I'm not sure about this whole 90-95 degree thing.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CluckyCharms, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps


    Okay, so this is night 2 with the new chicks. When we first brought them home, they were quite displeased as they were brrrrr-cold. We slowly heated up the brooder so it wouldn't be a 'shock' to them...until it was 95 on one end. They didn't like that whatsoever and took off to the other side to climb the walls. Okay, that was pretty obvious, so we lowered the temp to 91. Once it became even temp in there of 91 they still hung out on the 'cooler' side of the brooder...but weren't climbing to get out. One had her little beak open like she was trying to sing an opera, but mostly they seemed okay so we left it at 91. This morning I woke up and none of them were peeping and they didn't peep at all until around 1pm(ish) and that peeping seemed a bit weak to me. Looking at them they seemed fine...but sort of "doh" in a trance...still on the cooler end of the brooder.

    To make a really long story shorter - the temp at the warm end is now an even 83 degrees and has been for about 5 hours now...and they seem completely happy with that temperature. They're on the warm end hanging out...but they are nowhere near huddled together. They're pecking at the bedding and poking around...walking and pecking at each other, etc ...but are acting normal and not too cool in the slightest.

    I'm beginning to wonder if the "keep them at 95 degrees and decrease 5 degrees every week" is accurate?? I mean...why would our house and our chicks be any different than another person's house with the same breeds? I even put three thermometers in there and they're all registering between 83.5 and 83.7.

    The chicks are all 3 days old.

  2. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  3. daoustaj

    daoustaj Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2012
    Your chicks will tell you what they need. You did good noticing them! Whatever keeps them happy!
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Yup. Where the thermometer is placed can influence its reading and be somewhat unreliable. Thus, I've never used a thermometer. The chicks and their behavior is the very best thermometer, ever. Good job reading their behavior!!!
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The 90 to 95 and drop it 5 a week is a guideline that will keep most people out of trouble most of the time. Look at most of the advice that involves numbers on this forum the same way. Some of those guidelines I'm talking about are coop, run, and roost space, incubating humidities, percent protein in feed, storing eggs for incubating, but there are others. As you've seen, they don't always work and they are not always necessary, but for people that don't have experience they are usually a good starting point.

    I'm not sure what happened with yours. With three thermometers all reading the same, I's suspect your brooder is so small or has poor ventilation so the far end was not really any cooler than directly under the heat. I'd have expected them to be OK at 91, but obviously they were not. Glad you were observant.
  6. kdwag

    kdwag Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2012
    Northwest Ohio
    My babies were the same way, they were the most comfortable at 85-90, now at almost 5 weeks, some days they want a little heat and some days that don't want any but still prefer a little during the night. I gave up on my thermometer after the first few weeks when i felt pretty comfortable watching them and just use their behavior as my guide now.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by