Brooder temp-- Confused by chick behavior. Ideas?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MrsN, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. MrsN

    MrsN New Egg

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    Aug 10, 2014
    It is night 4 with our first 5 chicks ever. I'm trying to "follow chick behavior" regarding brooder temp. The heat source is higher (a little over 100 degrees), but the company said that if ambient temp was going to drop overnight that it was ok to have it a little high before I went to bed. I checked the far corner of the brooder at it's about 80-82 degrees. Here's where I'm confused:

    "They" say that if your heat source is too hot, the chicks will move away from the heat source. They are in the brooder corner as far from the heat source as possible. BUT, they also said that if your chicks are cold, they'll be all huddled together. That is also the case. So, they are far away from the heat source all huddled together asleep. (They are also under the nipple waterer, so there might be some that might be cooling them while they huddle.) Am I trying too hard to read into this? Are they just being quirky? Is there any harm that could be done to them with those temps?

    Thanks!
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I would adjust the heat lamp so it's no higher then about 95 underneath it, they really don't need it any hotter then that. Very young chicks have been known to fall asleep under an over hot lamp and just die. It's pretty normal for chicks to huddle together when they are ready to go to sleep. If they are cold they'll be more frantically piling on top of each other rather then just a loose, sleeping group. The fact that they are as far as they can get from the heat source tells you it's too hot.
     
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  3. LovemyBabies

    LovemyBabies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chicks are pretty good at letting you know if it's too hot or cold - too hot they pant or stay out of the light - too cold they chirp constantly...if its a lamp raise it up bit by bit until they are comfortable to get under it and be comfortable. Thats what I do if our thermometer says different than how they react
     
  4. CHICKLOVER69

    CHICKLOVER69 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm on week 3.5 for my first chicks. My brooder is 3x5 and about 2 ft high. Have a lamp with a 75 watt bulb. Keep a thermometer in the corner farthest from the lamp. Never gets above 90, so they can get away from the lamp. I've noticed they like to cuddle with each other, not just to keep warm. They stay in the garage and gets pretty warm in the day so i put the lamp on a timer to shut off around 9 am. I put a 7 watt night light bulb in the lamp tonight to try and ween them off the light. I just checked them and they were in the corner farthest from the lamp all huddled up sleeping. They had been sleeping a lot on their roost but not tonight. I think they are full. Fed them a box of meal worms and it was a sight to be seen. Me and my wife laughed as they tried to steal each others worms, chasing each other. If you are using a heat bulb, 250 watt, it may be too much. I'm in SW Louisiana and never needed more than the 75 watt bulb. They are in the garage, which stays pretty warm and draft free. Almost 4 weeks now and still excited to visit them every day
     
  5. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine always seem to sleep together in groups... If they're directly under the lamp in a group, cold. Off to the side, maybe too warm.
     
  6. RonC

    RonC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They usually sleep together at that age. When they are cold they will sleep in a pile close to the heat source. When not cold they sleep in close proximity but not on each other.Having a much cooler area for them is good. They will feather quicker and be able to go to the coop sooner. Ideally they will sleep in the middle of the brooder, not under nor far away from the heat. If they are never near your heat source your brooder is too hot, drop the temp slightly. As they get more feathers they are more able to control their body temperature and become more tolerant to a colder temperature. Mine were outside in the coop at 5 weeks with nighttime temps in the low to mid fifties. .
     

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