Could it be the temperature? Help Please!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by happylittlehens, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. happylittlehens

    happylittlehens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2013
    I woke this morning to 2 dead chickies. 1 Leghorn and 1 Ameracauna. They all seemed fine yesterday. I saw what I assume were these 2 sleeping a long period of time last night. But I checked their breathing and just figured they had found a quiet place to catch some z's without being interrupted. I know that some chicks will just die, but if I can help it, no more will. The first thing I did was check the temperature and it was around 96-97. But I've noticed my 4 day old chicks sleeping away from the heat. So I raised the lamp up a little and it's now dropped about 10 degrees. It's at 87 right now and they are STILL sleeping away from the heat.
    The thermometer reads 87 and the lamp is positioned right over the thermometer. Notice how they are all away from it. It's not because the thermometer is there either. It's been there before and they would just sleep ON it. I'm not sure what to do. Help! I don't want to lower the temperature too much or keep it so high they are uncomfortable. I had no idea chicks would be such such fickle little things.
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Your temperature is too hot still, if they are sleeping away from the heat. If they are hot they will also open their beaks and pant. Keep raising the lamp until they are comfortable under the lamp, but still wandering around the brooder. If they are cold they will pile together and cheep very loudly. Don't worry about having them get cold, they are stronger than you think and they will let you know if they are cold.

    Here's my brooder and there were day old chicks in here when this picture was taken - with a heat lamp of course.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Good post.

    I find the best thing to do is to have the brooder big enough and well enough ventilated that you can keep one area warm enough and let the rest cool off. They will find their own comfort zone if given a chance. A good draft guard is also very helpful.

    Don’t get too attached to the 90 to 95 degrees to start with and drop it 5 degrees a week thing. You can use that for how warm to keep that one area if you need a guideline, but watch the chicks and let them tell you what to do just like Happy Chooks said.
  4. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Yup. Much depends on brooder size and how many chicks. I've raised them in a barn and they gathered under light at 95 degrees the first week or so. When I raise them indoors I notice there's a 10 degree reduction difference or more. The behavior of chicks determines the right temperature.
  5. happylittlehens

    happylittlehens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2013
    Thanks for the advice. It's still about 87 and they are all acting comfortable and happy now. I've moved the lamp more toward one side rather than in the middle and most of them are sleeping under it again.

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