What do I do now that it's getting cold?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by NicInNC, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. NicInNC

    NicInNC Songster

    Jun 23, 2008
    North Carolina
    Our banties are 12 weeks old today. The lows will be getting in the low 50's this week. Are they ok in their coop? How cold is too cold for them? We can always bring them in and put them in the garage if we have to (in a large cage of course) at night.

    Also, are they still supposed to be eating the started food? They still aren't interested in much of anything but that.

    Here is a picture I just took of them:
  2. Heather J

    Heather J Songster

    May 29, 2008
    At twelve weeks they should be fine at that temperature. Someone else will surely pipe up and answer, but they're essentially fully feathered now, and by the time you really start hitting cold temps (below freezing) they should be putting on some bulk. As long as they have a draft-free coop to sleep in, they'll probably be fine. how many do you have and how big is your coop? That makes a big difference. With the number of birds in my coop right now I could easily let 'em go down to zero with no problems. lol

    Actually, my coop isn't draft free and my dozen birds made it with reasonable comfort through the winter down to the single digits with little additional heat, so unless you are expecting an extreme cold snap in the near future, I wouldn't worry about it too much.
  3. happyhen

    happyhen Songster

    May 8, 2008
    Northeastern Ohio
    They should be just fine now, and healthier for acclimating to the weather change. Just close the windows on the side the wind is blowing to prevent drafts. They'll cuddle up together if they need more warmth.

    Keep them on starter crumble until about 18 weeks old, then gradually switch to layer. Of course a few "healthy" snacks never hurts! [​IMG]
  4. claud

    claud Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    They'll be fine at that temp.
    When they are full grown or you first see eggs you can switch them to layer feed.
  5. NicInNC

    NicInNC Songster

    Jun 23, 2008
    North Carolina
    Thanks everyone! These are the only 2 chickens that we have and their coop is 4X6. They huddle together on their roost at night. We build a nesting box onto their coop this weekend, but they are petrified to get in it!
    They're such chickens.[​IMG]
  6. orcasislandchickens

    orcasislandchickens Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Hi, I just put my 4 girls out a week and a half ago. They were feathered out like yours in the picture. Our temperatures here are about the same as yours or possibly just a touch colder. Our coop is 2x4 (run attached) and I was worried my 4 bantams would not have enough room, but now I kind of wish I had kept a couple more because they do heat the space with their body heat.

    Mine were a little chilly at first. For the first week they would come out every time they saw me and beg to come in. They huddled togrther so tightly I swear I could have fit 100 in there. They have "hardened off" now though and seem comfortable and happy. I am glad I put them out when I did and that I resisted adding extra heat. 50 may be pretty cold when you are used to 72 and warmer like I keep the house, but it is a loooooong way from freezing and the low temperatures they will face this winter. And they did have their down jackets on. [​IMG]. I have been fine out there gardening with just a long sleeve shirt.

    I realy think the longest adjustment time you can give them is best. I did pile some extra shavings in a corner there and they do still dig down in their favorite corner and make a nest for extra warmth, but they seem to be roosting more and longer every day.
  7. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    IMO I would put a little heat lamp in there if it gets below 35 when they are still this young but if it's only getting into the 50's they should be ok. They sure are CUTE!
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Oh yeah, they will be fine. Just make s ure they aren't sleeping in a drafty coop and they can do just fine even if it does freeze. A bit of extra corn will help them stay warm on long cold nights since it takes longer to digest.
  9. HenMamma

    HenMamma Songster

    May 10, 2008
    Emmet TWP, MI
    Your babies are cute. They should be fine with the temps. If they are not interested in the starter you could upgrade them to a grower formula until they are ready for layer. The grower has bigger chunks, and it is cheaper too.

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