I know firsthand how exciting it is to watch our little feathered friends grow up. Our six chicks are turning six weeks old this Friday, and I am eager to move them to their coop. However, I am a bit concerned about the nighttime cold as the lows are around 27-30°F at the coldest.
After some research and advice from fellow chicken owners, I have come up with a plan to acclimate our chicks to their coop and the outside temperature.
- Hold off for a few more weeks
It’s important to remember that while chickens can handle cold weather, sudden changes in temperature can be dangerous for them, especially for young chicks. With temperatures as low as 27-30°F, it’s better to wait for another two weeks before moving them to the coop.
According to a fellow Wisconsin chicken owner, she keeps her chicks in the nursery until they are 10 weeks old, and she hasn’t lost a single girl yet. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Acclimate them gradually
To acclimate the chicks to the colder temperatures, it’s best to start by putting them outside during the day and bringing them inside at night. After a week of this, as long as there are no wild temperature swings, they should start to acclimate.
For example, if the temperatures are in the 60s during the day when the chicks are outside, but drop to the 20s at night, it may be too much for them to handle. Gradual changes are the key.
- Keep them in a basement or garage
If you’re worried about the chicks being outside in the coop, you can keep them in a basement or garage for a few more weeks. The temperature should be around 50°F. This way, they will be closer to the outside temperature but still, have some warmth.
- Use a Cozy Coop heater
If you really want your chicks to be outside in their coop, you can consider getting a Cozy Coop heater. These heaters are designed for small coops and emit enough heat to keep the coop warm during cold nights.
The recommended ratio is one panel per four birds. However, it’s important to note that using a heater should be a last resort. It’s best to let the chicks acclimate naturally.
It’s better to hold off for a few more weeks before moving the chicks to their coop. You can gradually acclimate them by putting them outside during the day and bringing them inside at night. If you’re still concerned, you can keep them in a basement or garage that stays around 50°F for a few more weeks.
Remember, sudden changes in temperature can be dangerous for young chicks. It’s better to be patient and let them acclimate gradually than risk their health. As a fellow chicken owner said, “I feel like that would be too quick of a shock at that age. If it were me and my chickens, I would do daytime outside and nighttime inside, just for another couple of weeks.”
I hope this advice helps, and I wish you and your chicks a healthy and happy life together.