3.5 week old chicks forgot heat

5.3acredream

Songster
Feb 8, 2018
90
190
101
South Jersey
Well, I was a horrible chicken mom.

I'm using the momma brooder method and I tossed those wee chicks outside in a prefab coop and run from tractor supply after 12 days of them in their big Rubbermaid. As soon as I had no more pastybutt to manage, I put them out there. Heating pad is in the coop and they have free access to the run which they utilize up until the very last minute of daylight.

Well, around here the days have been 90. So I turned off the heating pad for the day.

And I forgot completely about it last night. The night dropped to 69 degrees. Well I came out and all three of them were roosting on the run bar. Not even huddling. I got lucky but I guess my babies are pretty hearty for hatching May 11th.

I WON'T forget again. I see 50s the next few nights. *rolls eyes* still 90 today.

Picture from yesterday!
 

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azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Don't feel so bad. When my current chicks were just less than a week old and being brooded outdoors, I forgot to hit the 'stay-on" button on the heating pad and it turned off around 9pm, leaving my new chicks with only the residual heat and each other to keep warm on a night it was in the 30s.

Your chicks no longer need heat at temps in the 70s. 50s at night may require a little heat. You should be raising the frame so the chicks have plenty of wiggle room under the pad to move away from direct contact with it. My chicks stopped needing their heating pad all together at age four weeks with nights in the 50s. That's the thing with the heating pad system of brooding - chicks wean themselves off heat a lot sooner.
 

5.3acredream

Songster
Feb 8, 2018
90
190
101
South Jersey
Your chicks no longer need heat at temps in the 70s. 50s at night may require a little heat. You should be raising the frame so the chicks have plenty of wiggle room under the pad to move away from direct contact with it. My chicks stopped needing their heating pad all together at age four weeks with nights in the 50s. That's the thing with the heating pad system of brooding - chicks wean themselves off heat a lot sooner.

I knew they seem to wean a lot faster,(Second round of chicks) since all the advice I read says 8 frigging weeks before they can go without additional heat. My own observation from last time said that was a ridiculous amount of time to provide heat. If they play all day outside without getting any heat starting week 3, why would they be needing it all the way to 8 weeks?! Sure, at night they might need it, but for 8 weeks? Anyway, I didn't intend to move the pad up since they seem to do fine sitting on top of it now that they are "big". Let me know if that's no good.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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Colorado Rockies
The beauty of the heating pad system is the chicks will utilize it in whatever way meets their needs.

The other good thing is that chicks are extremely vocal in letting us know their needs aren't being met. If your chicks are happy and content, there will be no loud complaints.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
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29,256
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WA, Pac NW
My Coop
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Your chicks are at the point where they should be getting off heat anyhow, which is why they were completely fine with it. Honestly unless your temperatures plummet (like freezing) I'd just leave it off at this point.
 

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