Two newbie questions :(

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by c4wilson, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. c4wilson

    c4wilson Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2015
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Hi all, we just got 4 hens (came in by mail Friday). We have been having a ton and really enjoying this website as a resource.
    I have two question however:

    1) I know the temperature is supposed to be 95ish but the hottest part of the brooder is 108 (where the light hits the bottom) and the coldest is about 84 (actually fairly close to where they spend most of the time) is it OK to have this large of range?

    2) One chick has turned on its back twice (that I have seen) and she has been unable to get up (both times last night). I help her back up and she appears fine. She runs around, drinks and eats. Is this OK/Normal?!? Googling the issue only terrified me, but she seems to be doing great other than these two instances. I have a feeling she is knocked over by the buff oprington who appears to be the boss already.

    If any of this is important: bottom is pine shavings (2-4inches) on top of posterboard in a large tupperware container. I fed them growgel but have not done sugar in the water nor anything else in the starter feed.

    Thanks for all the help this webpage has already been, and thanks ahead of time for some help,
    Charles & Helen
     
  2. RitzHomestead

    RitzHomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am a newbie as well and the only thing I can answer is the first question because I had the same issue.

    With the Tupperware gets really hot in there. I would raise the light to where the hottest point is 95. The range is fine because it gives them a place to cool off. With myself I had to make a rig to hold the light so I could raise it up each week as they need less and less heat.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. janoel8-48

    janoel8-48 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2015

    I've had a chick do this before, but it only did it for a while and nothing happened to it.
     
  4. rosinsk1772

    rosinsk1772 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I never use a thermometer with chicks. I just use the old rule that if they are directly under the lamp they're cold. If they are at the furthest section of the brodder than they are hot. Based on that I raise or lower the heat lamp. If the chick went on its back let them fight their way back to their feet. They need to be strong on their own.
     
  5. kyexotics

    kyexotics Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We place a cover over part of the top of brooder to block the light from an entire section so they can find their own goldilocks zone and not rely on hot and hotter...
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Those plastic totes actually end up being much hotter than cardboard because the plastic reflects the heat back into the brooder instead of absorbing it. Your chicks are trying to tell you by their behavior that it's much too hot in the box. These types brooders may be easy to clean and don't dissolve when there are water spills, but beyond that, there's not much else to recommend them.

    If you have a Lowes handy, which sells packing boxes or an appliance store where you can get free boxes, you would do much better by your baby chicks to make them a cardboard brooder. You can line it with heavy plastic and it will hold up great. For now, though, do as a previous poster recommended and raise the light up higher until the chicks are spread out fairly evenly over the brooder.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. coni55087

    coni55087 Out Of The Brooder

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    When I got my first flock last spring the farmer told me that if they're cold they will chirp a lot, if they're quiet they're happy campers.
     
  8. c4wilson

    c4wilson Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 1, 2015
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Thank you all! This is fantastic information. We raised the light but may raise it a little more and next time she turns over i'll just be patient :)

    Thanks again!
    Charles and Helen
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    How large is the brooder? Tupperware makes me think not large enough. I think your chicks are way too hot. If they're spending all their time at the cool end of the brooder, it's too hot. Raise that lamp a bit. Momma is a cozy 100 degrees under her, and the rest of the world is whatever temp it happens to be. Your heat lamp should be the same, one spot around 100 degrees, and enough space in the brooder they can get to ambient temp and cool off. Even a 4-5 day old chick spends lots of time out from under momma exploring the world, no matter how cool it it. I second the above poster to get a larger, cardboard brooder. Chicks need a lot of space and most of it should be room temp.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. kyexotics

    kyexotics Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't like anything that doesn't allow for heat to escape other than out the top and there should always be an area of shade, that will allow them to find a goldilocks zone!
     

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