what if night time temps don't meet brooder temps?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickbythebay, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. chickbythebay

    chickbythebay Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 16, 2012
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    Hi all. I'm new here and have a question. I'm reading other threads that say to keep chicks in a brooder first week at 95 degrees and decrease temp by 5 degrees per week until brooder temp reaches outside night time temp. Well even if I turn the heat light off completely, the temp in the house is about 70 degrees. So how do I go from 70 degrees to outside temps of 40? Do I have to get some type of heat source for the coop? Thanks
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    When the chicks are fully feathered, usually at around 6 weeks, they don't need the extra heat so much. I'd suggest putting them in the coop during the day once they reach that age and watch them in the evenings. If they start huddling together, they are cold. In winter I bring my young chicks in at night until they are about 8 weeks old, after that I let them sleep outside and they are fine.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Planning. Foresight.

    We would be limited to brooding chicks during only a handful of months if we did not employ a intermediate step. We only have night time temps above 55 a few weeks of the year. Planning for those transitional weeks, age 5-8 weeks, is just part of the management required. Choices include brooding in a shed, garage or using supplemental, lower wattage heat, at night, to condition the birds who are in transition.

    No, you really cannot or should just plunge chicks from a 80 degree brooder to a 30 degree coop, all in one night. There are many ways to accomplish the transition.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  4. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    Its called hardening them off. If you are able to let them spend a few hours a day outside on decent days they will get used to the cold gradually. my chicks went from inside the house for ages0-3weeks then moved to the garage ages3-7weeks but starting at week 4 I leave the garage door open during the day so the cold can come in more and the chicks can venture out in the yard as they please. starting last week at 6 weeks old I took the heat off during the day completely and they only get heat at night. I would have already had them in there coop but they didnt mesh well with the bantams I tried to house them with so Im in the process of building a new coop. Im hoping to have the chicks outside by week 8 and maybe give them a little heat til week 10.
     
  5. mulia24

    mulia24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, that's the theory and maths. In my experiences, I just make sure the brooder quite warm by looking at the chickens, if they looks pity and exhausted and drink lots in small interval, it indicates the brooder too hot, while seeing them 'chip.. chip...' each other happily means there are comfortable and seeing them looks too much sleepy and gathering each other means they feel the brooder is too cold. That's how you could simply determined the temps is too low or too high.

    And I don't think we need to put a very close attention to thermometer. Honestly, the chickens won't care with temp showed by thermometer. :p
     
  6. chickbythebay

    chickbythebay Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 16, 2012
    Gulf Breeze Florida
    Thanks everyone for your quick replies! After reading this I've decided to put them out in garage today. I will let them have the heat out there for a couple more weeks then remove heat. And eventually out to coop, trying to change temp gradually without worrying about thermometer.
     
  7. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    My folks bought late-summer chicks that they brooded in their house and had this exact issue when it came time to move them to the big chicken coop and the night temps were already dipping into the 20s. They actually put their wooden brooder inside the coop with the heat lamp still in place and cut a hole in the wall of it so the chicks could go in and out at will. They were all sleeping under the heat at first but transitioned themselves to sleeping on the roosts so it was up to them when they preferred roosting high over heat. It was a much more gradual transition than the one I employed with my spring-hatched chicks but there wasn't any worrying about the chicks being cold, either.
     

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