Baby chick... solo!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kirstyaa, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. Kirstyaa

    Kirstyaa Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Suffolk, England
    I live in the contryside, have chickens and have had chicks in the past, but the hens always took care of them so we didn't need to do anything other than provide alternative food and water.

    Next door there are chicken sheds where chicks are brought to be kept for 13 weeks until they are slaughtered. Yesterday the children heard a chirping and found a chick in the garden, and picked it up and brought it in. We found a box and bedding, water and food. We named it Houdini [​IMG]

    The chick is doing fine, but just will not stop chirping - but stops immediately and falls asleep when i hold it, and is beginning to respond to my voice. Is it cold? Or just wanting to be cared for? Last night (night 1 for us) it quieted down and fell asleep eventually, but im concerned it is destressed? What can i do?
     
  2. HenHappy

    HenHappy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2007
    on my way to you....
    your chick needs company, if you plan on raising him/her you should get the little one a couple of friends. Would this be possible for you? Chickens need the company. I would advise a minimum of three. (I have four) A chick will do a lot of running around then falling over to sleep, but I don't think they settle into a day night schedual for awhile. Good luck with your chickie!!!
     
  3. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    You listed that you have it in a box with bedding, food and water, and that your chick is chirping loudly all the time.. You didnt mention a heat source, which a brand new baby chick will need for the first 5 weeks or so. Your chick is most likely cold. Chicks chirp loudly when they are cold.

    At one week, they should be kept at a temp around 95, then drop the temp by 5 degrees each week until it is fairly feathered out, or it is warm enough to put him/her out in the coop. The reason it probably quieted and slept when you held it is because YOUR body temp is roughly the temp the chick needs to be at (98.6) and your body most likely warmed him, comforted him, and he was able to sleep.

    Even if cold, a chick will eventually sleep from exhaustion. Get your chicky a little lamp and heat bulb and he'll stop chirping so loudly. And, as stated above, a friend or two would also help. Chickens are flock (social) creatures and need the warmth (they huddle together to keep warm) and companionship of others their age and kind to form bonds with.
     
  4. Kirstyaa

    Kirstyaa Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Suffolk, England
    Thankyou for your responses.

    I dont have a lamp no, what kind? Can you link me to a picture or something please? What can i do in the mean time? Its inside and next to a radiator at the moment.

    Yes, i think it does want company, (it keeps trying to get out of its box toward me) but i don't know if more chicks are possible, we have a normal size garden and hen shed and already have 10 hens. I'll have to see how it goes... sweet talk my family perhaps
     
  5. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    You can go to your local feed store, or a Farm and Fleet, or similar store and ask for a "brooder lamp" for chicks. It will look like this:

    [​IMG]

    Make sure the one you pick has a CERAMIC base, and not a plastic one. The plasic base will most likely be brown, though I have seen them in white. Plastic bases cannot handle the heat the bulb will put out and will melt. A ceramic base will always be white and will 'feel' like a porcelain doll, etc. Also, your brooder lamp does not 'need' a bulb shield (like the one pictured), but it is recommended if you can find one WITH it, should a bulb explode (rare, but can happen) it may protect your chicks, as well as keeping them from flying into the bulb. The shield will be an X of metal that fits on the lamp after you've screwed in the bulb.

    As far as the bulb goes, if you keep your house fairly warm, and you dont intend on putting the chick outside before its feathered, you could probably do with a lower wattage like a 100w or 150w. Make sure they are HEAT BULBS, and not normal light bulbs which give light, but no heat. Again, if you have questions, ask them at the store where you buy the feed for your hens now. They will be able to show/tell you exactly what you need. Also, if you DO get a buddy or two for him/her, you should go with a RED heat bulb, as it will lesson any chances of picking or canibalism.

    Here's haw my lamp looks with my chicks who are out in the coop now. It is still quite chilly at night where I live, so even though they are faitly well feathered, and out in the coop, they still need the warmth of their lamp.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. SkeeredChicken

    SkeeredChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 27, 2007
    Orlando, Florida
    I agree it's definately crying because it's cold. Though I would add, for a single chick a household lightbulb would likely provide plenty of heat. Whereas a typical brooder bulb of 250 watts could be overkill. I've used household 100 watt bulbs in my brooder light with good results. It's stated alot on here that a thermometer is a chicks best friend. If that gets you confused, sorry. It's always your choice. Just remember that the heat needs regulated at 95 degrees farenheit. It will peep and tell you whether it's still too hot or cold. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2007
  7. Kirstyaa

    Kirstyaa Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Suffolk, England
    Ok, i am currently using a house lamp bent over her box as she is inside, which seems to be working really well. My baby is much more quiet now, apart from night time! She does not like it at all!

    Chicks dont sleep with the light on right? so what shall i do?
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Yes, keep that light on her 24/7! She needs it for heat and for her growth.
     
  9. Kirstyaa

    Kirstyaa Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2007
    Suffolk, England
    Ok thanks. Im working on getting her a proper brooder lamp thing like the picture above, but nothing has been open! It was really bad timing...!
     
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You're doing what you can. Just keep that lamp on her all the time and she'll stay happier, I promise.
     

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