What Temperature is Too Cold for Baby Chickens?

Baby chickens can die if the temperature in the coop is too cold. Any temperature that is below 95 and 100 °F can be too cold for your baby chickens. Whereas a temperature of between 68 and 86 °F is comfortable for humans, the temperature is however too cold for your baby chickens.

How Much Cold Can Baby Chickens Tolerate?

Baby chickens can’t withstand cold temperatures, unlike adult chickens. Baby chickens don’t have fully grown feathers. Therefore, they can’t tolerate the cold. They can’t tolerate temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit, especially when they are below 6 or 8 weeks old. Baby chickens need to be at least eight weeks to withstand cold.

Baby Chick Temperature Chart by Age

The best temperature for baby chicks depends on the age of the chicks. 4-weeks old baby chicks require much higher temperatures than 8-week old chicks. Check this chart below that details the suitable temperature for baby chickens of different ages.

Chicken Age Temperature Consideration
0 to 7 days 95 °F / 35 °C Encourage your baby chicks to stay inside the coop for most of the time to maintain optimal body temperature
Two weeks 90 °F / 32 °C Baby chicks will be pretty active at this age. Keep the heat lamp secure from your chicks lest they get burnt by heat from the heat lamp.
Three weeks 85 °F / 30 °C Allow your baby chicks to go outdoors if the weather outside is warm.

 

Four weeks 80 °F / 27 °C Allow your baby chicks to spend more time outdoors. Nonetheless, keep an eye on your chicks
Six weeks 70 °F / 21 °C Let your baby chicks spend all day outdoors. Be sure the weather isn’t cold or rainy, though.
Six weeks and above Baby chicks can withstand cold temperatures at this age The chicks have full-grown feathers at this age. Therefore, they can withstand temperatures as low as 30°F or one °C

How Long do Chicks Need a Heat Lamp?

You need a heat lamp in your baby chickens’ coop to keep the chicks warm.  On average, baby chicks should have a heat lamp for between 8 and 10 weeks.  Ideally, your baby chickens will require a heat lamp until they grow feathers. It takes a couple of weeks for baby chicks to grow feathers.

The heat emanating from the heat lamp will warm the chicks’ bodies each time they come into contact with the heat lamp. A heat lamp further gives your chicks a safe place to sleep and shelter when the cold becomes unbearable.

Will Chicks Die Without a Heat Lamp?

Yes, chicks can quickly die if they lack a heat lamp in their coop. Chicks aren’t hardy like adult chickens. They are pretty fragile after hatching and hence require a heat lamp to keep them warm, mainly in winter.

A heat lamp will consistently keep the temperature in your coop within the ideal temperature range. Typically, a heat lamp makes it easier to raise new baby chickens, particularly within the first few weeks after hatching since your chicks require warmth at that time.

Can Baby Chicks Die of Overheating?

Yes, baby chicks can die of overheating, the same way they can freeze to death due to cold. Temperatures beyond 85 degrees Fahrenheit can subject your chicks to overheating, making them suffer from heatstroke, stress, or even death.

Baby chickens lack sweat glands like their adult counterparts. Chicks can’t control their body temperature. When a chick feels too hot, it attempts to regulate its temperature by holding the wings away from the body. Chicks also eat less when there is plenty of heat as a mechanism to stop their bodies from overheating.

How to Keep Your Chicks from Overheating?

Luckily, chicken owners can make some changes to prevent their chicks from overheating.  Check these tips on how to help your chicks beat the heat.

– Provide Your Chicks With Access to Water

Keep water available in the coop all the time. You can keep the water cool by placing a shade inside the coop and keeping the water container under the shade. Alternatively, add a couple of  ice cubes to the water to keep the water cool for longer.

– Provide Your Chicks with Extra Shade

Consider installing an umbrella or hanging tarps in your backyard if the landscape doesn’t provide much shade. Providing an extra shade will stop the sun from overheating the ground and the coop, further allowing your chicks to avoid direct sunlight that overheats their bodies over time.

– Give Your Chicks Frozen Treats

Chicks also love frozen treats, particularly on hot days. Consider giving your weeks-old chicks cool treats such as frozen veggies or fruits to hydrate their bodies and cool them down during hot days.

– Increase Airflow

Consider increasing airflow in the coop to enhance the proper circulation of air inside the coop. Your chicks risk overheating if you keep them in a coop with inadequate airflow. Open the door or windows of the coop to increase airflow. Furthermore, you can try installing fans to ensure air flow in the coop.

– Don’t Overfeed Your Chicks

Overfeeding your chicks is a sure way of overheating their bodies. Don’t feed your baby chickens with an excess supply of food during hot days. Instead, please provide them with a decent amount of food to protect them from the overheating that comes with overeating food.

– Keep Monitoring Temperature

Some people can’t tell when their chicks are overheating. Baby chicks are pretty delicate, and you have to monitor them from time to time for any signs of overheating. Excessive panting, for instance, is one sign of overheating in chicks.

Your chicks could also be overheating if they appear lethargic. Consider taking the chicks outdoors for a while if you observe any possible signs of overheating.

When Can Baby Chickens Go Outside?

Your baby chicks can go outside the coop when they are between 4 and 5 weeks old. At this age, your chicks will withstand harsh conditions such as cold and heat since they will be old enough to regulate their body temperature.

Nonetheless, ensure your baby chicks don’t remain outside for long, especially if there is excess cold and rain outside.

Conclusion

Cold temperatures can spell doom to your baby chicks. Protect your chicks from cold to give them a chance of growing into adult chicks. Keep your coop free from cold to avoid the possibility of your baby chicks succumbing to cold.

Chickens   Updated: August 7, 2022
avatar Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too.

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