How to know if chickens are too hot or too cold?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by OVERxCAST, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. OVERxCAST

    OVERxCAST In the Brooder

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    Do chickens give a sign if they're too hot or cold?
     

  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Chicks would show you by their behaviour if they are too warm/cold. If they are too hot they will stay as far as possible away from the heat source and possibly pant (breathe with their beaks open). If they are too cold they will huddle together and pile on top of each other, under or as close as possible to the heat source. If they are spread around comfortably they are o.k. It's a good idea to monitor the temperature in the brooder, to see if it's too hot/cold for them. For new chicks a temperature between 90*F and 95*F (in the warmest part of the brooder) is good and every week after that you should reduce it by ± 5*. These temperatures are not set in stone though. I've kept brand new chicks at 85*F and they were quite happy.

    Older chicks and chickens will behave in a similar fashion as chicks by panting if they are too hot. They may also stand with their wings out from their bodies if they are really warm. They should have plenty cool water and shade available at all times. The colder temperatures is not a concern for them. Their feather "duvets" helps keep them warm. If the temperature drops to below freezing you should ensure their coop is draught free and as dry as possible to help prevent frostbitten combs and feet though.
     
  3. idcountrygal28

    idcountrygal28 Hatching

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    my parents brought me meat chicks there acting different than my egg chicks I'm new to this, there huddled side by side close under the light but there feet r warm, there body's r warm and there eating, drinking, sleeping good and chreping there in my house with my heater on 72f r they OK?
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Try lowering the heat lamp. The chicks should be running around all over the brooder, not huddled under the light all the time.

    If they're chirping non-stop, they're saying they aren't happy.

    If the lamp is too low and they get too warm, the chicks will be trying to get as far away from the heat lamp as possible. This is one reason to have a large brooder.

    By the way, meat chicks are still chicks, same as layer chicks.
     

  5. trsutton82

    trsutton82 In the Brooder

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    My chicks are confusing me. They are spreading their wings and stretching out but kind of nestled in a random bunch. I can't figure out if they're too hot or too cold!
     
  6. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Must hatch more Premium Member Project Manager

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    wings spread out could most likely mean they are too hot.

    Got a pic?
     
  7. trsutton82

    trsutton82 In the Brooder

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    Unfortunately I didnt
    unfortunately I didn't have my phone on me to grabe a pic. They also dug down in their bedding. I was thinking too hot but the grouping together to sleep confused me. (I'm new to chicken raising)
     

  8. trsutton82

    trsutton82 In the Brooder

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    @KikisGirls apparently they were too hot. I moved the light up a bit and they're running around cheeping, eating, and drinking like crazy.
     

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