Do you have to put your brooder babies to bed every night?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by subhanalah, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    Every night around dusk, my chicks start cheeping and going crazy trying to get out of the brooder. I simply cover them with a towel and I guess this simulates mother hen covering with her body.

    Does this occur with anyone else's chicks? am I doing something wrong?

    P.s. I don't use a heat lamp I use a CHE and open the curtains for them I the morning after the sun comes up, so they have a natural day/night cycle
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  2. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I don't know what a CHE is.

    I have always used a heat lamp, but given them lots of space so that they can find cooler locations. (I keep chicks in the bathtub).

    I find that my chicks are very loud if they are cold.

    But, this last summer, for the first time I had only 5 chicks in a group. THEY would peep at night when it was time to sleep, until I made a little nest for them. They were not too cold, because they were not directly under the heat lamp.

    However, I think the small number needed a spot that felt more secure and nest like.
  3. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    Sorry, a CHE is a ceramic heat emitter. I've used blue towels as their nest since the day I brought them home. During the day they go to the nest to nap. If I have the door open they will fly onto my lap and nestle under my arms to snooze.
    I guess they just prefer to sleep out of the brooder for night time.
    I just moved them to this new style of broader with a door, before they were in an aquarium and would do the same thing at dusk, going crazy at the glass. I thought maybe this would be beyter, but now I'm afraid they are going to hurt themselves sticking their heads/necks through the dog crate door. It's a plastic crate not a metal wire one.
  4. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    I do the same thing from time to time with the covering of the
    brooder but that is more if I want to watch T.V. and if not I
    just let them chirp away as I also like to listen to the chirping
    and the house is not quiet and sounds alive all night long .. [​IMG]
  5. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2014
    Jones County, Georgia
    Glad you mentioned a CHE. I haven't used one in ages (for reptiles) but it has been dark out for over an hour and the chicks are still busy. That is not natural.

    Just ordered a CHE from amazon, those red heat bulbs give off way too much light.

    Also Subhanala you might consider covering the kennel door with clear plastic if safety is an issue, the side vents should provide enough ventilation if you are monitoring the temps.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  6. Balloonjuice

    Balloonjuice Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2013
    Styx, TX
    I keep my brooder in a dark room (only red lights in the brooder). The chicks seem pretty good about deciding how far from the heat lamp (also red) and the red lights they need to be. However, as soon as I turn the florescent light on in the room so I can see what I'm doing to feed them, water them, change the bedding etc. they do begin to chirp and move about in a lively way.

    I'm still a newbie, so I may have this wrong, but I thought that was a good sign. They're lively and friendly and moving about. I say that because I lost a chick the first 24 hours to stress. The first sign something was wrong was that she became lethargic.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    What wattage is your CHE and how far from the brooder floor do you have it?
    Do you have a screen over the shade to keep the chicks from touching it?
    I hear they are very hot.
  8. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    They do get very hot. I don't have a protective wire over it, I plan on doing a way with it completely w/in the week. I also have a heating pad under the crate. The CHE is also on a thermostat.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Heating pad? Thermostat?
    All the details please. :D
    Maybe you have another thread explaining it you could link here?
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
  10. subhanalah

    subhanalah Overrun With Chickens

    I didn't think it was that special so I haven't made a thread for it, lol. I just took my 10 years of herpetology/herpetoculture and applied it to my chicken brooding. The thermostat is a (used to be called A-life, now it's like zilla or something) simple dial intended for use in a reptile enclosure. Cant remember the price, but they are super cheap compared to my actual reptile enclosure thermostats. The heating pad is an old walgreens brand w/o safety cut off. It's all the way on high, but if you get a newer one, it gets WAY hot, even on the lowest setting, so I'm afraid that would burn right through the plastic!
    Any time you use a heating pad under something, be sure there is air flow around it to prevent hot spots/burning/fire hazard.

    If you want a cheap and easy rheostat for your CHE you can buy a lamp dimmer at Lowes where the lamp plug plugs into the Dimmer and the dimmer into the wall. You can also "make" one with a different type of dimmer (the kind you put in the wall) but that requires cutting the cord and reassembling it with the dimmer in the circuit. You would use a junction box to hold all the wires and the dimmer together.
    This requires a bit of electrical know-how and is easy but if someone isn't comfortable, it could be a hazard so safer to go with the plug in version.
    This way when you need to lower the temperature, you can just turn down the dimmer.

    I've been debating on creating a broader using calorique flexxwatt heat tape, but I'm not sure how much of that stuff I have left hanging around.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014

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