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Weaning 3 1/2 wk old chicks off heat?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SpinningJenny, May 20, 2016.

  1. SpinningJenny

    SpinningJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2016
    Our mixed breed chicks are about 3 weeks old now, and they are big and active and outgrowing the make-shift rubbermaid "brooder" I had them in. I'm wondering if I'm doing this too early, but I've been taking them outside and letting them spend the daylight hours in the run of our tiny coop. I'm not really sure for how long they need the extra heat of the lamp?

    The weather has been dry and sunny, and between 50-70 degrees, and the coop is partially under a tree so they get nice moderate mottled light, and no full sun to scorch them or full shade to chill them. The coop is small and janky, but bigger than the rubbermaid bin, up off the ground and fairly secure, though not secure enough to leave the chicks in it over night at this age. (We do have raccoons around after dark). They don't seem cold, they aren't huddling together or anything and really seem to be having a lot of fun in the coop watching the sparrows, scratching in the hay and checking out our other hen, Henrietta. AND they get to stretch their wings since they've got a nice high ceiling!

    So basically, they've been outside in the nice weather each day for 10-12 hours, and then back inside with the heating pad under one end of the tub at night. My intuition says they are fine, because they seem so calm and sweet and contented in there but I wanted to know if there were any concerns with leaving them out at this age without a heating lamp. Thanks!
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    If they are running around playing and active while they are out at the coop, then they are fine. If they're puffing up and huddling, then they are too cold.

    During this time, I would be spending time shoring up their coop. Even when they are bigger they will need to be safe from predators...
     
  3. SpinningJenny

    SpinningJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They aren't huddled at all. Think they're going toe just fine. I did leave them in there last night till evening. I went out to get them when it was cool, and they'd made a lovely little nest and were all settled down in it. I hated to disturb their cuddle puddle, but I picked them up and they were all sleepy and relaxed, nice and warm in my hands. It was SO CUTE!

    And yeah we're just building a whole new coop. The coop they have was built out of spare parts and is no longer adequate. New coop is in the works!

    I think I've settled on this one: http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog...hicken-Coop-Plans-up-to-6-chickens-p1554.aspx
     
  4. mclanea

    mclanea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2016
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    Sorry to jump in on this thread. My chicks are 2 weeks, should I still keep the lamp on 24 hours a day? They seem to be doing really well but I sure wouldn't mind turning that thing off for a few hours during the day if I could. 250W is a lot of power!
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    250 is a LOT of wattage! Why not get a 75 or 100 w red bulb from the reptile section of your local pet supply store??? Remember, you're not trying to heat the entire brooder - you're only giving them a warm-up spot (in nature if they got cold their warm-up spot would be under mother hen). At two weeks you could take them outside on warm, sunny days. It really depends on how warm your house (or wherever you're keeping them) is - watch their behaviors for 15-20 minutes. That will tell you whether they're warm enough or not...
     
  6. mclanea

    mclanea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is excellent! I will gladly step it down. We went with that because that's what they gave us when we bought them. Thank you very much for the help. (Total newbie!)
     
  7. SpinningJenny

    SpinningJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2016
  8. Nicoliosis5

    Nicoliosis5 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2016
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    I tried putting A 100w bulb in a fixture that said 250w max and it blew the spring out of the bulb!! Do I need a different fixture to use a LOWER wattage?

    Our chicks are just over 3 weeks old and always have the light on, though I've been raising it. Should I be shutting it off sometimes??
     
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Either your bulb or your housing was defective (most likely your bulb), as the housing/base should only have issues if you exceeded the max rating - anything less should be good to go. Just like a lamp in your home that may say 100W max bulbs - you can use 60 or 75w bulbs just fine, but not 150W.

    Raising the lamp, or lowering the wattage are both good ways to begin weaning them slowly away from heat. If they're staying under the lamp quite a bit, then I wouldn't take it away/turn it off yet. But if they're spending a LOT of time NOT under the lamp, and it's warm in your house (or wherever you're brooding them), then you can try turning the lamp off for a few hours and see how they do. If they begin peeping a lot (distressed) or huddling, then you'll know that it's too early...turn the lamp back on.
     
  10. Nicoliosis5

    Nicoliosis5 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 19, 2016
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    Ok, thank you! :)
     

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