Will my 5 week old chicks be ok?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wmcdow, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. wmcdow

    wmcdow Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 25, 2015
    I have 15 chickens (RIR, Barred Rocks, and 2 silkies) that I've kept in my spare bedroom for the past 5 weeks. I'm not quite finished with my chicken pen/run but I couldn't keep them inside any more. All 7 of the Barred Rocks and 1 silkie kept escaping and relaxing all over the room. The dust was insane and my wife had had enough. I moved them to the garage last night inside their snap lock chicken coop. There is no room for a heat lamp. They've been staying in the same spot for the past 10 hours looking like they're sleeping. I touched a few and they reacted but they're not nearly as active as they have been the past 5 weeks. I turned a heater on in the garage. I'm hoping to get them to their permanent location in a week. Do you think they'll be ok for the next week?
     
  2. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    if they're fully feathered they should be ready to go out anyway. Once they get those feathers, they're pretty much able to survive on their own with no extra heat. Just like the birds in the trees, they'll ruffle those feathers up and form air pockets to stay warm. I would think at 5 weeks they are pretty close to fully feathered
     
  3. Houdi

    Houdi New Egg

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    Oct 1, 2014
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    Hope they're not on the cement. My fully grown chickens(over a year) are in our garage with straw on the floor and a wood box coop to get into. But I live in Wisconsin. It's been really cold here. On the cold days they stay in the coop more even though there's no breeze coming in.
    Do they have a small box they can get in and snuggle? Make sure they have water that doesn't freeze too. If it were me, I'd keep them in the basement or beg your wife to let them stay in the house..it's probably a pretty drastic drop in temperature from your house to the garage.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    What temperature is the garage, especially the low at night or when you open the garage door to take the car out? What are your outside temperatures, especially your lows?

    You probably should bit a cover on that brooder to keep them in. Netting, wire, or even a sheet, anything to keep them from flying out.

    My brooder is in the coop. They go in there from day 1. I keep one end pretty warm but let the rest cool off. They don’t care what the temperature is as long as they have a warm place to go to. You can’t do that since your coop is not ready.

    Since mine get to play in the cold, just going back to the heat when they need to warm up, they become acclimated, used to the cold. It sounds like yours have been living in a tropical paradise, never seeing any chilly weather. They are not acclimated.

    I have had chicks raised in my brooder go through nights in an unheated grow-out coop with the overnight lows in the mid 40’s when they were 5 weeks old. I’ve had some go through overnight lows in the mid 20’s before they were 6 weeks old. They were acclimated.

    During a ridiculous heat wave a few summers back, I turned the daytime heat off at 2 days and the overnight heat off at 5 days. Their actions told me they did not need the heat.

    I’ve seen a broody hen take her chicks to the roosts at two weeks old, again summer. Some of them were not even close to being under her up there, they were totally exposed. I don’t know what the low that night was, probably in the mid to upper 70’s. No problems.

    If chicks are cold, they don’t quietly lie there. They stand and give a distress peeping sound that rips your heart out. I’s real easy to know that something is wrong. Maybe yours are finally cool enough to relax.

    If you can provide a heat source near one end of that brooder without burning the garage down they should be fine. If the low in there is in the 50’s they probably don’t even need that but you can provide it if you desire. I don’t know what your lows will be in a week, but they should be fine once you get that cop built unless it is ridiculous.
     

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