Quailberries

Songster
Apr 7, 2019
63
113
106
Southern WI
My new SLW chick is sooo loud! She’s 2-3 days old now and has an Australorp friend who is near inaudible compared to her. On the first night we had them I decided to put in an old sweatshirt that they could cuddle up against, and that’s been working pretty well for the time being. They sleep in there like they would under a broody hen, but when not sleeping, the SLW is screaming!

I don’t think it’s anything health related. They have plenty of food and water, and she’s been eating and drinking just fine. She’s not hunching like she has Cocci, and her vent looks very clear. She has been passing less bowel movements than the other chick, but the ones she has passed look perfectly healthy.

I don’t think it has anything to do with me either. She screams as soon as she wakes up and doesn’t stop regardless if I’m there or not. She lets me pick her up and that quiets her down for a few seconds until she wants to be put back again- then the screaming continues until she gets tired and goes to bed.

Could it maybe be the absence of a heat lamp? We’ve been using a heat pad instead of a heat lamp for fire safety reasons, along with a space heater that brings the room up to about 75-80 degrees. There’s only natural light entering the room as our light bulb seemed to increase pecking on the first day- we haven’t had a problem with pecking since.

Is it possible she could just be a little fussy? Could she be bored? These feel like behaviors that a solo chick would have, but she’s got a friend who is doing wonderfully so far. And to think that I thought SLWs were one of the quieter breeds, haha!

Thank you in advance. This site has always been super helpful :).
 

Quailberries

Songster
Apr 7, 2019
63
113
106
Southern WI
How do you have the heat pad set up? Peeping loudly generally indicates distress, usually chill. I use the mama heat pad myself, so am not opposed to alternative methods, but they must be properly applied. Do you have photos of your brooder?
They’re sleeping right now and I’d prefer not to wake them to take the picture, but here’s the model we’re using https://www.amazon.com/dp/B011U58VG8/?tag=backy-20.

Right now it’s located in the corner of a large plastic storage bin brooder. It’s covered in paper towel, and the rest of the brooder is covered in pine shavings with paper towel over it as well to prevent them from trying to eat the shavings. Right now our feeder and waterer are on the colder side and neither chick seems cold enough to not want to go over there.
 

50-45-1

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
Your chick is cold. Adjust your set up.
I use a brooder lamp and adjust heat with different wattage bulbs.
I have no experience with heat pads. Is the height adjustable?
Is there enough light for your chicks to see the food and water?
Your chick should quiet down when she is comfortable and all her needs are satisfied.
 

Quailberries

Songster
Apr 7, 2019
63
113
106
Southern WI
Update-

We rose the heat up on the space heater a ton, and gave them some more insulation by adding fleece to the very bottom of the brooder. It seems to be helping! She seems happier and is eating/drinking for longer periods of time. We still have some loud peeping here and there but that seems to mostly be from one accidentally pecking the others toe, etc. Girl really has some lungs on her- even her regular happy cheeps (theres definetly a difference) are much louder than the average chicks.

Thank you all so much!
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,181
18,239
622
South Park, Colorado, USA
I'm having trouble finding appropriate information online, so I hope you have the box/instructions that came with your heat mat.

This heat mat is "thermostatically" controlled, which means it automatically turns on when the air/coop/brooder is a certain temp and off when it is warm enough. It looks to be designed for heating the coop in the cold, not for brooding. Generally heat mats and water heaters that are thermostatically controlled are designed only to operate in freezing temps, so are pre-set to turn on when it's about 37*F or so. I suspect that your heat mat is not even running/providing heat at all.

UNLESS with this model you are able to set the temperature yourself for when it turns on/off.
 

Quailberries

Songster
Apr 7, 2019
63
113
106
Southern WI
It seems to be working ok for us. We can’t manually control the temp on it, but it has never shut off and is just producing a fairly comfortable amount of heat for the chicks when they stand/lay on it. The box claims to be good for both chicks and outdoor weather, but it’s mainly marketed as a coop heater, so that’s probably its best use.

Not that I’d recommend the product to anyone, but we’re getting along ok on it now. We had a huge scare with our heat lamp being unsecured in the brooder with our other pullets and don’t think it’s worth the risk putting it back in. Thank you all for looking into it.
 

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