Panting Chicks - brooder temp isn't hot though...


9 Years
Aug 25, 2010
Kailua, HI
Hi everyone,

I just got some cochin bantams from Ideal last week, and noticed that one of the Mottled Cochins is constantly panting. The temperature on the inside of the brooder is what it should be at. I rose the lamp to lower the temperature, and it still pants. I did notice that a couple of the other chicks will pant when they wake up. I bought a bulb with a smaller wattage to try out, but is it weird that just one is doing it all the time? It flies around with the others when I change their papers, and drinks/eats normally. They love to scratch at the new papers when they get changed, and this one joins in all the time. The chick stops panting while it's having fun, but once it stops eating/drinking/flying/playing/scratching, it opens its mouth and pants. Any ideas?
It might be the bedding. I was having a similar problem with my Cornish chick. She always panted, and later I did some inspecting and found that the bedding is just dusty. I changed it up for some better stuff and the issue has cleared up. She still sneezes now and again, but I think its just that she is irritated by wood shavings in general. Shes going on 5 weeks now and is healthy, curious and loud lol.
Thanks! Right now they are on paper. I have corn cob bedding underneath, but they think it's food. So I'm covering the cobs with paper, then a No-Slip shelf liner that I bought in the dollar section of the craft store I work at. I used a smaller wattage bulb and the chick is still panting. So weird that it's only one. I will try a new bedding. What did you switch to?
I would suggest shavings. Hardwood shavings is best. Pine is ok, but not always the best, it can be dusty at times. Never cedar, its toxic to chickens. You can pick up shavings by the bale in the feed store, or get small ones at walmart. I would get the feed store ones, more for your money.
Thanks Reurra! I will look for hardwood shavings.

Donrae, there's lots of unheated room in the brooder. Food and water aren't under the heat either, I don't think its right to give chicks warm water. I read everywhere that the entire brooder should be heated, but I don't think it should be. Mama hens don't constantly sit on their babies, so I've always raised my chicks with a heat source in one area. Large enough for all the chicks to be under, but small enough to allow for lots of unheated space.

I haven't noticed any gasping today, so I'm hoping it stays that way.

Try some apple cider vinager in the water. Just a teaspoon is enough if you ahve one of those small waterers. Its supposed to help them. I used it on my babies too when i saw the panting start. New shavings, vitamin booster and ACV.
thanks I will try that! They have Nutri Drench as vitamins once a day in their water(water gets changed 3 times a day, but only 1 of those water changes has the ND), so I will continue that along with one of the water changes with ACV

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