12 week old panting at night (only)? Stress?

heelibrarian

In the Brooder
Apr 24, 2017
15
7
24
Northern CO
Hi all, I'm a newbie to this (as will become apparent!). :frow I have 4 chicks, all around 12 weeks old. I moved them outside to their coop about 3 weeks ago, and opened their run to them 2 weeks ago. So, they're comfy in their new home, all is apparently well--normal pooping, eating, drinking, etc. It's been pretty warm here, but they hang out under their coop where it's covered, I have a fan, extra cold water, a mister, and the run shaded. All good there. I'm still in the process of weaning them off their light in the coop (I know! I know! I totally babied them!). They head up into the coop once the suns sets by themselves, no issue.

The three chicks (Speckled Sussex, Buckeye, Cuckoo Maran) are cool with everything. They settle in, eat and drink a bit, then just lay down to sleep--they do have a roost that they're gradually using. No problems there! Now, this other chick (an Easter Egger) seems to *completely* freak out once she gets in there. She has a favorite spot (in the window) so immediately gets up there and starts panting and generally looking panicked. Their light is on. It's not hot in there at all. What can I do? She never pants during the day (when it's actually hot!), she acts normal (well, normal for her anyway), but I hate seeing her like this. I think as the night goes on she settles down because she's totally fine in the mornings when I let them out. This behavior seems to have started in the past two weeks that they've had access to the run. But no one else does this.

I mean, she has the least pleasant personality of the bunch, very flighty and nervous, doesn't like human contact, etc.--will she eventually settle down? Or is there something else going on?

Thanks for reading!
 

Kiki

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I would advise turning the light off and letting the chick settled down and get comfy with the dark like she "should".
Panting is a sign of being hot, it's normal.
 

azygous

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Panting, besides signifying being over-heated, also can indicate a chicken that is upset. You say you noticed this pullet behaving in a "nervous" fashion. That certainly can be the cause of her panting.

Your chicks were done with needing heat weeks ago. Now it's a security blanket. I don't blame you for catering to your chicks, and if you wish to make it easier on them as you remove their light, stick a dim night light up for a week until they adapt, turning it off after they settle in each night.

This may make it easier on the nervous pullet. You might want to observe the dynamics of this group at bedtime to see if this pullet is upset due to the others bullying her. She may be trying to get away from being harassed. I have a two-year old that was refusing to roost in the coop, and I discovered she was suffering brutal hazing by a mate. She calmed down and roosted after I separated her from her tormentor.
 

heelibrarian

In the Brooder
Apr 24, 2017
15
7
24
Northern CO
@azygous Thank you! That helps a ton. That's what I was clumsily trying to get at in my OP. She's definitely not being bullied (in fact, you get the sense that the other girls are look at her like, "nope, not getting near that crazy! :p). They don't necessarily shun her or anything, she is just so so neurotic and nervous, and always has been since she was a baby! That's why I was wondering if it was heat or stress.

I'll do a dim solar light in there tonight and then do what you suggested, about turning it off once they settle. Hopefully she'll calm down as she gets older, or my kids will keep referring to her as 'the crazy one' ;)
 

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