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When does a chick become a pullet and tolerate cold temps?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Gypsi, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Gypsi

    Gypsi Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've never had fall chicks before. I got them about 2.5 weeks ago, all but penguin the cross-beaked are feathering out nicely. The smell in the kitchen became too incredible last weekend, and I finished predator-proofing their pen in the greenhouse. Not exactly a brooder, it's 2 ft wide, 2 ft high, and 7 ft long. Got a heat lamp above the pen, and below a wooden shelf in the greenhouse, so the heat will stay down where they are but the light being between in its big metal guard is less fire hazard. That's my theory.

    Question: temps will drop to 39 tonight. With a heat lamp, can they tolerate it, or will I need to bring them in? North and west wind are totally blocked. The green house has some venting but not a lot.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they are fully feathered and 6 to 8 weeks [​IMG] and out they go. The cross beak chick will never survive without human intervention and will always be sickly without you. He needs a chick diaper and live in the house for food bc he will not make it in the food competition arena at the food bowl with the others. It doesn't say where you live or how old your kids are but they look to be 10 to 12 weeks from the picture. Time you let them out and they will be fine in the coop. It seems you got the wind part covered and if the run in the coop is solid let em out into it. Good luck
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Cooler temperatures assist in the full feathering process. At 6 or 7 weeks, most chicks have feathered out and are well able to handle cold down to ?. The "trick" is to prepare them. If they are indoors, it is hard for them to experience 50's and 60's because most people don't allow their houses to get that cold. We have bare skin, whereas a chicken is completely covered in a down coat and topped with layers of feathers.

    Thus, it is better to "finish" them out in the barn, shed or coop, because you can provide a warm spot of 60 degrees, but they can and will spend most of their time in the ambient air, which might average 35-40 this time of year. At 6-7 weeks, nothing is needed during the day, just a warm spot of 55-60 with a raised heat lamp for the night time. After a week, they don't even need that anymore and you can save your electric bill. They'll be completely acclimated. I see you are in Ft Worth. Frankly, your temperatures are mild enough to move them out, using the above program, anytime you're ready.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  4. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    by the pic they look to be feathered already. Once feathered all you need to worry about is keeping the draft off of them. Chickens can handle the cold pretty good.

    The chicks I have raised so far seem to be complete feathered out between 5 to 6 weeks. Keep in mind that different breeds feather out at different rates and sometimes you can get a slower individual that is in no hurry to feather.
     
  5. Gypsi

    Gypsi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you. I thought they would be ok, but I got my last chicks in spring, and temps were going UP, not down. I know the cross-beak won't make it. I don't want to put these little ones out with my big hens yet. They couldn't reach the perches in the hen house, which was finished as my girls hit full size. But if they can run with a heat lamp at 39, and without one above that, my electric bill will be grateful. I left the light on part of last night and observed through the screen door. When they were under it and huddling, I left it on. When they were perching far apart to air off, and only penguin was under it, I turned it off for the night.

    I know my cross-beak won't make it, but my grandchildren were here when I got the chicks, and now she is gaining weight, I don't have the heart to put her down. I also don't have the time to hand feed and change chicken diapers. In the house isn't so safe, 4 house cats, 3 dogs (all pretty large). So I'm letting her be a chicken, but when she looks like she is suffering I will put her down. Or the winter may take her. She'll have the days her creator gave her unless she really appears to be suffering.

    I don't know how old my chicks are, when I got them at the feed store they were starting to feather out. 4 of them are at least 6 inches long now, and fully feathered. Penguin is catching up too.

    I actually built the greenhouse, and planned the chicken pen in it so I'd have a place to bring my big hens for a day or 2 if we have a hard freeze and I have to keep their water thawed. I about froze last winter trying to keep them watered, it was freezing in 15 minutes in their coop, which is protected from west wind and rain, but nothing else. The chicks in the feed store arrived just as the greenhouse was being finished out. It does allow some drafts, aka ventilation, but up high, to carry heat and humidity off even if the windows are closed. Plywood down below, and well sealed perimeters with chickenwire and drainage gravel to keep rodents and other stuff from digging in.
     
  6. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do a search at pet supplies for a heated water dog dish. I would put it in with a brick or gravel in the bowl so they do not drown in it if they fall into the bowl
     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Chillin' With My Peeps

    For right now they are fine, I have a mason jar waterer that I got from a pet supply, half a dozen for a couple of bucks, years ago. The jar is outside the run, the drinking basin inside, half an inch deep.

    For deep winter, I figured I'd build the lightbulb water heater I found on byc. Put corded light fixture in cookie can with lid, caulk opening where cord goes through, put 60 watt bulb in fixture. Plug in, set bird water on top. Can run the cord out under my hardware cloth. I had a PLAN when I built the greenhouse with little chicken run... It was really cold last winter.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  8. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Quote:Any chance you could provide a link to this. I can't seem to find it [​IMG]
     
  10. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jeffross1969

    Any chance you could provide a link to this. I can't seem to find it sad
    2 years ago, a flat-lander, in FL, hiding in the house due to 8 months of heat and humidity every year. Now, living in the Smoky Mountains, gardening, keeping chickens, and loving life. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. 2 Brown Leghorns, 1 Barred Rock, 1 Brahma, 1 Speckled Sussex, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 1 Buff Orp, 1 EE, 1 Black Sex-Link, 1 RIR, 1 Golden Comet, 1 Black Giant, 1 RSL roo

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=107951
     

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