Do chicks 'cry'?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mper, May 18, 2017.

  1. mper

    mper Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2017
    I've had chicks since April 12th. They didn't have wing feathers until a few days after we brought them home. Their brooder is a 4x2x2' galvanized tub and we have 5 novogens. They are super attached to us and come close when called. They let us pick them up and are pretty friendly and mellow. Anyways....,

    Once they got a good amount of feathers, and it was warm enough outside (60's+) they've been spending their days in the chicken tractor (big enough for 10-12 birds) outside. At night, we tuck them into bed...I mean brooder and turn on heat lamp because it's been in 40's at night.

    Well they've been trying to jump out of the brooder and excited to get outside that I figured I would try to let them sleep in the tractor (has a coop area and nesting box). When the sun was soon to set, I set the heat lamp up in the coop area, ran an extension cord to the tractor, filled their feed and after they all had their fill, they'd start crying peep, peep, peep at the door. After a few minutes of them huddling at the door and crying so loud we could hear them indoors, I went out and brought them into the brooder. This has happened 3 nights in a row...

    Are they just too young to be outside at night? Am I doing something wrong? They'll follow me to the garage and right up to the brooder so I can put them in. If I don't put the top on, they'll try to fly out...but don't go far. I don't know what to do. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. DoodleRoo

    DoodleRoo Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2017
    If they have all their feathers grown in it shouldn't be a problem for them to stay out at night. Exactly how old are they?
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I'd be inclined to gradually acclimatise them to the cooler night time temps by keeping them in the brooder, but with no heat. Do this for a 2-3 nights and that will help them adjust.

    Regardless of age, chickens hate change, so putting them in their new outdoor coop will distress them a little at first - hence the chirping.
     
  4. mper

    mper Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2017
    I would guess they're close to 6 weeks. I've had them 5 weeks (bought from Wilco on town)...so maybe 6?
     
  5. mper

    mper Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2017
    Its hard to ignore them, and I'm afraid that they're peeping will attract the possums and coons :(
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    CT has nailed the problem. Chickens hate change, and chicks, lacking experience, are really affected by strange, new things because they don't know if it's going to kill them, literally.

    This is why taking any sort of change in gradual increments is best when dealing with chicks. I would begin with day trips to the new coop. Let them explore the new surroundings for a few hours the first day, then increase the time over the next couple days.

    This way the chicks become accustomed to the new coop and they will reach an awareness that it's safe. Then you may move them in to stay, but move them in early in the day and have a dim night light so they can see that it doesn't change when night comes. They really are a lot like toddlers being scared of unknown boogiemen in the dark.

    You shouldn't hear any shrill chirping with the night light, and you may remove it after the first couple of nights. The chicks should be comfortable in their new home by then.
     
  7. mper

    mper Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2017
    Thanks everyone!! I really appreciate the responses and help. :)
     

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