How do stop pile ups

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Zed3, May 12, 2010.

  1. Zed3

    Zed3 Out Of The Brooder

    May 2, 2009
    Huntingtown, MD
    Last night I lost a 4 week old chick to what I think was being smothered by her siblings. So tonight they started again piling on top of each other. I put a 250 wat light in the coop and they all got up for a short time. Then they all piled up in the corner. They would jump on top of each other or try to tunnel into the bottom of the pile. They have a roost but most will only get on it for a short length of time. Loosing one was bad enough I don't want to loose another tonight.

  2. TurkeyMountainChickens

    TurkeyMountainChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2009
    Central Virginia
    The light bulb is a good idea. They are piling for warmth - so make it warm in the coop. Then they'll spread out. At only 4 weeks, they still need it pretty warm - 75 degrees or so.
  3. fastpat

    fastpat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are you monitoring the temp in their brooder? If so, what is it?
  4. Zed3

    Zed3 Out Of The Brooder

    May 2, 2009
    Huntingtown, MD
    They are no longer in the brooder. They are fully feathered and living in their coop. They are actually 5 weeks tomorrow. It is 60 degrees now and they have a heat lamp a foot or two from their bedding.
  5. fastpat

    fastpat Chillin' With My Peeps

    All of mine are 6 weeks old now and still aren't fully feathered. They still have down in some places from which they'll lose body heat, such as their butts and under their wings. The coolest temps my chicks experience is about 68ºF and while they do sleep next to each other, they're not piling up. I discontinued the heat lamp about two weeks ago. My target is to have them out in the coop within two weeks. It'll be warmer here and they'll have more of their adolescent feathers.
  6. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    I have found that when I put the heat lamp in the middle they ahve more room and dont pile up. I stopped putting it in corners where piling is more likely. You could try that put it so it hangs in the middle of the coop instead of one corner.
  7. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Also, could there be any drafts coming in? Can you board up any windows that might be letting cool air in at night?

    I'm pretty liberal on the side of letting chicks that age have at it without a heat source, etc., but if you think the one you lost was suffocated from the piling, then the only explanation i know if is that they are cold.

    I agree with putting the light in the middle in this case too.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by