Really? Why do we think they are so fragile?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AuberyMirkwood, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. AuberyMirkwood

    AuberyMirkwood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2011
    Clovis NM
    I am about to share my thoughts. As such I welcome input but let's not have any ruffled feathers :)

    When I got my first batch of chicks eight years ago I knew nothing. I'm pretty sure I had never even seen a live chicken before. I felt so lost. I had no idea how they moved, what they sounded like, what their moods were. I don't people-ize animals, but they still have all the non verbal cues to communicate that we do.

    Lol now to what this thread is about. I always see people freaking out about temperatures, what to feed them, "can I really do this!?" questions.

    My thought about care from the begining was "does it make sense"? I mean the whole idea that your whole brooder needs to be a certain temp and be lowered by 5 degrees every week. That's crazy! Chicks running around with mom aren't exactly the same temperature ALL the time. Chicks just need access TO a warm enough area, they are generally smart enough to know where they need to be to be warm enough. Chick behaviour will tell you if you need to raise or lower a lamp. All you need to do is wean them off the heat for when they go outside.

    People ask, when can I take them outside, when can I feed them something other then chick food, can I add branches. Well? What do you think? Is it too cold to be outside in shorts? Then it's too cold for them to be outside with out heat. If you think it's warm enough then take them out and watch them like "a mother hen". Same goes for food. Chicks eat all kinds of stuff with momma. So if it's safe for you it's safe for them. Infact it's probably great for them. I feed my chicks leaves, grass, leftovers. It's good for their systems get a head start on the "outside". Just be sensible and don't let them eat too much and get sick. Remember, a brooder can be really boring and all there is to do is eat. ;)

    Now some breeds are more fragile then others, some areas are incredibly harsh and need extra precautions, and I'm not trying to bash anyone, but I guess after being the oldest of eight kids and always being a huge animal/plant person I just feel that over shelteredness leads to more likelyhood of weakness AND a lot more heart break. Animals are animals and they are designed to survive :) heat lamp in the coop in the winter? Great, until power goes out or they even walk outside. They never got used to the cold, animals are great at adapting :)
    8 people like this.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Well said.

    Coddling animals doesn't do the individual or the breed any good.
  3. Chixine

    Chixine Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 12, 2012
    I agree wholeheartedly. Same goes for human children!
    1 person likes this.
  4. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aubrey? Are you asking for a little common sense? You rebel! [​IMG]

    I love animals more than I love people...BUT that doesn't mean I kill my animals with kindness. We take a "they were designed for it" approach with our animals.

    Its like our own immune systems...use it or lose it. Same goes for raising healthy, strong animals and agreed, kids too. We don't use any heat lamps with our adult chickens, we don't over blanket our horses, our dogs are outside all day long, etc.

    Just like humans weren't meant to sit at a desk all day, we were designed for movement. And now look at the state of health in this country and most developed countries. Killing ourselves with ease, convenience and comfort. We shouldn't do the same to our animals.
    1 person likes this.
  5. MsLisaG

    MsLisaG Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2012
    Northern California
    I think this is a good reminder! I know that I do tend to "baby" my animals, but in reality it really isn't good for them. Thanks for the post!
  6. Crippledturkey

    Crippledturkey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2011
    Poplar Bluff, Mo
    My idea of a brooder is plugging the heat lamp in the bathroom of the machine shop, close the toilette lid, and food and water, then let the chicks go with play sand for litter (It gets tilled into the garden for firtelizer after.), never had a problem. If they get too hot they go to the other side of the bathroom. A one week old chick a week or so snuck out of the bathroom at night without me knowing it, and the shop is unheated and the temps at night dipped to the high 30's and I went out there the next morning and it was by the bathroom door sleeping, when it saw me it was then he noticed he was hungry and cold and started chirping loudly to be let in.
    I too was suprised at how hardy they were. You grow up hearing stories about them and other baby animals being helpless, and ya freak at first if everything is not just right, then ya wisen up and ya got a lot less work to do and happier birds in then end. Nice post OP.
    1 person likes this.
  7. mammat

    mammat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    columbus ohio
    I totally agree! I think the people that are so worried are people who have never had chicks before. I know at first I was overly concerned about them primarily because I did not want to be responsible for killing them by not doing what I should. I got my 5th set of chicks last september -18 of them. They were outside in a small house at night with no heat in the 40's. There were 18 of them. They cuddled for warmth. No one died or had any horrible diseases :)
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  8. jschway

    jschway Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2012
    olive branch ms
    Thanks for posting this it has confirmed my suspicions and helps me not feel like a bad flock owner. I have been a flock owner for 3 days and was wondering the same thing you said about the hardiness of chickens vs the over dramatic posts and books I have read.

    Very helpful.
  9. gapeach717

    gapeach717 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2012
    North, ga
    i worry bc its my first ever chicks and i dont want to kill them. common sense only gets one so far with a new experience. i still hope i dont kill them, so far so good! [​IMG]
  10. ButchGood

    ButchGood Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2012
    Central Texas
    Most folks are just worried about the little baby chicks. Trust me, when they hit that ugly teenaged phase everyone will realize how tough they are. I can see coddling those day old cuties. But after thet first week you can stop worrying.

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