In the Brooder
7 Years
Jan 20, 2013
I feel like I should pay rent for being on this website so much! Haha!

Okay, I have a question about chick behavior. So far, the little girls are sleeping a lot, or what I think is a lot. But, they seem to be intermittent. Then, if they hear a sound, they all jump up and start running around: going to eat/drink. Is this what they do? Are they supposed to be active most of the time? I'm thinking they may be a little cold, too. I've got them in an old feeder, and it's at least 18" tall, maybe 24". But, I notice they pile around to sleep typically under the lamp. (I'll try to take a picture this afternoon so you all can see.) I guess I'm rambling, and my overall question is what exactly is typical chick behavior (if there is such a thing)?

I look forward to hearing your advice!



In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 11, 2013
Didsbury, Alberta Canada
If your chicks are clustering under the heat lamp, they may not be warm enough. You should get a good temp reading not under the heat lamp but the farthest away point in your brooder from the heat lamp. That will give you the best direction in which you need to go. Chicks will sleep alot and do startle and run and then eat and drink and then stop dead in their tracks and fall asleep (almost like Narcolepsy.. hahaha).


8 Years
Oct 1, 2011
For new babies it should be about 90F for the first week, then go down like 5-10 degrees per week after that.

I set up my area so that they have gradients, one area is hot and it drops about 15 degrees farthest from the heat. I put the food and drink in the middle. I then find that they find the spots they like and eat play and sleep.


Free Ranging
10 Years
Jan 20, 2011
middle TN
They should sleep under the heat lamp. They should wake often and run all over the place in short bursts of energy (those get longer as they get older) and then return to the warmth to rest. Their peeps will sound soft but they peep a lot. That's normal. Some folks keep their brooders too warm and the chicks will avoid the lamp. You'll see them sleeping around the edges of the light in that case and if it's really bad, they'll pant and move away from the light. If they are too cool, they'll try to pile up and give long, pleading peeps.

The temperature away from the light is irrelevant. A hen doesn't heat the world, only the chicks. Unless their water is freezing, don't worry about it.

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