Will they be warm enough?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Corey NC, Oct 13, 2007.

  1. Corey NC

    Corey NC Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    I have 19 chicks between the ages of 5 and 9 weeks (everyone is fully feathered) that will soon be going into a new coop the size of 4ish x 8 x 4. The lowest temps we have right now is 42 degrees, there is no way I can run electricity to the coop. Do you think they will be warm enough only relying on body heat?
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    As long as there is no draft and a good deep layer of bedding for insulation on the floor they should be fine at 42 degrees if they are feathered out. They will huddle up and keep together for warmth.
  3. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    My hens have already had several 40 Degree nights here in Upstate NY and they are all fine. They huddle together and I have a layer of straw and shavings on top of that. They are only 14 wks. old now and it's really the wind more than the cold they don't like.

    Just throw them some straw and keep out the drafts.
  4. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    Corey - at about 6 weeks, they can handle 70 degrees...no lower in my opinion, altho you could get lucky. You can decrease 5 degrees per week of age to figure out where your babies are at and what they can handle. Your older ones would probably be ok, but not the little ones. Many don't truly have their full plumage until at least 8 weeks, even tho they look feathered out. I'd use caution in 40 degrees for these youngsters.

    I just put 6 week old buff orps outside last week in 85 degrees and then we dropped to 40 overnight. They did not have a chance to acclimate to the change and are not fully feathered underneath, so I gave them a heat lamp for at night. During the day it reaches 70, so I unplug it until bed time again. Hope that helps.

  5. Corey NC

    Corey NC Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    North Carolina
    The coop is taking longer than I expected so what I have been doing is opening the garage door 24/7 so that they have a feeling for what it will be like outside without it being too cold. There is no way for me to get electricity down to the coop so more than likly for the first week or two I will bring the chicks in at night until they get a bit more feathered out.
  6. jackiedon

    jackiedon Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Central Arkansas
    Do you guys use straw or hay? I have hay from the horse but I'm sure the straw is less expensive.

  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I am using field grass because it was free... I go with straw if I buy it. They willbe fine. I kicked mine out of lamp light at 6 weeks and our lows are in the 40's.
  8. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Hay is more prone to fungal problems than straw in the moist environment of a coop. Not to mention cheaper.
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Quote:I must get lucky alot...I kicked mine out at 4 weeks or so and they lost their light at 6 weeks old... and it was in the lower 50's at night, with days of about 65... Everyone is feathered except this one creature who is just starting to get feathers on his back... talk about the one to get picked on in class.

    To be safe though keep them warm. I am tough on my birds... I even took the heat away from a bunch of 3 to 5 week old chicks in the summer when night's were in the 60's. Their outdoor brooder is very cosy though so that helps a lot. You kind of have to read the birds and if they seem cold, give them the heat, if they are fine, so be it. Then again, you might not want to treck out at 2 am with a flash light in the rain to check on how they are doing

    On a side note, I told my broody to keep the three day old chick under her when it was in the mid 40's and raining, but no, she didn't listen, off they went into the wet grass to look for bugs. [​IMG]

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