1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login, otherwise join BYC here!

will they be ok - first night in the cold.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hoping4better, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. hoping4better

    hoping4better Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2010
    Middle Tennessee
    I've twenty 8 week old chicks that just got put out in the coop for the first time. They were on the back porch that was around 45-60 most of the time with a heat la,p about 18" from the floor. Now they're out in a 7x8 enclosed (but well ventilated)with a heat lamp (250w red) about 3 feet from the floor. Temps are supposed to be in the low twenties tonight.

    Will my babies be ok? They've been out there about 3 or four hours and they're already bunched below the heat lamp laying down. It's been dark for about 5 hours now, so they may just be settling down for the night, but I don't want to wake up to 20 dead birds from exposure to the cold too quickly.

    Any thoughts?
  2. IamTheChickenWhisperer

    IamTheChickenWhisperer Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 2, 2011
    Plant City, FL
    Im in FL so my world is different..BUT we have cold nights (20's) also. When I see them clump, even older chicks...I BRING THEM IN for the night...if not someone will get crushed and dead...whomever is unlucky enough to be on the bottom of the pile. :-/
  3. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Can you make their sleeping area a little smaller to keep in the heat from the lamp?
  4. hoping4better

    hoping4better Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2010
    Middle Tennessee
    Update - It hit the upper teens last night. However, I checked on them later last night and they were up and moving a bit, so I guess they were group napping. I changed the angle of the light a little hoping it might help anyway. Now, I just checked on them this morning and they were hopping around looking for food and drinking and such. They seemed happy, though maybe a bit nervous in new surroundings. So, all are just fine. I feel much better now.
  5. chicken-owner-31

    chicken-owner-31 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Thank you for the info. Mine are scheduled to go outside next week and I am worried to death over them! We don't get too cold here either, but it does get below freezing at night. Glad your guys faired just fine!
  6. kitchwitch

    kitchwitch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 3, 2009
    Greensburg, Pa
    I don't know where you're from so I don't know what kind of weather you get but I live in Western PA, and my chicks have been off heat and outside since 8 weeks (they're 14 weeks as of yesterday). They've been thriving quite well in very cold temps and I am confident they will continue to do so in the coming weeks when our weather gets even worse. When you baby them with extra heat and they get used to it it doesn't harden them to the actual conditions outside. Assuming you have regular chickens (not bantams) they're much hardier than you're giving them credit for. Also, providing heat in what would otherwise be a chilly coop can cause condensation which leads to humidity which will lead to frostbite. If you wish to continue providing heat you have to make sure your coop is very well ventilated.

    Please don't think I'm being mean, or I don't like my birds, I do like them, but letting them get on with it as mother nature intended does help them when the wind chill gets down to -10.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by