5 week old chicks still wanting lots of heat

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by yomama, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    Hey there,
    I've got 11 babies, various standard breeds, plus 4 Silkies, all 5 weeks old tomorrow. This is my second time brooding chicks. The first time around, I was neurotic about the temps, lowering it 5 degrees every week, and the chicks all did great. This time around, after the first week of keeping the thermometer in the brooder, (to make sure it stayed at 95 degrees) I decided to follow many BYC'rs advice and just let the chicks tell me what they want; if they are cuddled together under the light, they are chilly, spread out - possibly panting, they are too hot, and that lightly spaced out, but under the light, they are just right. At week two, I moved the light to put the temp at 90 degrees. I've been waiting for my chicks to show me that it is getting too warm under the light, but they haven't yet. My brooder is about 3 feet wide, and 5 feet long. The heat lamp is at one end of the brooder, so they have plenty of area to get out of the light if they want to. The brooder is made of babygate panels, and is lined with cardboard, so no drafts. I tried moving the light up a little, making it apx 85 degrees directly under it, and they all sleep huddled together like they are cold. I really want them to start acclimating to cooler temps, so they can go outside within the next month or two, but I also don't want them to be cold. They all seem to be developing normally, eating drinking and very active. Some feel a little thin to me, but that could be the breed and that they are still babies. All are developing adult feathers, just as they should be. The room they are in stays at about 60 degrees, give or take a few degrees. It is not heated in there, and is at the end of the house. However, it is a small room, and having the heat lamp on, the room stays comfortable. I don't remember my first batch of chicks doing this, and they were in the same room, in a similiar type brooder. Should I start moving the heat lamp higher each week, regardless? Thanks for any advice.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I would make certain that they always have plenty of feed and move the lamp higher.

    Chicks at that age seem to pile no matter what when they sleep in my experience.
  3. yomama

    yomama Overrun With Chickens

    They always have feed and water...I make sure that it doesn't run out. I was wondering if they were piling on each other just because, not necessarily because they were cold. They don't seem to act cold when I have the lid up, cleaning, and the lamp wasn't on them, sometimes this can last for up to 20 - 30 minutes or so.. I did raise the lamp tonight, so we will see how they fare. I don't want to do anything too drastic. Right now it is at 85 degrees. Maybe raise it every few days, until they get where they should be for their age?
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010

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