Raising chicks in Texas heat??

Mamakim159

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Hey yall!
We just received chicks last Thursday (May 11th) and they are currently in a rat cage (roughly 2x3) and I'm fixing to move them to a 100 gallon water trough.
My problem is, they're in our garage without AC. Which means, I have no problem getting the brooder warm, but I'm worried they're going to get overheated. They're okay at the moment, but the water trough won't have the air flow that the rat cage does. Since they're not yet a week old, I've still got a heat lamp on them. Should I move to a bulb with less wattage? How do I make a cool side of the brooder when the room temperature is around 90 on warm days? Has anyone raised chicks in a similar situation?
Thank you in advance!
 

Wyorp Rock

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If the temps are around 90, then you surely won't need a heat lamp.

Being in a 100 gallon tank will make for poorer ventilation, so you may want to place a fan in the room, to circulate air.
Are these your first chicks? Do you have any other chickens?
Is the coop ready for them outside?

If your coop is ready, then you may want to consider finishing brooding them outside and just providing a bit of heat at night for them. My first batch, I brooded in the coop, this was in July, so plenty warm, even at 1-2wks they only needed heat at night. By week 2 I had them outside in the run.

The last brood I have now, I had them indoors for about 2 1/2wks. Carolinas was chilly and bad weather. I used the Mama Heating Pad (MHP) method, worked really well. Even before they went outside night temps in the building I had them in was around 50, they really didn't use the heat very much except for the first week. They went outside and temps dropped into the 30s at night, they were just fine - only used the heat to get warm, but they still did not use much heat.

Anyway...back to your problem:p Try to keep their water cool, chicks do have a much harder time with heat than they do cold, get them outdoors as soon as you can and provide them with ample shade and continue to try to keep water cool (I'm home most of the time, so I change water around 3x day in summer, some do put frozen block of water or water bottles in their water founts as well.
Fan(s) outdoors to stir air is welcomed as well (if you have a sheltered area to place fans). I also give cold/frozen treats - hang frozen cucumber, give out some frozen watermelon, etc. I do this in the afternoon/heat of the day, I want them to eat their normal food very well in the cool of the day before they get any goodies.

Here's more info on MHP
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update
 

Mamakim159

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If the temps are around 90, then you surely won't need a heat lamp.

Being in a 100 gallon tank will make for poorer ventilation, so you may want to place a fan in the room, to circulate air.
Are these your first chicks? Do you have any other chickens?
Is the coop ready for them outside?

If your coop is ready, then you may want to consider finishing brooding them outside and just providing a bit of heat at night for them. My first batch, I brooded in the coop, this was in July, so plenty warm, even at 1-2wks they only needed heat at night. By week 2 I had them outside in the run.

The last brood I have now, I had them indoors for about 2 1/2wks. Carolinas was chilly and bad weather. I used the Mama Heating Pad (MHP) method, worked really well. Even before they went outside night temps in the building I had them in was around 50, they really didn't use the heat very much except for the first week. They went outside and temps dropped into the 30s at night, they were just fine - only used the heat to get warm, but they still did not use much heat.

Anyway...back to your problem:p Try to keep their water cool, chicks do have a much harder time with heat than they do cold, get them outdoors as soon as you can and provide them with ample shade and continue to try to keep water cool (I'm home most of the time, so I change water around 3x day in summer, some do put frozen block of water or water bottles in their water founts as well.
Fan(s) outdoors to stir air is welcomed as well (if you have a sheltered area to place fans). I also give cold/frozen treats - hang frozen cucumber, give out some frozen watermelon, etc. I do this in the afternoon/heat of the day, I want them to eat their normal food very well in the cool of the day before they get any goodies.

Here's more info on MHP
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update
Ohhh okay, so should they just have the lamp at night?
And they are our first and only chicks. The coop is almost ready, we're going to have an 8x8 storage shed (adding windows and more ventilation) and then a 12x20 (give or take) run. I'm think covering one end with a tarp for shade and rain protection.
Once we get the shed in, could they just go in there (no trough) with the MHP at one end?
I honestly hadn't thought about keeping their water cool, I'm able to change it a few times a day, so I'll start doing that. Woukd they benefit from electrolytes?
 

Wyorp Rock

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If your garage is at 90F during they day, they most likely will not need any additional heat. As night falls, temps tend to get cooler, so provide a source of heat in one spot only of the brooder. Watch your chicks, they will tell you what you need.

Yes, get them outside when you can, if your coop is secure from predators. Having a MHP at one end would be great, they can choose to go under to warm up or not.

Electrolytes are up to you. Personally, I don't really add anything to water at all, I prefer to give just plain fresh water. Since you are in Texas, it won't hurt to have electrolytes on hand, they can be life saving during summer heat waves when you have a heat exhausted chicken. Take a little time to surf the web or visit BYC for articles on "beat the heat" for chickens.

Here's a really good article that explains about chicks, heat and their behavior: https://hencam.com/faq/chick-care/
 

Mamakim159

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If your garage is at 90F during they day, they most likely will not need any additional heat. As night falls, temps tend to get cooler, so provide a source of heat in one spot only of the brooder. Watch your chicks, they will tell you what you need.

Yes, get them outside when you can, if your coop is secure from predators. Having a MHP at one end would be great, they can choose to go under to warm up or not.

Electrolytes are up to you. Personally, I don't really add anything to water at all, I prefer to give just plain fresh water. Since you are in Texas, it won't hurt to have electrolytes on hand, they can be life saving during summer heat waves when you have a heat exhausted chicken. Take a little time to surf the web or visit BYC for articles on "beat the heat" for chickens.

Here's a really good article that explains about chicks, heat and their behavior: https://hencam.com/faq/chick-care/
You're wonderful
Thank you so much!!
 
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