So what happens.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by FireTigeris, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    So what happens if it gets too cold-

    I have seen chicks die in too much heat...

    will they really 'freeze' if they are too cold?

    I mean really- hen raised chicks spend about the first week under mom- first two of those days they do not need food, then every night -otherwise they are all over the place (especially when their are two moms)

    So why do they NEED to be 95* when most of them stay out of that heat unless its sleeping time?

    (my brooder is set with the hot side the food then the cold side)
  2. ekemily

    ekemily Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2010
    Fairhope, AL
    The chicks aren't going to stay under a 95 degree light constantly. They run under there, stretch out, warm up, then run off and go about their business. They need that high heat to keep them regulated until their feathers start coming in and they can do it themselves. I hope that answers your question... [​IMG]

    ETA: If the weather is freezing and the chick has no heat source, then, technically the chick could freeze. If the temps are too cold and it's not freezing, then they are dying of hypothermia or starvation related to being too cold or something similar.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  3. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Quote:Well, lets hypothetically say that my DH switched the 100 watt bulb for a 60 watt bulb w/o telling me- and the low watt bulb puts out 85* heat, and the 100 watt bulb is gone...

    what will happen to the chicks in those condidtions, it occurse to me that they are warm-blooded and in a group - should- be able to self regulate w/o feathers, after all there's nakid every type of domestic animal (cat, dog, chicken, etc) and we have no feathers either.

    I had to carefully watch my son's temp from getting too high, not too low when he was born (despite all advice contrary).

    so - I was wondering based on that and rat pups and that these guys have down...

    I mean I lose people that would be great chicky parents because of the heat req. they are ultra green and don't want any extra lights/heat on.
  4. ekemily

    ekemily Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2010
    Fairhope, AL
    your chicks should be fine at 85 degrees. Each week, their requirement for heat goes down by about 5 degrees. Plus, you're in a warm climate, like me. My four week old chicks are outside in a chicken tractor with a lower wattage bulb during the day and a 100 watt at night. I cover them up too.
    Birds are different than mammals. Their needs are different too, especially when we are being their momma hen. They keep less fat on their bodies. Their metabolism is generally faster too, making it difficult for them to eat enough to keep generating enough heat on their own. I mean, afterall, they only have one poop hole. [​IMG]
  5. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    You will know if they are cold. Unhappy chicks are LOUD! They make a much different sound than happy, contented chicks. A brooder full of cold chicks is incessantly cheeping and loud, loud, loud!
    I did once have two hen raised chicks that fell out of the coop and were unable to get back to mama. One did in fact die of hypothermia. The other died of stress the next day. It never managed to begin eating normally (despite my best efforts) and there were huge pasty butt issues. I was in there working on its tush almost every time it pooped. the poor thing finally succumbed the next day (I had moved it inside to the brooder and heat lamp). [​IMG]

    Your brooder chicks will let you know if they are unhappy with the lower wattage lamp. Personally, I have found that my chicks have always preferred the temps to be lower than what all tehbooks say. I finally threw the thermometer away and adjust the temps based on how they are acting.

    Good luck! Tell hubby to keep his hands off your brooder! [​IMG]

  6. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Quote:sounds like a plan, and unless I'm hatching babies its used as a desk lamp.
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Quote:This is just it, they don't need to be that warm all the time. This is what leads to cooked chicks. They do need the OPTION of that warmth, but they also need to be able to move to cooler temps. That's how they regulate. They should be fine with the lower watt bulb, if needed you can always move it closer for more warmth, but if they're over a week or so, they should be fine.

    As a side note, sorry your honey is messing with you, that's a bad thing to do. I really don't think the cost is that different.
  8. SLWyandotte

    SLWyandotte Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2011
    Chatom, Alabama
    personally i think it is activity level. for mine i noticed they were getting too hot during the day so i cut off the heat lamp during the day. while they were running and playing they don't get cold even though it's 70 degrees outside where the brooder is. a lot of the time they cluster in the shade even without the light cause the sun gets them too hot. at night though they start to get cool when they start to bed down. they are not as active and produce less heat. we cut the lamp back on and put scrap plywood over the brooder to hold more heat. they are all happy and healthy so far. haven't lost any. i did however give them sugar water for the first week weather they needed it or not.
  9. Mak

    Mak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Londonderry, NH
    I've got a half dozen 2 day olds in my brooder now in the basement. Air temp in the basement is about 45 deg or so. Temp in the brooder is between 88 and 90 degrees. Chicks are seldom under the light and never huddled together like cold chicks do. They eat, drink, run about and cheep quietly and contentedly. This is the second batch I've raised like this and so far, so good. As long as the chicks are not acting cold, things are fine. The chicks never read the books, right? [​IMG]

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