Not sure what to do with chicks as temp is dropping in Iowa

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by angie3881, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. angie3881

    angie3881 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have only had chickens since spring so I am still learning. I have five baby chicks and three more on the way under a broody hen. I have them set up in a large kennel in the coup. The baby's can jump through the holes and run in and out. Temps have been mild. 80's during the day, 60's at night. Tomorrow is supposed to have a high of 54 during the DAY! Yesterday was 93. That's Iowa for ya! Should I move these babies to the garage under heat lamps? They still stay tucked under mama who is still setting three. Will they be ok or should I get them transfered? If I do transfer, should I also transfer mama and the last three eggs? [​IMG]
     
  2. madamwlf

    madamwlf Nevermore Acres

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    I had a broody hatch eggs in March and the chicks did fine. These were bantams. They knew when to get warm and when to run around. IMO, we baby chicks too much. They are a lot tougher then we believe.
     
  3. angie3881

    angie3881 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am kind of thinking that, too... Thanks for the advice!
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Are the 5 chicks from the same hatch as the 3 you are still waiting on and all are under a broody? If that is the case, you don't need to do anything. Mama will keep them warm and you don't even need heat lamps. You may be surprised how much the chicks are NOT under Mama even at those temps.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Mama has a built in heater that never has a power failure. She will keep them warm. There have been photos on here of hens taking chicks for a stroll in snow. Don't worry about that part.

    I am a bit concerned with the chicks running in and out where Mama cannot protect them. I lost a chick earlier this year when it got with other chickens and Mama could not get through a fence to protect it.

    Also, don't be too surprised if Mama comes off the nest before the other eggs hatch. Chicks can go three days or so without food or water, but eventually Mama should leave the unhatched eggs and take care of the living chicks. It is also possible the unhatched eggs will never hatch. I don't know if you have been candling or have another reason to think they may still be alive.
     
  6. angie3881

    angie3881 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:The chicks and mama have food and water in the kennel, but I can absolutely see what you are saying with the door being closed and mama stuck inside. I may let the door open...

    Another question... (such a newbie!) What about when she is done setting and begins roosting again? Will the chicks go with or will she roost lower to keep them safe and warm?

    We have been candling regularly. The last 3 appear to be developed about the same. There was a fourth that got in there and was WAY behind the others so we discarded that egg. We had our first hatch out about a week ago and the fifth one just yesterday.

    I have read that I should not be candling at this stage, but I can't STAND the suspense! They have all been fine. They are moving, peeping and progressing. We get one hatch every day or other day. We also helped one out that had struggled for some time getting the egg to progress. She is a perfect little fuzz butt running around now.

    I see so many don'ts on here and am wondering why, if they need so much care... broody's will try to hatch a clutch so late in the season. I imagine they know what they are doing more than we do??? [​IMG]

    She is on a hodge podge of eggs from different hens plus her own. At this point she is still patiently setting. I thought they were all about the same time frame, but obviously not. She has water and food right next to her and the chicks have medicated starter.

    I think I will let nature take it's course. It sure is fun, though!!
     
  7. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:She won't roost while she is caring for the chicks - she will sleep where the chicks are able to get under her.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Another question... (such a newbie!) What about when she is done setting and begins roosting again? Will the chicks go with or will she roost lower to keep them safe and warm?

    I've had broodies take their chicks to the roost at age 1-1/2 weeks in the heat of the summer. Some people would be surprised at how well those young chicks can hop and fly to get to a 4 feet high roost. They did use the top of the nest box as a launching pad so they only had to fly a horizontal 3 feet and go up another 2 feet to the roosts from there. I've had broodies wait until 4 weeks to take their babies to the roosts. Usually they keep them on the floor of the coop, in a corner, but sometimes they take them to a nest until she is ready to take them to the roosts.

    I see so many don'ts on here and am wondering why, if they need so much care... broody's will try to hatch a clutch so late in the season. I imagine they know what they are doing more than we do??? [​IMG]

    Chickens and chicks are a lot tougher than a lot of people think. They don't absolutely need certain conditions to survive or thrive. They do not need exact diets or exact temperatures. They are very adaptable. Consider the recommendations on this forum as guidelines, not absolute laws of nature. The guidelines do not guarantee success. Failure to follow the guidelines does not guarantee absolute total failure. Following the guidelines increases your odds of success. No guarantees, just better odds. A lot of people have trouble with that concept.

    Another thing to consider. Chickens are domesticated animals. They still have the basic instincts, but due to domestication, those instincts are sometimes somewhat warped. If chickens had their druthers, they would not be locked in a coop where it is safe. They would be sleeping in a tree. We have trained them to sleep where they are safer from preditors. Their basic instinct is to lay eggs and hatch a few broods in the Spring and Summer, then quit laying eggs and molt in the Fall/Winter when it is harder to raise a family. We have modified them to lay most of the year. They are capable of raising them during the winter if we provide the food and water, but in nature that would not happen.
     
  9. angie3881

    angie3881 Chillin' With My Peeps

    That sure helps! I have learned more than anything in my long time chicken experience (since March!! Haha) that it mostly just trial and error. What works for one may not work for another.

    I enjoy my chickens and have really fallen in love with most of them, but also remember that they are animals. If I ever build them a coop with a reclyner, pictures of myself smiling at them on the wall and make sure they have plenty of reading material by their cute little potty- I would hope my kids and husband would take me to the psych ward for a period to come back to reality!! Hahahaha [​IMG]

    Appreciate all the advice!
     
  10. MEchickenfarmer33

    MEchickenfarmer33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they should stay with mama and keep warm. if there is electricity in the coop definitely give them a lamp just to be safe
     

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