A week early, but temperatures are on the rise and my 5 week old chicks will be more comfortable in the chicken yard than in the brooder shed. Today it’s expected to reach 100 degrees, with a low of 68-70. Welcome to Phoenix little ladies, the summers here are far from paradise. By June temps will average 105, and July is worse, when there are days that can hit 115+.
The chicken yard is shady and set up where there is plenty of air flow. They’ll be happier having the ability to lay in cool dirt. The brooder shed is ideal for raising chicks in our winter months, but I started chicks late this year. It’s easy to keep chicks warm, but keeping them cool is a whole different story. So here they are, in the big girl pen.
I think girls are feathered enough, especially the Wyandottes (black ones.) The Ameraucanas (white) are a slower to mature, but they are mostly feathered, tonight they will huddle together for warmth if they need it.
It can be a challenge keeping chickens in extreme heat, but they manage if you provide them with the tools they need. Here’s a helpful article explaining how to raise chickens when temperatures are crazy high…
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• What Fully Feathered Silkie Bantams Look Like
• Brooder to Coop, Suitable Outdoor Temperatures
The Silkies are 6 weeks old and ready to leave the brooder. They’ve been raised in an insulated shed with natural light, and their only source of heat was radiant heat provided from a Brinsea EcoGlow.
Night temperatures were between 48 and 55 degrees, and although I veered from the golden rule of keeping the brooder at 95 the first week and lowering the temperature by five degrees each week, my chicks showed no signs of discomfort. I usually don’t move chicks from the brooder until 7 or 8 weeks, but being kept in cooler conditions they must have feathered quicker.
Here they are, Fanny, Jo, Pat, and Randi. Happy, healthy, thriving youngsters in their new coop. Which ones will stay or end up in the sale pen will be a question answered when they’re about 6 months old. This breed is nearly impossible to sex, so the only sure way is to wait for the eggs, or hear the crowing. I might just keep one rooster and give that No Crow rooster collar a try.
Note: Remember to acclimate your chicks to cooler weather if they are being raised inside your house. Chicks raised under a heat lamp and kept at a consistent temperature may take a week or two longer to fully feather.
Today was the day, even though I had the calendar marked for next week… it was time to move the chicks from brooder to coop. They are fully feathered at 6 weeks and not at all interested in hanging around a heat source anymore. They are more interested in making a big mess, dumping their feed all over the place, flinging shavings into the drinker, and chasing each other around in their getting too small living space.
I banded the right leg on all the Silkies with 5 different brightly colored zip ties. Finally I can tell them apart! That means today is the first day for Peaches, Sunkist, Tulip, Fern, and Rose to have their very own name.