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when to turn brooder light off?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wildflower, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. wildflower

    wildflower Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    I have 18, 6 week old girls. Should I have the brooder light off at night? We live in the San Diego low Mountain area so it doesn't get lower than 50 degrees now. They are fully feathered but do gather under the light still. They are out in their yard during the day. Also, I read about adding oats to pullets food at this age, up to 50% gradually to slow growth and have better layers. What kind of oats, the feed store has quite a variety. Thanks for the help!
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2007
  2. Sherry

    Sherry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2007
    Southern WV
    My chicks will be 8 weeks old Friday. It stays between 40 and 50 degrees in their coop at night, so I leave the light on all night just in case they need it. Of course, we've had rain, snow and wind here for the past week or so. I've noticed if they are warm they roost away from the light and if chilled move closer in. I guess they know better than we do, but the light sure brings me peace of mind.[​IMG]

    Don't know about the oats. Sorry. Mine are on Start and Grow and think grass is a fantastic treat.
     
  3. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    You are at the exact same point I am at now with mine! I asked the guy at the feed store because he raises chickens. Plus I'm moving mine to organic feed to make things even MORE difficult on myself...not to mention I just ordered MORE chicks to come next week! Oi!

    Ok, back to your ?s...If you have them in the coop and there are windows, you can turn the light off sometime during the day and just let the natural light tell them when to go to roost. Thats what I am doing with mine and its working fine. If you are still brooding inside (spoiled at this age! lol) or there are no windows, it will be a bit harder because the chicks will freak out when the light goes out and they are in the dark. Their eyes work kinda like ours and need time to adjust to changes in the light.

    As far as oat go, you'll want the highest protein you can get them in. At my feed store they come in 8% and 16%. I got the 16%, and also got the organic seeds (corn, millet, wheat, linseed) to make their new mix. You want to end up with them on a 18% protein ration by the time they are laying age. Right now mine are on their chick starter, that I've cut 80/20 with the oats and they LOVE it! They also range all day in the yard and eat yummy, icky bugs. [​IMG] Within the next 2 weeks I will move them to a cut mix of more like 60/40 so that by the time they are 8 weeks, they can move to the organic layer ration I've made them (40/30/30), which to break it down is like 40% - layer grower pellets/30% - mix of corn, wheat, millet, linseed/30% - 16% protein oats.

    Hope I helped a little! [​IMG]
     
  4. cookinmom

    cookinmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
    Saint George GA
    Mine are also 6 weeks, and live out in their coop (it's very warm here -- even hot). They've still been having a heat lamp at night the last week or so though because it's been in the 40s and 50s at night. When we had a few nights in the upper 60s though, I just made sure they were 'tucked in' before it got dark, and they settled right down and went to sleep as the light faded (I had to go peek at them later to make sure). Now, if they get 'tucked in' and it's already too dark for them to see each other, I have to leave the light on or they freak out. Last evening there already wasn't much light coming in thru the window and I turned the light off, and they had a fit until I hurried and turned it back on. I'm not sure how this is all going to work when they get older. I hope they figure it out ok.

    Can't help you on the oat question. I do fix mine a dish of oatmeal some evenings for their bedtime snack, but that's all I know about that. [​IMG]
     
  5. countrygirl4513

    countrygirl4513 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2007
    Portland TN
    my peeps are 6 wks. i'm still running 2 heat lamps at night. i have 25 peeps. i was wondering if i am completely spoiling them? but the temps here at night are running in the 40's. can't let my peeps freeze. love them too much!!!
     
  6. girlsnboys

    girlsnboys Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2007
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Mine are 6 weeks and I have the heat lamp in the chicken tractor. Last night was down to 40 and went I went out at 6:30 this morning, none of the chicks were any where near the lamp. They were all laying around as far as they could get from the lamp. They are hardier than we want to think--our poor little babies [​IMG] Haven't heard about the oats but I have heard that they are better layers if not so heavy. If they get fat they will slow down or stop laying. Mine are out ranging as well as stealing food from the big girls feeder. I am stilll putting out their feed too. 4Hkidsand mom--I have always used organic feed and scratch for mine. If my food is organic, I don't want to eat eggs that aren't. Friends say my eggs are the best they have ever had. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2007
  7. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    They are fully feathered but do gather under the light still.

    Just a guess, but I think you answered your own question. If they are still gathering under the lamp, it is probably to warm up.
     
  8. byrnejansen

    byrnejansen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2007
    according to Joel Salatins Pastured Poultry chicks are good for thirty degree weather after day twenty-one and i assume he referring to the cornish cross; which if you've raised them you'd know they have the lowest vitality of any breed; heart attacks, slow feathering out, crooked feet...
    as far as heritage breeds (and cornish cross), i personally put them all out by thirty days, earlier in the summer. i live in western washington, by the way; low thirties in winter, sixties in the summer-nights.
    all our birds are fed organic, tend to live on pasture or deep litter in the winter, in a variety of coops from straw to 6ml. plastic. they seem to do fine regardless.
    p.
     
  9. wildflower

    wildflower Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks everyone for all the info, everyone seems to be on the same page. I am thrilled so many are using organic feed. I am having trouble getting it here. Any suggestions? We are an orgainc family with a big veggie garden and want only the organic food for our layers. I need to switch quick as I want them on the feed before they start laying!
     
  10. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    If you can't find some organic seeds/pellets around you, you can buy premixed organic feeds over the internet and have them shipped to you.

    Here's a site with a very nice list of organic feed suppliers listed by state. If there's one in your state, you can even pick it up and avoid sihpping charges. [​IMG]

    http://www.lionsgrip.com/producers.html

    Then there's also Countryside Natural Products. They go into such detail as to give a COMPLETE ingredient listing of all their organic feeds. All of their feeds are SOY FREE. [​IMG]

    http://www.countrysidenatural.com/feeds.htm
     

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