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Question on keeping chicks in bator

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by dustbath, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. dustbath

    dustbath Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2008
    Washington County, NY
    After a few disasters with the mother hen, I have moved a couple of remaining eggs to a borrowed incubator and am resigned to taking over the care of the chicks. I think the eggs may be about to hatch (I rescued them a few hours ago) and I'm not ready. How long can they stay in the bator after they hatch?

    Also, I see that the temperature should start at between 95 and 100 and be reduced by 5 degrees each week. If it's 85 degrees outside here, does that mean I turn off the lamp after 2 or 3 weeks?

    Any feedback appreciated! Many thanks!
     
  2. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    i'm not an expert, compared to a lot of folks on this site, but here is what i do know. Generally you would want to keep the chicks in the incubator for 24 hours after hatch anyways. They should have a chance to dry off before moving them.

    After that, they can be moved to a brooder with a heat lamp, and also room to move out from under it in case it gets too hot. Yes, start at 95 degrees, then reduce by 5 degrees each week. Or it's just easier to watch the chicks and adjust the height of the lamp based on whether they are clustered underneath shivering or moving away to get away from the heat.

    i think most folks turn off the lamp and take their chicks outside after they are fully feathered, which tends to be about four weeks.
     
  3. dustbath

    dustbath Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2008
    Washington County, NY
    I'm still confused about the temperature. If I start at 95 and reduce it by 5 degrees each week, after 2 weeks I'll be at about ambient temperature. Do I still need the lamp or can I switch it off at that point? I had the impression the chicks needed it for much longer.

    Thanks!
     
  4. ezbird

    ezbird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2008
    The chicks always need to stay warm at all times, especially at night time. Till they start to feather out than its safe to take the lamp away during the day, but you will still need it at night, unless your night time temps are at 90F.
     
  5. ezbird

    ezbird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 15, 2008
    Oh I noticed when they get cold they chirp alot, so that should be an indicator that they need to be warm.
     
  6. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Where are you located? Because in most locations the temperature doesn't stay steady all day and night long. It will cool down in the evening. And the chicks need to stay at a steady warm temp 24 hours a day. They do need a heat lamp for about four weeks. You want to use a thermometer inside the brooder to check the temperature, rather than relying on a thermometer registering the outside ambient temperature.

    There are some folks who put their chicks outside sooner. i was even in the feed store the other day and noticed their heat lamp off on one of their tubs of chicks. When i mentioned it, they said they don't need it anymore. YIkes! There were week old chicks in there!

    Maybe i'm an over protective mom. i just think it's better to give them a little more time in the brooder, all warm and snuggy, rather than turning them out too soon.
     
  7. dustbath

    dustbath Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2008
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    I'm in upstate New York and of course, you're right, it cools down at night. I'm not usually up this late (I'm sitting with an injured chick), which is maybe why I'm so woolly-headed. Thanks for setting me straight!

    I guess if there's enough room in the brooder, they'll find the right temperature and I don't have to worry about it being exactly right?

    Thanks again!
     
  8. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    Sorry about your injured chick. And yes, extra room in the brooder is good so they can get away from the heat if they want.

    My last batch of chicks, my showgirls, ended up in a brooder for a very long time, as we were in the process of moving. They loved that heat lamp and were probably under it for about 8 weeks. They are so healthy and gorgeous and strong.

    i guess i should get to bed now myself. Hey, it's even later there for you! Good luck with your chicks.
     
  9. dustbath

    dustbath Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2008
    Washington County, NY
    Thanks very much!!! Goodnight!
     

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