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Unsure of Chick Ages and Temp Needs

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi all! This is my first time raising baby chicks. We have 12 from TSC that my mom bought yesterday. She either didn't get the right answer or remembered wrongly, but she was under the assumption that they were around four weeks. Well, I google imaged it, and they look more like two week olds! Most of them are small, and the smallest have stubby wings. We do have three (Rhode Island Reds?) that are bigger in size, able to spread and flap their wings, so I'm not sure about their ages. I'm worried about keeping the temperature right. I peeked at the thermometer in the store, and it seemed to be at about 75. The temp in my brooder was mid 80's earlier, and right now it's hovering just under 90. I don't want to accidentally overheat them, but I don't want to chill them either! They seem to be split into two groups right now - one huddled closer to the lamp, and one huddled on the perimeter. All are eating and drinking and move around the cage peeping at times. 

Here are some pics so you can see their sizes! Its hard to tell but the one on the bottom is the biggest chick. He or she can fly a tiny bit inside the brooder. The very smallest, meanwhile, had a pasty butt when it first arrived, but we cleaned it and I've been keeping an eye on it! They are from Townline Hatchery in Michigan. 

Edited by motherhenning - 4/11/16 at 6:46pm
post #2 of 5

Hard to see birds with the heat lamp red coloring


Chicks to TSC arrive as a couple day old chicks. some places get one shipment a week, others get more than 1. Our TSCs, when they have left overs, drop the price and they are visibly much bigger than the new weeks batch.


Those all look like last weeks birds, so they are about a week old.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much for your help! Should I be keeping their temp at around 90, then? Sorry about the redness, here are better pics:


The smallest


The size most of them are



The biggest! His pic is still red because I didn't feel comfortable lifting him too far with only one hand, but hopefully this shows his size better!

post #4 of 5

The temperature is measured right beneath your heat lamp. It can be from 85-90F. But the rest of your brooder should be cooler than that.


You also have the option, which in my opinion is the better one, to brood with a heating pad instead of a dangerous heat lamp. No need to worry about temperature. Find the thread called "Mama Heating Pad for the Brooder" and read the first three or four pages. It will show you how to set up the heating pad cave frame. It's easy and safe, and your chicks will benefit hugely from having normal day/night light/dark patterns.


Also read my article linked below under "Articles" on brooding outdoors. If you already have a coop, regardless of adult chickens, your chicks will have a wonderful head start in life if you can brood them in a coop instead of indoors under artificial conditions.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Ohh, thank you! :) I will definitely look into a heating pad! That sounds a lot less stressful than the lamp. 

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