do banties ever stop crying? a.k.a. what NOT to do when raising chicks


10 Years
Nov 8, 2009
It's our second year with chickens. Last year my daughter came with me to the feed store to pick out our babies and of course we think they are the funniest, smartest and most beautiful chickens ever hatched. This year I ordered the heritage varieties I wanted instead of picking out of the "grab bin" and the babies arrived last Friday ( 5 welsummers, 5 barnevelders, 5 dominiques and 5 marans). Well, my daughter mentioned being sad that she didn't get any chickens "of her own"... I (stupidly) told her that she could pick out a few that were the same age from the feed store. She came home with one wyndotte that is obviously feathering out, one houdan that is going to have it's extra toes eaten and one cottonball sized banty. UGH. It was all going so well but now I've got chaos! We had to separate the banty because everyone was trying to eat his feet. We went back and got two other banties to keep the first one company in solitary and all they've done is cry! They are in a basket in the big brooder and it appears they want out with the big guys, but I really think they would be legless by morning.

update: banties are now in their own cardboard box brooder, peeping relentlessly. The thermostat says it's between 93 and 95 in there, but they are still crying.

Hoo boy.
But just think-once they're all grown up and outside, it'll seem so quiet and lonely in the brooder and you'll miss their cute little peeping selves...
You buyin' that?
Just kidding! I know how that goes-no matter what you do, you can't seem to make them happy.
I was brooding my last 3 chicks in my sunroom(which adjoins our living room) and they were making SO much noise that DH hollered, "Hey, ya'll shut up out there". They ignored him.
!!! Brooding chicks can be total chaos! The banties might be crying because they hear the vocal calls of the bigger standard birds. Can you move that entire brooder to another room? I know that sounds like a pain in the a**, but it might stop the crying. I don't know what else to tell you
. If they are in a separate brooder, they should eventually settle down. Chicks chirp A LOT! All the dang time too, I was up at 3am and they were eating and chirping away.

It'll be OK.
Should I take their box temp up over 100? It's near 100 now and I'm worried I'll roast them.
Try giving them a slightly bigger 'sacrificial' stuffed animal they can call mama to snuggle with and make sure they are like baby bear's porridge: Not too hot and not too cold. Give them a spot that's 105 to run to when they get too cold, and a spot that's 85 to run to if they get too hot. I also had to buy the smaller bag of chick starter for my bantams, as the huge bag had bigger sized crumbles which they could barely swallow. You could also crush the food to be a bit smaller. If they quiet down when you are holding them, it could be because your hand is nice and warm and they are craving the heat. If they start cheeping everytime you open the lid or they see a person, could have been they've been nearly squeezed to death by well-meaning adoring young ones while at the feed store and are generally fearful. Is your brooder light or dark? My chicks freaked out in the dark unless they had a broody mama taking care of them. My banties were always happiest under the nice warm heat lamp. But I do have ones that won't shut up no matter what I do. They eventually grow out of it
Morganton? My parents used to live in Morganton, right on the Broughton grounds.

I digress.

Yes, two different thermometers have confirmed temps in each brooder. I took ginormous chicken's advice and moved the little box that the banties will be calling home for the nite and so far they've started to quiet down- I'm still watching the temp though, I don't want them roasted.
Oh, the stuffed animal is a good idea. I give all of the brooder babies a fuzzy horseshoe shaped pillow that turns out to be well used and loved by the end of six weeks (one pillow per brooder, not per chicken- I wrote that wrong) and these guys are without. Now, if only I hadn't insisted we clean out the toy closet..

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