Warmth without wiring

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by 2DogsFarm, May 2, 2009.

  1. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Well...I was holding out for laying hens, but now I'm thinking of getting chicks from my feedstore. Probably 1-2wks old or less.

    Using the knowledge of BYCers, I have readied a shed the former owners of my house used to use for poultry (chickens & turkeys).
    It looks to be a nice coop if I do say so myself [​IMG]
    But there is no electric in it. They did leave a fan but it must have been hooked to an extension cord that ran to the house (outlet on the back porch or in the garage).

    Temps here are still cool - anywhere from 40-60 during the days, 40s at night.
    From what I've read (the first 5 pages!) on this forum there's mixed thoughts on whether that is too cold for chicks to live in the coop w/o a heatlamp.

    Would they be comfy & warm enough with extra shavings? Towels on the floor under the shavings?
    I could run an extension cord to the coop from the garage or porch until it warms up but would prefer not to as I'm away at work 8-5 4 days a week and would worry about a lamp left on while I'm gone.
    Any ideas for non-electric warming?
  2. sugarbush

    sugarbush Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2008
    Lexington KY
    Well you could buy a gas brooder... You will need heat lamps until they feather out unless you don't mind a lot of dead chicks. They will pile up as it gets cool at night and crush each other.
  3. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    Baby chicks will be way to cold in the temperatures you describe. They could be brooder in a box in your garage with a regular clamp light and 75-100 watt bulb until the temperature increases or they are old enough to go outside. They should be kept at around 90 degrees the first week. The temperature can go down after that. The opinions on how much depends on the individual situations. I keep my chicks up to three weeks old according to the accepted guidelines. Ninety degrees the first week then reduce it by 5 degrees each week. After that if the weather is mild they go outside but always have a light to warm themselves under.

    A chilled chick will perish quickly. If it does not it will most likely be a hardy bird but why take the chance. A lot depends on the number of chicks you keep. They produce lots of body heat and can keep each other warm in sufficient numbers but 4 to 5 chicks will not be enough.

    With all thing regarding raising animals there are guidlines. They are not set in stone and you can adapt things to suit your own situation. One thing is certain, baby chicks need some source of heat for at least three weeks, how and where you provide it is a matter of circumstances. I do use a heavy duty, outdoor rated , extension cord to my coop. It has been hung from my shed to the coop for 4 years. I hang a light on a hook and then use a twist time to further secure it. Your babies will be much less likely to suffer any problems with the light on an extension cord than no light at all.
  4. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Put them in the garage. They can move to the shed later. If you use a regular clamp light make sure there is no way it can fall down in to the shavings or against something flamable. I attach my clamp light the usual way and then back it up with a c-clamp so it can't fall. I have also suspended it from the ceiling in the garage on a rope that I can later adjust the height.
  5. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    I would run the extension cord to the shed and secure the light firmly. make sure the extension cord plug connections have some strain relief and I would keep them out of the bedding. get it working now while you can observe it to make sure the lamp isn't too close to flammable things. the babies need to be kept very warm, much on this site about that, depends on age. good luck!
  6. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I would run an extension cord.

    Or brood in the house.

    I use an extension cord in my yard all summer long for a bug light, so I guess I'm just not scared to use them. So long as your cord is big enough gauge for the load you are putting on it, you should be fine.
  7. NancyDz

    NancyDz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Dutch Flat, CA
  8. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    NancyDz: thanks, I posted to the owner of the Buttercups.
    If he/she is close to me we may be able to work it out.

    If not I'll go with the heatlamp on an extension cord - besides worrying about fire I was afraid I'd mow over the extension cord - there's no place to hang it from the house to the coop, it would have to go on the ground...unless......
    OK - going outside to eyeball the setup again... [​IMG]

    You guys are so helpful [​IMG]
  9. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    how many chicks and what kind?
  10. ysandoz

    ysandoz Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2009
    I was on another website called www.plamondon.com and he stated that he uses insulated bubble wrap and makes a chicken brooder out of that, thus using their own body heat to keep them warm. I used his method and moved my babies outside ( the temps here were 30) and they went in it at night and came out in the day. They are all healthy and very happy. I have 38 of them.
    He has some good information.

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