Switching brooders drama


Mar 30, 2020
Fredericksburg, VA
My 19 chicks are almost 4 weeks old. I moved them to a 4x8 brooder this morning and they loved it all day. I noticed as the sun was going down, they started making unhappy chirps. Thinking they were stressed I moved them back to there old brooder. They just piled into the corner pushing making unhappy chirps. They just got quiet, but they are still piled into the corner. What did I do wrong?
What did I do wrong?

Nothing. Chicks get unhappy when things change.

In the new brooder, they probably wanted to go back "home" for the night. (Yes, even little baby chicks want to go home to roost at night.)

In the old brooder, has it been turned off all day? If so, it's not pre-warmed like it usually is. If it was still turned on all day, then they're probably just tired out, and they spent enough time in the new brooder that neither one seems quite "right."

It's probably better to just leave them where they are now for tonight, then tomorrow put them in the new brooder again: and leave them there for the night. It will only take a few days for them to get used to sleeping there.
Have they settled down now? If not, you could put your hand in and gently move them out of the corner a little bit.

They are probably fine, though.
Ah, that makes sense. And then the freaking out ones decided to come over too, for comfort or because it must be safe (because the birds there were NOT freaking out). Silly birds! :)
It may sound silly, but I sing my new Chicks to sleep a few times a day. I think that has helped with the stress of everything being new. I have a problem with one Exchequer Leghorn eye pecking her sister and everyone else today, and a few times it has just been safer to lull them into closing their eyes. I removed a roost branch that seemed to be causing pecking order issues too. 4 days old seems too young for dangerous squabbles. What a day. Hope I get sleep, as well as others in the house. One of the Reeds thinks she has to stay awake to watch over things and peeped her self awake, then begins distress cries till I come check Brooder vitals, and sweet-talk her down. If a stair squeaks when I try to tiptoe back to bed, it begins again.

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