When to take away heat plate

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by FireflyTX, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. FireflyTX

    FireflyTX Just Hatched

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    My chicks are 4 weeks old and THRIVING! I put them out in the coop last week with their Brinsea Ecoglow heat plate. They come out during the day in the small run I made them and they just love going in and out of the coop. I live in Texas and right now it's about 80-85 during the day and temps at night hoover around 53 but may be 60 or it may drop to 45 for a few hours. When can I take the heat plate away?They have loads of feathers. Way more than down. I am getting some baby ducks Thursday and I would love to use the heat plate for them inside. But if I have to I will use a heat lamp and leave the chickens with the heat plate.
     
  2. twigcrafter

    twigcrafter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm no expert, So take what worked for me, with a grain of salt.

    I weaned mine off the heating pad at 4 weeks. I only turned it on at night and at the lowest setting. I used a mamma heating pad. At 5 weeks they were off and outside. Temps are freezing at night here. I have 10 of them so they huddle together at night. They are in a draft free coop with wood chip bedding.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Usually when they are fully feathered or the air temperature is the same as what they are used to. Of course I only use a heat lamp, so maybe the people in the mama's broody pad thread could answer your question better.
     
  4. Ogdenfarms22

    Ogdenfarms22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I took mine off at 4 weeks. They are out in the coop with temps at 70 in the day and around 30 at night. They are doing great. I turned off the heater pad for a few days while they were in the garage then moved them out to the coop.
     
  5. Bantam brother

    Bantam brother Just Hatched

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    I don't use a specific time or anything, but there is a way you can tell. When they start to act like they are hot, you take it away. How do you know when they're hot? They begin to in a way 'pant' I would say. They basically leave their beaks open and breath in and out heavily. If I remember correct, (it's been a few years lol) my very first batch of chicks began to show signs of feather loss, bare skin was showing. At this time, I knew it was time to take the heat away. In my experience, I say this as my famous quote "if they're old enoug to ho without heat, they're old enough to fight the cold" meaning when they no longer need heat, they can probably survive in the pen, as long as there are not completely GROWN chickens in the same pen, they should do fine! Also, it sorta depends on what heat extremities your area has.
     
  6. FireflyTX

    FireflyTX Just Hatched

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    So tonight and tomorrow night it will dip below 50. After that it should stay above 50 at night. Daytime is no problem. I am in Texas and it is already 70-80 during the day. I am attaching pictures of my chicks since you all may be better to tell me where I am at with age. I a guessing they are almost 5 weeks. As of tomorrow I will have purchased them 4 weeks ago and they were probably a couple days old. I'm going to get my ducks tomorrow and perhaps keep the heat plate out in the coop the next 2 nights and use a lamp for the ducks (they will be in my garage) for those couple and then take the heat plate out of the coop and have the ducks use it?(I just hate the idea of using those cause fires scare me.) The coop has 3 solid wall sides so they won't get a draft at night.
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  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    They look well feathered. They will pile like puppies on the floor to keep warm at night and should be okay. That first night is always the scariest.
     
  8. Bantam brother

    Bantam brother Just Hatched

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    They look okay, as long as you don't have over ten chicks outside at one time theyll be okay. But if there is over 12 of them, there is a possibility that when they pile up, they can smother smaller and weeker chicks. I speak from experience. But with less than 10 to be safe, the pile up thing will be a blessing and not a curse,
     
  9. Bantam brother

    Bantam brother Just Hatched

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    They are adorable by the way!
     
  10. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raised my chicks with the Mama Heating Pad (MHP) in the garden shed (unheated) in northern WI. I turned off the MHP when my chicks were spread out and not sleeping under it so much. I had been turning it down a notch about every week, whenever they seemed to be sleeping at the "mouth of the cave" - the front of the pad. My chicks were not quite as feathered out as yours when it got removed.

    As a test, you can turn off the heat plate and then check them during the night and see if they are chirping - noisy chicks at night are uncomfortable. Are your chicks still sleeping under the heat plate? if not, they don't need it anymore. However, a majority of my chicks preferred to sleep on top of the MHP for the last week or so.
     

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