strange and scary, but once they settle down a bit you can gauge how long by whether they are huddling and peeping (cold, bring in to warm up) or whether they are content (leave them in garage coop longer.)

When they are spending all day in the garage coop and all night in the house, continue that for a few more days, and then try letting them sleep in the garage coop too.

And once you've got them sleeping in the garage, you can start a similar process of getting them used to outdoors--daytime first, for increasing amounts of time, then later night time.

Carrying chicks many times a day is a real pain if you have large numbers, but with just 4 it might be reasonable.

You did say they've outgrown the brooder, but it might be big enough for them to sleep in for another week or two, even though it's too small for them to spend all day there.
 

kat_and_hens

Songster
Oct 18, 2020
89
162
103
Maine
Put the ecoglow out there in the prefab in the garage......then wean them off of it.

What does the 'permanent' coop look like?
Got power there too?

No power in the permanent coop but we could, in theory, run an extension cable if we needed to. I was thinking they would stay in the transition coop this winter and move out to the real coop in April. The permanent coop is a 5’x8’ walk in with an attached run. I can’t post pics yet because it isn’t delivered until next Friday!
 

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