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Chicks panting....

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I have 4 week old chicks. I am keeping them inside with a Brisnea heater. I have them in my Florida room and it gets pretty hot in the afternoon so I open the door to the house to cool it a bit. Yesterday when we took them outside forntheir daily playtime, they were panting. I had water out for them. They were all taking dust baths and hunting for bugs. One chick seemed overheated. I showed her the water but she just went back too the dirt and flopped down. 

I guess my questions are, I live in Florida..... it's hot. Will the chicks be okay to put outside in the coop soon? They're Orpingtons, Brahmas, Rocks and Cochins. When can I remove the heating source? TIA

post #2 of 3

Your chicks should be fine in the coop in the next week. It may be an idea to begin reducing the temperatures in your brooder over the next 3-4 days, as they should not need the heat by now - but they hate change, so doing it gradually is probably best. 


Best wishes


Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya
post #3 of 3

I'm a bit more aggressive about weaning chicks off heat than CT.


Your chicks probably could have done without any heat at all a week ago. The heat guidelines are much too oppressive, as far as I'm concerned. It's been my experience that chicks need far less heat than most people think.


When I brought my day-olds home, they were installed in a brooding pen outdoors on May 10. I live in Colorado where spring comes late, so it was 30s at night and not over 69F during the day. Yet those one-day old chicks were running around all that first day, only going under their heat source (heating pad) for quick warm-ups.


They are just turning four weeks old tomorrow and they are living in the coop with no heat whatsoever, and have been all week. The nights are still in the low 50s.


Your temps are as hot as most brooders without having to supply any extra heat. I would be surprised if your chicks are even using their heat plate much any more. Chicks are usually pretty efficient at weaning themselves off heat.


At four weeks of age, they should be feathered out enough that you could remove their heat source all together, and in a couple days after that, move them outdoors into their coop.


I transition my chicks to the coop using their heat pad cave with the heat turned off. This year I added another nifty transition device - a cat napping pod. They sleep in that in a nest box until they learn to roost. Then I will remove it and they will have not gotten into the habit of sleeping in the nest shavings.

Here they are all tucked in for the night.

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