3 Day Old Behaviour

AlHawk

Chirping
Nov 3, 2015
225
50
91
Melbourne Florida
OK. Newbie question here.

I don't THINK anything is wrong but got my chicks yesterday and all signs point to them being happy and healthy. No loud peeping, no shivering, etc etc. I was attempting to employ the mother heating pad but mine didn't have the auto-shutoff override so I have a light. Temps in the garage are around 75-80 and around 85-90 around the light. As I said everything SEEMS ok to me.

So the question is: "Why do my chicks huddle at the far end of the cage away from the light when they're warming up?" Yes, they do go near the light but they more often sleep and huddle 2' away where the temp is around 75'ish. I thought they would huddle near the warm lamp to maintain that nice warm 90 degrees that everyone talks about.

BTW: They're so cute!!
 

sunflour

Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
14,974
7,757
772
Macon,GA
Huddling away from the light means the area there is too warm for them. Observation is better than measured temperatures.

Your garage temperatures are quite warm and they may need a smaller wattage light or the light suspended higher.
 

AlHawk

Chirping
Nov 3, 2015
225
50
91
Melbourne Florida
Huddling away from the light means the area there is too warm for them. Observation is better than measured temperatures.

Your garage temperatures are quite warm and they may need a smaller wattage light or the light suspended higher.
OK, thanks sunflour.

I moved the light to the very top of the cage and the thermometer didn't budge. It's still 76'ish and all the chicks were huddled under the waterer. SO, I turned off the light. I'm waiting for a response and I (wife) will continue to monitor today. Within the first 2-3 minutes they broke the huddle and advanced the ball to the middle of the cage. We may just be warm enough without a light.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
23,743
34,225
1,122
Colorado Rockies
May I give you a brief tutorial on chick heat needs?

Try to think of them as little campers and the heat source is just a campfire for them to warm themselves under. It can be any temperature at all, 20, 30, 60, 70 in the rest of their brooder, as long as they have heat that will warm one particular spot to around 85-90 (first week).

By keeping the entire brooder at 90, the chicks are frantic to get some relief from all that heat, and they will cringe as far from it as possible. Had you not been so vigilant, your chicks could have suffered heat stroke.

The heating pad system avoids this problem beautifully. Too bad you couldn't just borrow a pad for four weeks because that's all you'd need it for.
 

sunflour

Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
14,974
7,757
772
Macon,GA
OK, thanks sunflour.

I moved the light to the very top of the cage and the thermometer didn't budge. It's still 76'ish and all the chicks were huddled under the waterer. SO, I turned off the light. I'm waiting for a response and I (wife) will continue to monitor today. Within the first 2-3 minutes they broke the huddle and advanced the ball to the middle of the cage. We may just be warm enough without a light.
I didn't realize your light was IN the cage. When I raised mine, the garage temp was in the 40's and the light was above the brooder - over 2 feet above their heads and raised it weekly to keep the temp at their level comfortable. 250 watt light was too hot and quickly changed to a 125 watt light.

So, bet you never needed much additional warmth in your heated garage. But if you think you need additional warmth/light - try a regular lower wattage light suspended above - not in - the brooder. If you don't have a way to suspend a light above the brooder - you could stand beside it.


Glad they are happier now.
smile.png
 

AlHawk

Chirping
Nov 3, 2015
225
50
91
Melbourne Florida
Sunflour,
The light is outside the cage but I had it attached about 1' above the bottom. It's a straight mechanics trouble light with (now) a 40 watt bulb. It was a 60. I moved it to the top of the cage then during the day yesterday shut it off completely. It was 84 yesterday evening and 82 last night when I went to bed. When I went in this morning it was "all the way down" to 75 degrees so I turned it on. The chicks were acting normal. They weren't shivering or showing signs of being cold. They were just little baseballs with legs running around with all their fluff puffed out. 15 minutes of light and it's up to 77 and the chicks aren't as puffy now.

Went and bought a digital thermometer (ok, it was an excuse to buy one) so I can monitor more accurately. These girls seem to be happy between 78-82/84.

I really do appreciate the advice and guidance. Growing up our chickens were outside 24x7-365. Momma either took care of them or she didn't. I can only remember one time brooding in a box at my friends house. We decided to pitch in (4 of us) and get some bantams out of a farmers catalog. Put a light on them for a couple of weeks then out in the hen house they went (separated area). I don't remember being this picky about temps etc.
 

AlHawk

Chirping
Nov 3, 2015
225
50
91
Melbourne Florida
No, I didnt catch those. They were caught on a charter trip on the boat I work on. (how's that for HORRIBLE English). Grey grouper rank top 5 favorite fish to eat and #1 to catch. That was a great day on the water.


"under control" ????? Don't feel like it but thx. Feels like I'm chasing my tail.
 
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sunflour

Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
14,974
7,757
772
Macon,GA
No, I didnt catch those. They were caught on a charter trip on the boat I work on. (how's that for HORRIBLE English). Grey grouper rank top 5 favorite fish to eat and #1 to catch. That was a great day on the water.


"under control" ????? Don't feel like it but thx. Feels like I'm chasing my tail.
As long as the chicks are eating, drinking, scratching and pooping - then all is "under control".

Those are some big fish. DH and I fished the gulf once with a friend boat owner - we caught Spanish Mackerel, but I didn't pull one in - way too big for a weakling
wink.png


Personally would rather stay on shore and just attend the fish fry. LOL.
 

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