Nestling under pine woodchips

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MendozaChicks, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. MendozaChicks

    MendozaChicks Just Hatched

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    My chicks dig themselves under the pine wood....could this be because they are to hot or is it just a normal playful thing.they are almost 3 weeks temp is usually between 80-90 degrees
    Thanks
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Ya think?

    Of course they're hot! Chickens burrow to escape heat. Turn the lamp off! Three week olds do not need heat during the day and maybe a 100 watt lamp at night. 90F is way too hot for chicks almost feathered out. Think how uncomfortable your would be in a 90 F room wearing a down jacket.

    Chicks need plenty of cool space to shed excess heat. A heat source is not supposed to heat an entire brooder.

    Your chicks should be weaned off heat fully by the end of their fourth week.
     
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  3. MendozaChicks

    MendozaChicks Just Hatched

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    I have had so many people tell me different things that they need to be heat all the time at this age the heat source is a spotlight not in the whole cage but I will definitely turn off the lamp maybe just the 50 watt spotlight at this point I am new to chickens so I just go off of what people been telling me in most of the people have been saying they need heat 90 degrees all the time to go in and out of
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  4. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I actually think there's a good chance they're dustbathing and you're new enough to not recognize the behavior yet. But yes, if you have them in your house, a 250W lamp is way too much heat. A 50W should be plenty.
     
  5. MendozaChicks

    MendozaChicks Just Hatched

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    I started off with a 50 watt black reptile night light I felt like that wasn't hot enough because it was only keeping the cage at 80 degrees and I was told that the chickens need to be at 90 degrees at their age so then I bought 125 watt light bulb and I felt like that was way too hot plus it kept them up really late at night until I switched back to the black bulb and they fell asleep right away the next day I went and bought a red 75 watt bulb which I've been using only during the day because they won't sleep with anything but the black bulb but it keeps the cage or a spot of the cage about 90 degrees and I agree that I think that's a little bit hot for them but everyone has told me that they should be between 85 and 90 I just which back to the 50 watt black light and they seem comfortable so I guess I'll just keep it at that for the next couple of weeks do you guys recommend I win them at 4 weeks of the light thank you
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    By the time they are 3 weeks old, they should be comfortable in your house without any heat during the day. They may need a bit of night time heat if your home is cooler at night. It's time to start turning the heat off for increasingly longer periods of time starting at 2 weeks if they are in the house. I much prefer brooding with a heating pad cave because it takes 90% of the guess work out of brooding the chicks. They self regulate their heat exposure and wean themselves, and can easily be brooded outside.
     
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  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If you try to understand why we give baby chicks a heat source, maybe you won't be so confused by what all these different sources are telling you.

    It's not so much keeping a brooder at a certain temperature as it is providing a heat source to replace body heat baby chicks lose through their thin down covering. Think of the heat source as a little bitty campfire for your chicks to warm themselves at when they start feeling chilly, just like you do when you are on a picnic or camping trip. It can be quite chilly but if you have a campfire to warm up, you really don't mind how cold it is.

    This is what baby chicks do. Their brooder can be quite a bit cooler than it is right under their heat source, and they'll still be comfortable, running and playing, not really minding the coolness at all. When they begin to lose body heat and feel chilled, they run under the lamp and warm up, then they're off running around in the cooler space again.

    Many of us have given up the indoor brooders and heat lamps, and we now brood our chicks outdoors in coops and runs. I've brooded four or five batches of chicks now in a safe pen in my covered run. It's usually spring when I do this, and it's still in the 30s at night and not out of the 50s during the day. I use the heating pad system, and it gets to 80-85F under it. Even one day old chicks do perfectly fine at these temperatures. They spend more time running around playing than they do under the heat source, and they sure don't seem to mind it one bit that it's cold enough for me to need a jacket.

    The reality is the cooler the ambient temperature is the better off your chicks will be because it encourages them to feather out quicker than if they were constantly under warm conditions. As long as they have that little "campfire" to warm up at, chicks will do splendidly. My chicks are finished with their heating pad cave by age five weeks because they've fully feathered out. They are then ready to move right into the coop with the adults.

    As LG pointed out, we urge you to look into the heating pad system, at least for your next chicks. It really takes all the guesswork out of brooding, and it's safe and very natural. Easier on your electric bill, too.
     
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  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Are your chicks really burrowing under the pine chips OR trying to take a dust bath? If you have your heat lamp only covering half of the brooder they are smart enough to head for the cooler side, if they are too warm. if they are too warm, they would be panting- not hiding under wood chips.
     
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  9. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    Unless they couldn't find a cooler spot. Then, they hide behind a feeder or waterer or whatever they can find. And panting.

    But I really think they're dustbathing. The timing matches and the red glow was explained by lower wattage reptile bulbs.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
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  10. MendozaChicks

    MendozaChicks Just Hatched

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    Yes the bulb is a red spot light and only in one corner. When i switch to the 50w which only gives a "camp fire" effect they were still burrowing but it looked more like playing. The 50w doesnt over heat the cage it keeps that spot around 79-80. What is the heating pad system? Is it an actual heating pad or is it the box looking thing meant for chicks to crawl under?
     

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