First hatch - need help answer a question ASAP please ...


12 Years
Apr 13, 2007
California Bay Area
Hi ... my first hatch today, right on 17th day. There's a flaw in my incubator design that I have to remove the chicks to a brooder soon after hatch. (or they would walk & fall into a danger zone with unprotected fan running).

My brooder is equipped with a red heat lamp keeping it toasty at 99 degree. Paper tower floor for now. Grounded chick starter on the floor and in a small plate. Waterer with warm water and marbles as everybody has been advising.

One concern I have is the chicks seem to enjoy the warm bath and keep jumping into waterer, getting all wet and looking naked just as when they got out of their shells. I don't think they're cold. The water is warm and brood temperature is at 99 degree.

Should I be concerned? I have taken out the waterer. I recall someone said they have enough food / energy to last them 3 days without food or drink. Should I keep the water and food out for another day?

I don't see why not. I don't think the birds will overeat or overdrink. If you are concerned about your chicks getting wet, try putting some marbles in the waterer. The chicks will be able to drink between the marbles, without the hazard of getting wet.
I think I know why they wanted to take a bath. It was too hot in there. I used an old digital thermostat as a thermometer and the max temperature it showed was 99 degrees. When using a cheap aquarium thermometer it showed 102-103 degrees. I pulled the heat lamp further away and took the top off so it's cooling down to about 96 degree now. They look comfortable. Left water and food in there.
There should be so many marbles in the water that they can't get wet even when they walk on top of them. They should have to reach around the marbles into little cracks to drink. Getting wet like that can get them dead at this stage.
Thanks for the advise. They're OK now. I did have marbles but probably not enough. But I think the real issue yesterday was that it's toasty in there and they tried to take a bath to cool down. I raised the heat lamp and they're happy now.

I have 16 hatched but one dead and another one probably won't make it. They're just too small and weaker than the rest. So I have 14 left that seem active, healthy and happy.

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