What age should chicks be fine outsie?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chicken360, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. chicken360

    chicken360 Out Of The Brooder

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    My baby chicks are two months old now and they are outside with a 250 watt brooder lamp in a shelter with tin foils (2foot by 6 foot) on top and wood on the sides. i was wondering if they are ok because if i turn the brooder lamp off they begin to freeze a little (there are 8 of them) if you can post up some baby chick shelters i can make it will be great too. And what age should the chicks be fine with the cold weather like30 degrees to 40degrees. and what should they be feed and what is the best feed for them because i just feed them chicken scratch with ground cracked corn and seeds and grains. plz give me some advice thx[​IMG]
     
  2. chicken360

    chicken360 Out Of The Brooder

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    srry for the title its supposed to be outside
     
  3. Sandstorm495

    Sandstorm495 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cracked corn is good...you might want to give them natural yoghurt as well. Also, they should be fine going outside. For the first few days of letting them out, just watch that they know to stay in the boundaries though. Good luck!
     
  4. dolphinlvr4

    dolphinlvr4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep them on the chick starter til they start laying then go to reg crumble. There's a 2% diff in protien on the adult food that they need for laying. Also, give them a lil ground oyster shells mixed in w thier adult food, makes for nice firm shells and they need the calcium. :)
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Chicks are often feathered out at 6 weeks and can begin the transition to ambient, outside air temperatures. We're going to be starting that tomorrow.

    Our Christmas Day hatch is now 6 weeks old. They've been brooded outside, but under a lamp and inside a make shift brooder box to shelter them. Tomorrow, I'll begin by swapping out the lamp bulb to one of much less wattage. In a few days, I'll start removing the pieces of side panels of the shelter. All this will slowly acclimate them to the cold and wean them off of high temperatures. Bear in mind, that our nights are still around 0F and daytime temps in the teens and 20's.

    Done this a ton of times. By gradually acclimating them, at 8 weeks? Our chicks will be one their own, as they would be if a broody hen hatched them out. In fact, she'd have stopped covering them a long time ago.

    It's all about acclimation. Step by step. Nothing drastic. But can 8 week old birds handle cold weather? Oh yes. That's for certain.


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  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The chicks will grow healthy and strong if you feed them a good Chick Starter feed. You can feed this right up to when the lay eggs. You could also feed them a good All Flock or Flock Raiser type feed, as well as a good Grower feed, or a GameBird grower feed.

    What you are feeding now is unlikely to be a balanced diet, just sayin'.
     
  7. dolphinlvr4

    dolphinlvr4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred, ate those rhode island reds u have? Good looking flock ;-). I have 3 three mo old sex links outside and 1 rhode island and 2 barred rock chicks inside that are almost 3 weeks old. This is my first chicken raising experience and I'm loving it! All hens, no roo's and I'm doing it for eggs but am getting alot of joy from it as well. They sure do lose thier down n feather fast!
     
  8. dolphinlvr4

    dolphinlvr4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is it true that chickens are more able to warm up rather than cool down? As in, can handle cold better than they handle extream heat? Our run is covered top to bottom but with shaded areas at all times of the day. It gets extreamly hot here in the summer so I'm hoping it stays cool enough. Ty for ur input :)
     
  9. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    If they are in a sheltered area or a boxed area with pine shavings they should be fine without a heat lamp at those temps. However since you have been having them under a heat lamp - you will need to decrease the lamp over time or their little bodies will suddenly be shocked by the cold. That doesn't mean they will freeze - it just means they'll put more energy into keeping warm and less into growing up. I would decrease the amount of heat on them by at least 10F every other day until they can handle the 30F at night. They will huddle together on the floor of the shelter to keep warm and comfort each other.

    My silky broody had her 2 day old silky chicks out walking around in 25F weather - they would occassionally run under her to warm up, but overall they stayed out without heat all day and only had the broody at night to keep them warm. They are now 13 weeks old and thriving despite the broody having abandoned them at night at 4 weeks old to return to the roost overnight.

    I feed my chicks and broody a nonmedicated chick feed - or medicated chick feed if I can't find nonmedicated. When they are a little bigger (4 weeks) I switch to a nonmedicated grower feed so that mom can eat it too and we can eat her eggs sooner. At your chicks' age I would try either a flock raiser or grower feed that will give them the protein they need. At almost 16 weeks I offer layer feed with oyster shell on the side in a dish if they want it.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Like Fred said, there are a whole lot of different ways to feed them until they are ready to lay. All of them just boil down to personal preference. We do all kinds of different things and the chicks do fine.

    The only rule is to not feed extra calcium to growing chicks. There are enough studies out there that show feeding extra calcium, like you have in Layer, can damage their internal organs. It’s best to not feed Layer until they start to lay.

    Or you can continue to feed the other feeds instead of Layer and offer extra calcium on the side, like oyster shell. I don’t like to force their body to work extra hard to get rid of excess calcium so I don’t recommend adding the oyster shell directly to their feed. Even when I feed Layer, I offer oyster shell on the side. They eat what they need.

    I also totally agree with Fred on the gradual acclimation to cooler temperatures. My temperatures are regularly not as cool as his and I don’t handle the large numbers of chicks he does, so I go about it a little differently. My brooder is in the coop. It has a good draft guard and good ventilation. It is large enough that I can heat one end and provide the chicks a warm place to go to yet the far end can cool down a whole lot. Mine start out getting acclimated from Day 1 in the brooder. They spend a lot of time in the colder parts of that brooder and go to the warm area when they need to warm up. When mine are 5 weeks old I’m comfortable with them spending the night with the temperatures in the 40’s without any additional heat. They’ve spent time in those temperatures in that temperature and have feathered out enough to handle it.

    If mine had not been acclimated, I would not feel comfortable doing that at that age. I’ll add that last summer in our triple-digit heat wave, I turned the daytime heat off at 2 days and the overnight heat off at 5 days. I could tell by the way they were acting they did not need it. In different conditions I do different things.

    Once they are feathered out they can handle cold temperatures much better than heat. They wear a down coat year round. I had chickens die from the heat last summer. Mine are comfortable foraging in temperatures around zero Fahrenheit as long as a cold wind is not blowing on them. The reason I limited it to around zero is that it doesn’t get colder than that here during the daytime. Fred has colder temperatures and I suspect he could drop this limit quite a bit.
     

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