new to chicken keeping

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by eking, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. eking

    eking Just Hatched

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    I got 6 chicks last week. They will be 2 weeks on Saturday. I did have a heat lamp up but recently bought a heating plate from Amazon. I placed a lamp in the bedroom I have them in and took the heat lamp off. It seemed like they didn't know what to do with it being so dark now in the room. Are they supposed to have a light on 24/7 while they are chicks? I felt bad for them and turned the heating light back on them. Also, they seem to be very skittish of me still. Will they out grow this or this is just chicken behavior?
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    No, they aren't, and that's one of the down sides to a heat lamp. They've now spent 2 weeks without a moment of darkness and now they need to get used to the fact that daytime and nighttime are two different things. You are doing the right thing by getting them off of a lamp.
     
  3. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    As far as them being skittish, I assume you are reaching over the top of the box, and they are also set up so they can't see you approaching until you are right upon them, like a chicken eating raptor coming in to rip their heads off.
     
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  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    What does your brooder set up look like...post a pic?
    Have they figured out it's warm under the plate?

    Is there natural light in the room the brooder is in?
    I leave a light on the brooder room, but turn it off mid afternoon so they experience the natural 'dimming of the day'.
    They'll get used to the dark after a few days......
    ....always doing that chittering(bed time stories) as they settle down to sleep.
     
  5. eking

    eking Just Hatched

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  6. eking

    eking Just Hatched

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    [​IMG]
    They use the plate now and I opened the blinds and curtains today. I left a bed side lamp on but don't know when I should turn it off. Should I leave the lamp off during the day and let the natural sunlight wake them. It is kind of a dark room
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I turn the light on in the morning after the sun is up because room is dim tho my brooder has mesh sides and there are big north facing windows in the room.
    You have a cardboard box so they can't see out at all and not much ambient light can get in...so it's harder to allow the 'natural' light changes thru the day.
    I'd put them in a different brooder or add a mesh panel to the side of the box...have done that before using 1/2" hardware cloth ziptied to hole cut in box.

    What are your plans for getting them into your coop and/or making a bigger brooder as they continue to grow?
     
  8. eking

    eking Just Hatched

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    I have built them a coop that I am planning on moving them too at 7 weeks. I might just need to go ahead and build a brooder with mesh sides for them until they get that age. Do you happen to know how tall I need to make it for them?
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Either tall enough they can't fly out......3-4 feet.....or put lid on it.
    They're gonna need about 2sqft of floor space per bird at or before 7 weeks.

    So you have power in your coop?
    What is your climate/location?
    Putting your location in your profile can help folks give better answers/suggestions.

    You may be able to move them out sooner...like 4 weeks...or now, depending on climate and power.
    Lots of things to take into consideration.
     
  10. orrpeople

    orrpeople Looking for a Silver Lining Premium Member

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    As you will discover, there are a multitude of methods for brooding chicks. I have used a red heat lamp for all of my hatches with a lot of success, gradually weaning them from the light as they mature. I have never had any behavior issues as a result. I also use Rubbermaid type tubs with hardware cloth "lids" for brooding and have not had troubles with them either. I think the key word to any type of transition in the poultry world is "gradual." I have never had any chicken -or any breed of chicken - respond well to sudden change. As you think about moving them to their outdoor coop, think about gradually weaning them from heat - little by little, day by day. I currently have a group of 4 week olds who spend a few hours outside each day, and this will gradually increase until they can spend all their time there (granted, I'm in Northern Cali where we have highs and lows of 50/35).

    Also, there are breeds of birds who are naturally skittish or more change resistant. Research your flock and see what temperaments you are dealing with. As an example, my Black Copper Marans always seem to be more people friendly than my Rhode Island Reds. And, even within breeds, varying types of personalities emerge.

    Have a truly wonderful time with your babies -they're adorable!
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
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