Normal chick behavior?

SomeChickinTN

Songster
Nov 19, 2018
307
496
156
E TN
I'm surprised at how quickly I've adapted to playing mother hen, but I'm still a bit worried that I'm doing it wrong. Of 5 chicks there seems to be one loudmouth. They all run around eating and kicking up bedding for awhile, then 4 go lay down and just as they get comfortable, the other one dog piles them and they immediately get up and go back to eating, lol.
The one that dog piles them occasionally chirps loudly, but for most of the day it's sort of like she is quietly crooning or something. Am I right that that's a contented sound, or is it some kind of distress call? It's just a low chirping.

While I do seem to have trouble keeping the hottest part of the brooder a constant temp, they don't act uncomfortable, just the one is always making noise. Is it not happy?
 

feathermaid

Egg Obsessed
Feb 5, 2018
3,126
23,288
942
Northwest Oregon
My Coop
My Coop

SomeChickinTN

Songster
Nov 19, 2018
307
496
156
E TN
All chickens have their own personality... could be that one just likes to talk.
Generally very loud chicks are unhappy chicks, but sounds like the others are fine.

I used the Mama Heating Pad method and my chicks were always content and softly chirping amongst themselves, and totally silent at night.
You could try a different heating method:

Kick The Heat Lamp: Better, Safer And Healthier Options To Heat Your Brooder

Hope all works out well!!

Thanks so much for that. I'm using a 75w bulb but it still makes me nervous. I'm going to read more into the heating pad. Is that ok to use in the plastic tote?
 

feathermaid

Egg Obsessed
Feb 5, 2018
3,126
23,288
942
Northwest Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
Yes, absolutely! I just love this method :love

brooder-1.jpg brooder2.jpg
My cave was angled higher in front, lower in back so the chicks could choose the location that offered the right amount of heat when they wanted it. As they got bigger I raised it up higher in increments, then eventually they preferred to just hang out on top, but still went underneath at nighttime.

Here's some more interesting reading:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate.862691/

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/brooder-heating-plate-vs-infrared-bulb.1251271/

:highfive: :thumbsup
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,235
126,320
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I'm using a 75w bulb but it still makes me nervous. I'm going to read more into the heating pad. Is that ok to use in the plastic tote?
Probably better than a lamp....
...but post pics of your brooder and lamp.
Put a thermometer on the floor of the brooder right under the lamp and at the other end of the tote. It's best to go by behavior but the thermometer is a good tool especially for a newbie.

Chick cheeping loudly, first thing to check is it's butt, make sure vent is clear.


Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:

They need to be pretty warm(~85-90F on the brooder floor right under the lamp and 10-20 degrees cooler at the other end of brooder) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker acclimation to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder. I do think it's a good idea to use a thermometer on the floor of the brooder to check the temps, especially when new at brooding, later I still use it but more out of curiosity than need.

The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:
-If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.
-If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.
-If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!

The lamp is best at one end of the brooder with food/water at the other cooler end of the brooder, so they can get away from the heat or be under it as needed. Wattage of 'heat' bulb depends on size of brooder and ambient temperature of room brooder is in. Regular incandescent bulbs can be used, you might not need a 'heat bulb'. If you do use a heat bulb make sure it's specifically for poultry, some heat bulbs for food have teflon coatings that can kill birds. You can get red colored incandescent bulbs at a reptile supply source. A dimmer extension cord is an excellent way to adjust the output of the bulb to change the heat without changing the height of the lamp.


Or you could go with a heat plate, commercially made or DIY: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate
 

ChickaMama49

Songster
May 14, 2018
130
138
127
Central Florida
I agree with all the above posts. To add- that one may just have a big personality! We had one like that too- now she’s been the kindest, first one to lay eggs, also lets us hold her and is most social. They are all different! :welcome:loveLove the chicks! They grow up so fast!
 

SomeChickinTN

Songster
Nov 19, 2018
307
496
156
E TN
Probably better than a lamp....
...but post pics of your brooder and lamp.
Put a thermometer on the floor of the brooder right under the lamp and at the other end of the tote. It's best to go by behavior but the thermometer is a good tool especially for a newbie.

Chick cheeping loudly, first thing to check is it's butt, make sure vent is clear.


Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:

They need to be pretty warm(~85-90F on the brooder floor right under the lamp and 10-20 degrees cooler at the other end of brooder) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker acclimation to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder. I do think it's a good idea to use a thermometer on the floor of the brooder to check the temps, especially when new at brooding, later I still use it but more out of curiosity than need.

The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:
-If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.
-If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.
-If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!

The lamp is best at one end of the brooder with food/water at the other cooler end of the brooder, so they can get away from the heat or be under it as needed. Wattage of 'heat' bulb depends on size of brooder and ambient temperature of room brooder is in. Regular incandescent bulbs can be used, you might not need a 'heat bulb'. If you do use a heat bulb make sure it's specifically for poultry, some heat bulbs for food have teflon coatings that can kill birds. You can get red colored incandescent bulbs at a reptile supply source. A dimmer extension cord is an excellent way to adjust the output of the bulb to change the heat without changing the height of the lamp.


Or you could go with a heat plate, commercially made or DIY: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate
IMG_20181114_170421.jpg

Thanks. This was a couple of days ago. I've since moved the food and water to this side of the pic. I also learned pretty quickly to elevate the water and put it inside another dish. I thought my kids were messing with them after I went to bed and dumping their water thing, but it was still happening after I put a lock on the door....

If the heat lamp cover is resting on the box, clipped to it, it gets around 103 in there. If it's resting on the prong things, it ranges between 93 and 95, so I've just left it at that. I'm hoping that the persistent pasty butt was from the water being dumped and chilling them, and that it's resolved now. I'm planning on going to get the stuff to make a heat plate this evening.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom