Help needed please

Dobby

In the Brooder
8 Years
May 26, 2011
11
0
22
OMG, now I'm worried. They are out of all draughts, but I will add cardboard right now. The brooder is well inside the massive dog cage, but Im going to add cardboard for safety reasons too. I would be gutted if anything happened to Pancake and Sprinkles (named by the school kids).
I have to take them back to school after next week, but I am their mum until the end of July when they will go into my good friend's currently vacant large coop in her garden.
I will go and buy a red heat lamp first thing tomorrow. This is why I need help. I was given 7 eggs and an incubator and left to get on with it. Only 2 eggs hatched, 2 chicks didnt make it out and 3 eggs were unfertilised. I was heart broken for the 2 that didnt make it. I felt I had failed them. I really want to do well for these 2.
 

spotstealer

Songster
8 Years
Mar 11, 2011
279
3
109
Poynette, WI
You can also use a ceramic stlye heat lamp. They work great too. Their first week of life, they need to be kept at about 35 celsuis, then drop it by 4 celsius per week until they are feathered. Make sure they can get away from the heat source if they want to also.
 

SunnyCalifornia

Songster
9 Years
Oct 8, 2010
2,505
40
174
Escondido CA
If the babies are indoors, I wouldn't worry about the drafts. Just put a thermometer in to check temp. You can always drape a towel over one end (not over the light) to help insulate. I bought a 125watt brooder bulb, and it was TOO hot for my little setup. I switched to a 65 watt indoor floodlight, and its perfect. Use a thermometer or two thermometers if you're like me, and can't trust just one! I have 2 bantam babies, only one of my eggs hatched, and a friend gave me one of his babies to have as a buddy. I put a clean new feather duster in the brooder with them. They LOVE it. they snuggle into the feathers, and seem really comfortable and happy. Kind of like having mum there with them.

Hope my tips help! I can certainly relate to your worry! I think I wake up twice a night to check on them.
 

Ms.Frizzle

Songster
8 Years
Apr 15, 2011
350
1
101
Wisconsin
Don't feel bad about the poor hatch rate, it was your first time. When I was in high school, I tried hatching some... 30 eggs and a little less then a dozen hatched. I didn't add enough water, and there was another 10 shrink wrapped/dead in their eggs. Talk about feeling terrible... If you read a lot of the other threads on here, the overall consensus is "You live, you learn."

Have you read general care/maintenance? I'm sure non of us want to bom-bard you with things you already know.

The only other thing that comes to mind is to make sure that the bottom of the cage isn't covered in anything slippery, because your chicks can get splayed legs. If they huddle together and peep REALLY loud they are too cold, and if they push against the sides of the cage trying not to tough each other they are too hot.

Now that you've made 10 posts, you can post a picture of the set up for us to see and give advice!
 

Dobby

In the Brooder
8 Years
May 26, 2011
11
0
22
I went to a pet supplies store and have now bought a low light 65w heat bulb, also used for reptiles. I have suspended it from the cage roof and the chicks dont seem to mind it. I thought this might be better for their eyes, not too bright etc. It is high enough for them not to be able to reach at full stretch, but a nice comfortable warmth eminates. The chicks just seem to sleep and huddle anywhere together. They dont overly cheep when they are together snuggled up. I think this tells me that they are ok.
They do seem very happy and they like to chase a bit of straw around if I play with them.
I like the idea of a feather duster. I'm gonna do that.
Thank you all.
I love this forum, Ihave learned loads and I am keen to learn more.
 

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