Kathryn Taylor : Thanks
for the newsletter. I have greatly enjoyed perusing the archives.
This spring marks my first attempt at raising chickens. We have
5, 4 week old chicks, and a cute coop and run built in the backyard.
We're wondering how soon the chicks can spend the night in their
coop. The night time temperatures in our area (Salt Lake City,
UT) are averaging around 60 degrees these days. Will they be okay
staying out overnight at this age? I've attached a recent photo
of the chicks in their new coop.
My Reply : By 5-8 weeks
old chicks usually will have their adult feathers, but will still
probably not be quite as hardy as the fully adult chickens. It
is usually recommended to drop the supplied warmth by 5 degrees
every week so by 5 weeks old they still ideally need to be kept
at around 70-75 degrees, 6 weeks 65-70 degrees, 7 weeks 60-65
degrees, 8 weeks 55-60 degrees etc. The temperatures are only
guidelines though (a mother hen would not necessarily take as
much care) and also they need to be able to get away from the
heat if they want to. A thermometer inside the coop can be helpful
to know exactly what they are experiencing as it is usually a
few degrees higher in the coop than the actual temperature outside.
As long as they can be kept warm enough and safe enough it does
not really matter when you put them in their main home.