Originally Posted by Redufresne
I am so sorry that Blooie (who has been so wonderful on this thread) is coping with some serious family concerns right now. Didnt fully nderstand how this forum worked and kept replying directly to her instead of the whole group. With Blooie focused on her family, she asked others to field questions. So I'll post my latest chick concern (although it seems so small by comparison) to the group:
How long before my two week old chicks (6 of tem) understand about sleeping in the warming cave? I tried putting them in the cave rght at sunset, before it was completely dark, but they wouldn't stay (prolly still hoping for more treats). Three nights in a row now, I go down AFTER sunset and they are huddled together anywhere but inside the cave and they look cold (it is 60 degrees or less in that hard to heat room). So, I pick each one up and put them in the cave and they all stay inside after that (72 degrees inside). Why won't they go in on their own? I worry (yeah, I guess I'm a nervous newby) they won't understand about going into the coop at sunset when they go out to the coop yard in a few weeks (I have an automatic door out there). I get that I have to check that they make it inside for the first few outdoor nights, but about how long does it take for them o catch on? Thoughts? Do I just keep doing what I'm doing and hope for the best? They seem fine in the mornings.
Our chick brooder is inside. But every night I would turn off a light and give them about ten minutes before I would turn off the final light for the night. For the first 4-5 nights, none of them knew what to do so they huddled together off to the side after dark. I would keep the lights off and individually place each one rightin front of the cave. They would each wander in. After that they would stay in all night, no a peep out of them. Being born in a hatchery and instantly being exposed to heat lamps, I am positive they were just unsure of what to do. And pair that with being in new surroundings, they tend to be a little scared and it may take a while to get used to their new surroundings. After that fifth night, all of them but one has consistently found their way in shortly after the lights dim (knowing that darkness is shortly to follow). IIwas still placing that solo chick near the entrance for a few days after.
I moved them to a much larger brooder setup yesterday and had to go in and show them MHP again last night as they were all in new surroundings again. Once they were in though, they were quiet all night. Woke up to six happy chicks. So it can take some time but if they aren'tcchirping madly all night while in the MHP , they like it. If they get in there, and are still chirping like crazy after a few minutes, something needs to be adjusted.
As a side note, On a 60 degree ambient room temp, I am only keeping MHP on setting 2 and they are perfectly content little birds, not a pasty butt or sign of stress amongst them.