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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Blooie, Mar 4, 2015.
Hee hee and away from the dog!
Glad to hear your chicks are doing so well with the heating pad system, Trace!
If your heating pad frame is in the same position as far as height as it was when you first put the chicks under it three weeks ago, then it probably could stand to be raised.
When I saw that the chicks were reluctant to go under it as they grew and spent most of the time on top, I would bend the frame so it had a taller profile so the chicks had an easier time zipping in and out, instead of crouching to squeeze under. Chicks are always in a hurry, have you noticed? They want to zip in and out of MHP at warp speed. I make the entrance higher than the rear so they can easily go in and out, but still sleep with their backs touching the pad if it's very cold.
By three weeks, I would let them spend the night under MHP in the garage. They should be able to handle the temps as long as they have the heating pad.
I raised the frame and made them go in, but they came right out and hopped on top. I just checked on th again and they're sleeping on top. I guess they're ok. I'm just really surprised they don't want to be under it!
Exactly like cats!! My cat will tolerate petting but usually only on her terms. You can't just go grabbing her. But she's social and often in the basement so a little lonely lately so she will come up and sit next to you and cuddles a lot in bed at night but always her terms. I find the chickens to be much the same way.
Although it's funny, right after I said that I went out there and this time stayed in instead of just grabbing food or water and running so maybe them being able to chill made the difference but I went right out and grabbed an Orp and much to my surprise she didn't fight at all!! In fact, she settled into my arm and stayed put until she started looking around like she wanted to leave and I put her down. I even tried to put her down before and she wanted nothing to do with it and it took her a minute to leave the second time. .
Maybe she secretly has Internet access or mind reading abilities and wanted to prove she really is a nice chicken
She even let me take selfies with her LOL
I've mentioned that several times in this thread. This is about the age mine spent more time on top than underneath too, and they were outside in the run, so I always let folks know not to be surprised by that behavior. I don't think they believe me until they see it for themselves!
You're so right, and I remember you saying that! When I looked in on them this morning, they were inside the cave, so they must've gotten cold at some point. But they came running out to greet me once they heard me talking to them. It's pretty amazing how tough these little guys are!
They are tough little stinkers, that's for sure. Now, that doesn't mean that we don't have to be as cautious with them using this method - their needs are still the same - but from a personal standpoint I know I sure started enjoying them more when I stopped treating them like Divas and started treating them like little chickens!
The only other thought I have to toss out there, is it may be time to turn down the heat under the pad. But, Mama broody does not turn down the heat under her belly, so I'm guessing that things are just fine!
She doesn't turn down the heat but she does crouch in a much higher stance while warming them out on range and when they settle down to sleep for the night, the babies are no longer under her or under her fringe fluff, but are more beside her and on top of her.
If the chicks are out in the cold too much, raise the middle of the arch on the tunnel a bit and they may still take refuge under the tunnel but won't get so hot while doing so and then you won't be turning it up and down to accommodate day and night time temp fluctuations. Then, we you see them on top even at night when the tunnel is tented high, you can turn it down a notch or two and see how they react. Long about then they are needing less heat from mom and are getting enough just by sleeping next to or on top of her.
Mama changes body positions all the time to accommodate the ambient temps, the size and fledge rate of the chicks, day time to night time warming positions, etc.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge of the ways of a broody with her babies!!!