Common sense things I've noticed may not be that common.....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Aschenfire, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. Aschenfire

    Aschenfire Songster

    Feb 8, 2012
    1. "My chicks are afraid of me/won't let me hold them/act like I am the boogeyman" OK, coming from a long history of owning ALL kinds of animals, and knowing how prey animals minds work, this is NORMAL. Chickens are birds, they would be eaten by anything predatory out there if they were not in a safe brooder or coop or pen or protected somehow. They are INFANT birds. They have a natural instinct to RUN and scream if they think they are in danger. They do not see humans and think "oh, they just want to hug me and cuddle me and love on me"...they think anything which is trying to grab them is going to have a chicken nugget. Sure, go ahead and continue working with them when they are little, get them used to your hands, your voice, noise, activity...but do not freak out if they do not love you the moment they see you. And from my own experience, even if you do not handle them every single day, they WILL calm down as they get older. My 7 and 8 week olds have become very tame and will throw themselves at the run fence when they see me, and let themselves be petted and picked up. It just happened. I did not try too hard to make them "cuddly", they just gained that trust over the short time they've been alive. Give them time. It will happen.

    2. "My chick has a poopy butt/can't poop!!!" Again, they are babies, and went from being in that egg to being outside.... they are moved around, given food they've never seen before, exposed to the big featherless things that want to pick them up...sometimes a LOT, and they stress out. PLUS I believe firmly that the advice to "keep them at 95/90/85/80 whatever degrees" is TOO HOT (as other more experienced chicken keepers have mentioned on here. THAT is a big factor in pasty butt. My own 3 day olds are in a brooder in my house (which is 78 right now) with only a 100 watt bulb over them. They do not huddle and they certainly are not panting like they did when I started them with the 250 watt lamp. No pasty butt as of yet (and I only ever had it once, with a silkie I got from a breeder). Chicks hatched outside at this time of year with a broody hen do not spend 24 hours under a light, where they may not may not ever get down to less than 80 degrees or so. They are running around, pecking, foraging, playing... and going back to momma only when they get a little chilly. Do your chicks and yourself a favor and don't overheat/dehydrate them.

    There are prolly more but I don't have time (silly work) to think. If anyone else has tips, or things which are just sensical, feel free to add, or to correct me :D
    1 person likes this.

  2. Albanese07

    Albanese07 Chirping

    Mar 20, 2012
    I agree with the 100 watt bulb. I start with that and at 3 weeks go to a 75 watt, and at 4 weeks on to a 40 watt. It seems to work just fine. At 6 weeks they go outside in the coop. Of course we have pretty hot weather here so cold is not really a problem once they're in the coop!
  3. Tracyree

    Tracyree Songster

    May 6, 2011
    I LOVE the ecoglow brooder for this reason exactly. No worries about too hot/too cold, they regulate themselves just as nature intended. I've been very surprised at how little they go under it. Must have baked my first batch of chicks using the heat lamp method!

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