Scared chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bdowns73, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. bdowns73

    bdowns73 Just Hatched

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    Sep 6, 2016
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    I have 7 1/2 week old chicks. We moved them to the coop about two weeks ago. They are out during the day and go up at night. About a week ago I noticed when they went in for the night they were huddled in a corner and climbing on top of each other. I put up a light and they acted normal. So at night we turn the light on. Last night I noticed they were trying to sleep in the nesting boxes away from the light. I'm confused on what we should do, leave the light on or turn it off.
     
  2. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like maybe they were cold. Chicks huddle on top of each other when cold. A light all night is not healthy.
     
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    The huddling you saw was a natural behavior for the age they were at -- and nothing to have been concerned about. It is part of their "going to bed" routine as darkness falls -- the light simply interrupts that. They actually need a period of darkness - so leaving the light on at night is not a good practice.

    Sleeping in nest boxes is also a natural progression in their behavior as they transition from the floor huddle to the roosts. Unfortunately, it is an undesirable progression and one that is best interrupted to avoid them developing a long-term habit which leads to nest boxes full of poop (a bird at roost/asleep expels a LOT of waste) which is an issue once they do reach the point of production. To correct the nest sleeping simply block off access to the nest boxes. If you have any other, laying, birds in the flock you can open the nests during the day and close them an hour or so before dusk - but if there are no other birds that do need access to the nests you can simplify things by just leaving them closed from now until you are closer to these birds starting to lay -- by which time they should be firmly in the habit of roosting.
     
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  4. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I forgot to ask whether it was a red hat lamp?
     
  5. bdowns73

    bdowns73 Just Hatched

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    What do I do when they are cold? The heat lamp or let them be?
     
  6. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great post for us newbies!
     
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  7. sawilliams

    sawilliams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1 they were probably still cold, 2 they are still a little young to use roosting bars and will still huddle for heat. Honestly the best thing to do is probably just take the light out and let them figure it out. You could remove it slowly by dimming it over a week or 2, slowly angle it away so it lights the main area off the coop less and less. This will also help with them learning to go inside on time.

    I don't know when they choose to start using the roosts, but most of mine have started using the roosts between 20 and 15 weeks.

    Basiclay same as in brooding if they huddle under the light they are cold of they stay away from the light they are 2 warm. But if they are huddling away from the light it's somewhere in between, and at thier age they should be OK being a little cold
     
  8. bdowns73

    bdowns73 Just Hatched

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    It's not a red heat lamp. It's clear. To me it doesn't put off much heat. I went out and turned the light off. It's about 50 degrees at night now.
     
  9. bdowns73

    bdowns73 Just Hatched

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    It just scared me when they were stepping on one another in the corner. I was afraid one of the chicks would die.
     
  10. bdowns73

    bdowns73 Just Hatched

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    I have 6 chicks and they are all roosting. When I open the coop in the morning I look in and they are on the roosts. It was pretty awesome to see.
     

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