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Chicks outdoors in winter?

 
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I normally keep my chicks inside during the winter, but I just really don’t want to this year. I’m thinking about getting 15 chicks the first of March and keeping them in a empty closet we have on our back porch. I would probably put them in a metal livestock water tank with shavings and chicken wire on top. I believe I have 4 lamps? Do you think they would be warm enough? Or is that just a bad idea. I am in mid Missouri. Thanks!
 
pollinator
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we kept our chicks under heat lamps in a shed or a barn during the cold months....... we also had baby goats in one of the sheds: baby goat kicked heat lamp into straw  -end of chicks, kids, and shed.   Just make sure your solution is fire proof!
 
pollinator
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Location: Northern Puget Sound, Zone 8A
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I'm working on designing a brooder that can stay out on the pasture all year round.  It would only be used for a few weeks a year, but would have power and water lines going to it (or at least a good outdoor rated extension cord, and a frost free hydrant near-by).  Saw some pictures that looked good, but no plans. So I'll have to sketch out some plans of my own.  This would be mostly for broilers and turkey poults.  But it could be used for pullets if I wanted.

Having kept the chicks either in the house, or the detached garage, for the last few years I'd like to not do that again.  Between the dust, smell (which doesn't bother me as I can't smell it, but the rest of the family can), and mess it would be really nice to have that all outdoors.  

Plus, I figure with the broilers I can get them on grass a lot sooner.  The pictures I saw included a ramp that could be lowered to get the chicks access to pasture on good weather days when they're as young as a week or two.  That gets them used to foraging much younger than otherwise, and it gives them more room to do chicken stuff.  Plus the fresh air, and opportunity to poop outside the brooder should all help with their health.
 
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just be sure heat lamps don't catch your wood chips on fire
 
gardener
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May I suggest checking out Edible Acres on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCznk4o83WjKFCwEZ8th8wHQ



They have a good number of chickens in zone 6 with plenty of snow, and have a chicken coop plus some high tunnels with compost that is turned regularly and the chickens seem to do very well. Plus you get to watch Chicken TV in some of the videos
 
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Location: Ontario zone 4b/5a
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I think you'll be fine in terms of temperature.
When I've gotten chicks I keep them inside for two weeks before moving them outside. And I use a heating pad instead of lamps (no fire hazard!).
I had a broody surprise me with a large clutch in November and they all made it except one. But of course mama hens are much better at raising chicks then I am.
 
Taylor Cleveland
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Thank you everyone! I think I’m going to keep them inside for 2 weeks then put them outside. I will probably purchase a heat mat, but we shall see. Thank you so much for your advise!
 
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