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Probably a ridiculous newbie question, but...HELP!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by OzarkEgghead, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. OzarkEgghead

    OzarkEgghead Chirping

    Oct 8, 2015
    My BA & ISA chicks hatched on Oct. 27th. They're eating well, drinking well, skittering energetically around in their brooder Tupperware tote & seem toasty warm in their Mama Cave.

    About half and hour ago, I went in & changed the water in their waterer. It's the kind that uses a canning jar and the water drips into the pan as the chicks drink. I use a 1 pint jar & I filled it full with very warm water...but not HOT. Everyone came over & started happily sipping away at the water so I double-checked that the heating pad was still on at the highest setting, turned the light off & left the room.

    About 15 min later, I could hear the ladies chirping REALLY loudly...louder than I've ever heard until now. I got concerned that something was wrong or that my cat had slipped into the room without me knowing it, so I went back in. ALL of the chicks were wet to some degree...some more than others...and there was a PILE of them all snugged up against each other and the glass container while sitting IN the water.

    Do chicks normally water bathe like that? Is this a sign that I'm not keeping them warm enough...or possibly they're TOO warm & are trying to cool off? Should I be concerned with this behavior? I'm paranoid now that the ones that end up on the bottom of this pile are going to drown because the weight of the others on top might push their little beaks under the water.

    The room is 72 degrees and the heating pad is set on "6", its highest setting.

  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    No, that's not normal. YOu don't want to let those chicks get wet for any reason. I'd not give them warm water... no warmer than room temp. In the beginning, I fill the water moat with marbles. That way, they can get their beaks in for water, but can't go swimming in it! You need to get the brooder completely dried out, and dry the chicks. Do you have a thermometer? Check the temp of the brooder, both under the MHP, and at the other end. How big is this container? How many chicks? Be sure there's plenty of room so they can get away from the heat, to a room temp area. They may have got their drink, and then since the jar was warm, decided to snuggle against it to stay warm. They were probably confused! (that's why I'd not use water warmer than room temp.)
    1 person likes this.
  3. OzarkEgghead

    OzarkEgghead Chirping

    Oct 8, 2015
    Thanks, Lazy!!

    I've been giving them warm water from day one but this was the first time they decided to take a swim! LOL.

    There's 13 chicks. The Mama Cave covers about 1/3 the size of the Tupperware tote they're in so they have a good amount of room temp area to roam in. Everyone is dried off now & happily dozing in their cave. I wonder, too, if the warm jar didn't confuse them....but I'm also wondering why it didn't confuse them before now! Anyway, I won't be doing THAT again!

    Gonna go on in & check on them again just to be sure.....and probably once more before bed just because I'm a paranoid mother. LOL
  4. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    Hi! [​IMG]
    Yup, I use cool water. It gets warm fast enough in the brooder. Cool water won't hurt them. Definitely get the marbles!
    That's wise, time-tested advice!
    If your birds will eventually be large fowl like Orpingtons. sex-links, Sussex, Rhode Island Reds, etc. You need 1 sq. ft. per chick in the brooder. If your bird will be bantam sized when grown they will need 1/2 the space as large fowl when growing up. i.e., 1/2 sq. ft. per chick in the brooder.
    When large fowl are grown, they need 4 sq. ft,. per bird in the coop and 10 sq. ft. per bird in the poultry yard. Bantams need 1/2 those numbers. Chicks also like a "cool" spot in the brooder . In nature, they run out form under mom to eat and drink, then run back under her to get warm. So a cool spot in the brooder isn't a disaster. Keep the heat at one end of the brooder and the feed at another.
    Best Success,
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2015

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