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chicks in snow?

 
Peter Smith
Posts: 83
Location: NEPA
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Hi all, sometimes you just gotta do it, so although it is not ideal, I have 17 4-week old chicks in a brooder in my entryway. I live in north east PA, and we just our first light dusting of snow. How old should they be before they can be outside during the day and in an unheated barn at night?
 
David Hartley
Posts: 258
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The short answer for "no heat" is: once they are feathered out. This depends on breed. Anywhere from six to ten plus weeks.
 
Peter Smith
Posts: 83
Location: NEPA
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I have speckled Sussex and golden laced wyandotte. I'll try to post pic later.
 
David Hartley
Posts: 258
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I have ordered a batch of 25 chicks, at two different times, both received at the beginning of November. One group went outside within an hour, that year. The next group went out within a week, that year (due to some delays in setting up the outside brooder area. Our winters are mild in temperature, but nasty in the way of rain and wind... After two weeks, they had a door to come and go as they pleased, into the larger hen yard.
 
Guerric Kendall
Posts: 102
Location: zone 6a, NY
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chicken duck forest garden
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In an environment that has snow at four weeks? That definitely wouldn't be healthy. They need to be kept at around 75F at that age! Feel free to move them to the barn at 8 weeks, but keep them out of the wind. Drafts can kill even fully grown chickens.

There's a reason most people buy chickens in the springtime.
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Pie
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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Chickens are descended from the Indian jungle fowl. Notice that they're not called the "Indian high up in the Himalayas where they'll freeze to the roost fowl". They stay in the warm jungle where they belong.

Here's some that are for sale. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZs73WWz9U8
 
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