Mama Heating Pad in the Brooder (Picture Heavy) - UPDATE

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Blooie, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Mind if I take a crack at this one, Blooie? I seem to be pretty good lately at spotting the future roosters among my chicks. Three for three this year.

    Besides the behavior cluing me in, I have noticed my cockerels are just all around more intense, while the girls are mostly laid back. It's sort of a general "instinct". Blooie, you said you always "felt" Scout was a cockerel, it's a feeling like that. The one I currently have, at ten weeks, even though this week, a rep at My Pet Chicken insists he's " a hen that is getting her mature tail feathering", I've known from the minute he popped out of the packing box he was a boy. That behavior alone told me this was probably a cockerel, and he had zero wing feathering while the other two had staggered feather buds poking out from their teensy wing stubs. Now he's got the longest legs and huge feet for his body, as well as bright red comb and wattles. The two girls each have reassuringly pale undeveloped combs. Whew! Oh, he also has little rooster shooting tail feathers that no hen in the history of chickens would ever be sporting. Cuckoo Marans roos have the most dramatic tail streamers and this one, judging from these baby efforts, will be spectacular. Hen, my @$$.

    What does your little suspect's wing stubs look like? Mostly absent any feather development? If any feather buds, are they perfectly even if they're beginning to emerge? If so, you likely have a boy.
     
  2. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I"d forgotten that - I called Scout a "he" from the day he first peeked out from under Agatha! But I have no idea why I was so sure. Funny, isn't it? I'm glad you "took a crack at this one" azygous!

    I guess you're going to have to go out there and video tape your little culprit before they do anything! But I won't like and say I wouldn't love to see him all grown up and glowing in the sun!
     
  3. gjamesi

    gjamesi Out Of The Brooder

    Aha,I noticed that eggkicker has 5 quills lined up on each wingtip when I took him from the incubator. 24 hours after hatching he is noticeably bigger and more active than all the rest. The only other chick that can keep up to him is the bantam.
    I know there is no proof but it always seems first so I just assumed. [​IMG]
     
  4. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    Wing sexing doesn't work for all breeds, but I've found it useful for giving me a heads up on the ones I suspect may be boys. Those even feather buds right out of the incubator is pretty telling. If it was a girl, the buds would have most likely been staggered. But the fact there were any buds showing at all, might indicate female. Boys are usually hidden for the first few days.
     
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Brother! I'm continually astounded by how much I still have to learn!
     
  6. gjamesi

    gjamesi Out Of The Brooder

    So two days old and they seem to spend more time out than under. Now I'm thinking how to move the MHP outside with a fence or cage cause these guys are already digging and scratching through the chips, and playing chicken tag.[​IMG]
     
  7. kzas

    kzas Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok- had to share one more because I caught this little cutie passed out with her head back on the heating pad. THE CUTEST.
    [​IMG]

    Question- this morning when I woke up and checked on them, they were all on the opposite side of the brooder in a big pile squaking like crazy. Heating pad on high, the room at 65. (It got down to 20 last night, so I put a little heater in the room, but I do plan to remove it when they get a little bigger.) I've been reading that if they are cold they will all be piled up, but if they are hot they will move away from the heating source. Thoughts?
     
  8. gjamesi

    gjamesi Out Of The Brooder

    Do they have water and food? Mine were looking after 24 hours, that or the heating pad was too warm to stay under.
     
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I'm not sure what happened.
    Could be they just wandered out too early and, as sometimes happens with a broody, they didn't have enough chicken sense to get back under. I'm sure you popped them back under for a warm-up.

    Is the room they are in dark? What I mean is do they have a true nighttime? If they are in the cave when it's dark, they usually just stay right there. If there's even a nightlight they'll do more wandering than if it's really dark.

    In the latest picture it looks like the arch might be a little high. For the first few days they like that heat right at their backs, as you can see by the little cutie who seems to want to be right up against the heat. Can you smoosh it down in the center a bit?

    You could try turning the pad down to 4 or 5 as well. It might have gotten too warm with the addition of their own body heat, so they went out to cool down and then just piled instead of going back under.

    Keep us posted.
     
  10. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

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    [​IMG]I suggest you bungie the heating pad, as you can see here, I used the tiny bungies, to the inside surface of your wire frame. It's a lot more comfortable, and safer, too, for your chicks. During the first week, I smoosh the frame down so the highest point is no more than four inches high. The chicks crave direct contact with the pad and will even sleep standing up to achieve it. (That flannel plaid material is a cover I sewed to slip over my heating pad.)

    What Blooie says is a very good point to remember. Chicks are stimulated to activity by any light. When they come out of their cave when the light isn't bright enough to see well, they may not be able to find their way back under the heating pad, instead congregating in a corner, piled up to stay warm, and that risks a chick being smothered. You want them spread out under the heat source, not piled up.

    On the other hand, if the chicks appear to be avoiding the heat source, you need to reduce the heat until they are using it again.
     

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