When to go outside in hot weather?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MollyDog01, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. MollyDog01

    MollyDog01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hervey Bay, QLD
    I have been reading some older posts about when is the best time to start putting my Pekin Bantams outside. All the posts are concerned about the cold, but we live in Australia and HEAT is the issue right now. They are currently 3 weeks old and flying around everywhere in my living room when I raise the lid on their cage. I have taken them outside several time to scratch in the grass and run around for a short time. Today I put them into the chicken house to see how they would scratch around and start getting use to what will be their new home. Within about 10 mins they were starting to feel some heat stress in our Aussie summer, so they were quickly escorted back into the living room. All is good now, all recovered, and again flying around the living room...lol.

    Considering our heat is up to 100 degrees easily, when is it going to be safe for these little guys to start spending some time outside for longer periods. This is the first time we have had such little chicks so I really don't know what to expect.

    Can anyone help? Pic is taken at 14 days so they are a week older now and much more feathered.



    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    It is good you have been acclimating them to the heat. If they were mine, they would go out and stay out. They will need breeze and shade, and plenty to drink, to survive the heat, of course. There are a lot of threads on here about ways to help them beat the heat.
     
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  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If those chicks were raised with a momma hen, they'd be at a hundred degrees every time they went under her. This time of year they'd pretty much only be under her at night, and out at whatever temp it was during the day. I can't imagine temps in the 90s causing heat stress on brooder raised chicks. I'm with flockwatcher--they can stay out all day at least. As stated, that's what they'd be doing with momma.
     
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  4. SampyArctica

    SampyArctica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also live in Australia and definitely agree that we've had some scorchers lately! But the four of my girls who are old enough to be outside, stay outside full time now. The youngest, a pair of nine-week-olds have been out since they were about five weeks old. We do get a nice breeze through some parts of our yard, though it hasn't meant too much on those *ridiculously* humid days, it still does help a bit, and we've got plenty of shade as well as plenty of sun. I just make sure I put a couple of extra water bowls around the yard in the shaded areas so they always have a ready supply of water, in addition to occasionally slipping in an ice cube or two to ensure the water temp stays down. The girls certainly appreciate it! Otherwise no dramas so far. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
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  5. MollyDog01

    MollyDog01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hervey Bay, QLD
    Thank you for your advice. No one understands our Aussie weather like another Aussie. I will take the advice of those given to me and start getting them out in the yard as much as possible but will need to organise a bit more shade over their coop first, or just move the coop. The heat is just like baking in an oven at the moment.
     
  6. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Three weeks old it is about time you start getting them use
    to going out in the shade with a good amount of water to
    even stand in but shallow and maybe in a cage with a wet
    towel over it to help cool them off ...
    Do you have a wire cage for them, it is always wise to have
    a small wire cage just in case anything happens or you
    just need to separate them ....
    And keep an eye on them as they should be outside by 4 to 5
    weeks most defiantly as it get's over 120 F here in June July
    and August every year and the wet towel over the cage is
    what I use because being in the house would be the same
    and thing's get foul in these temp's fast .....
    Good luck and Happy holiday's [​IMG]

    gander007 [​IMG]
     
  7. MollyDog01

    MollyDog01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 2, 2013
    Hervey Bay, QLD
    Yes, the heat here is making everything smell just a little bit special...lol. We do have a wire cage for them so I will take your wet towel idea on board. I need to get them out in the next few days and start letting them have more outside time. Thanks for your input.
     
  8. SampyArctica

    SampyArctica Chillin' With My Peeps

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  9. MollyDog01

    MollyDog01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hervey Bay, QLD
    Thank you. I found this really helpful. My chicks are outside today on Boxing day. Seem to be doing really well. I have some more shade where they are now and go down periodically and let them out to jump all over me. I will try and do this each day I am home until I am sure they are ok in our Aussie heat.
     
  10. SampyArctica

    SampyArctica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No worries. I caught my GL Wyandotte panting today and I've heard that they're not as tolerant as other breeds to heat, so I've put a tray of water in their coop to stand in (old cat litter tray) and tried showing them what to do with it (they seem pretty suspicious of it though [​IMG]) and also filled up a drinking water container, put it in the freezer for half an hour and then poured it in a corner of their coop to dig/scratch around in. I also froze a kiwi fruit and cut that up into pieces for them (didn't have any watermelon), which they seemed to love. I'm out continuing the Christmas family get together thing, so I'm hoping they were happy with what I tried to do to cool them down before I left.

    I'm going to take their water container out tonight though to try that "turn it upside down and freeze water in the top" trick, see how that goes. I went to put ice cubes in an ice-cream container we've got around the yard, but I saw my free-ranging girls run over to eat the ice so I think I've got to put a couple more trays in the fridge before I run out...
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2013

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