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.
Don't ever worry about asking questions. At two weeks old they might need or WANT that much heat. It's very common for them to spend more time on top and around it than they do under it. And it might not make me popular but even as chicks they are creatures of habit......they want to go to bed but they don't understand that they can do it themselves because they're waiting for you to do it...that's their routine now. As you've found, if it's still even a little light when you try, they are going to pop back out because they can. Take a second look at your cave. Is it too low? At two weeks old you can probably raise it a bit now. And chicks huddle. It's more for security than warmth. They can be 6-8 weeks old, no MHP at all, and they'll still huddle at night. That's what they are used to. Rather than worry about what's going to happen weeks from now when they got out to the coop, focus on meeting their heat, food and water needs now. You must be doing that very right or they wouldn't be fine and active all day long. So see? Look at what you're doing right instead of worrying that they aren't doing it the way you think they should. If there is nothing wrong with the cave that you can see, they simply might not need the cave as much.
Sorry I was so short last night. I was trying to figure out which of 50 different sets of incubator instructions on 50 different sites. Two incubators going, multiple temp and humidity monitors on both, none of them reading the same, and I don't know what I'm doing. Most of these eggs were a very special gift from a very special person and I don't want to let him down. Add that to trying to quit smoking and being so angry with "experts" slapping another label on Kendra it was just a rough, rough night. This too shall pass. Just put it in the Lord's hands and keep on doing what we do for her. Okay, rant over!