Weird sleeping or too hot?

bwebster

In the Brooder
Mar 3, 2020
17
27
30
Connecticut
Just got my chicks today. I posted earlier about some struggling chicks but all have bounced back. My question is about the way some sleep. The have their wings out to their sides. I've read that means they are hot, but the temp is about 92 and they aren't moving to the cooler side of the brooder. They do not have their mouths open and are not panting.

Looking for a little advice and knowledge of their sleeping habits, and if they are ok. All drank and ate. They had a day longer in the mail than expected, 3 total days. One DOA. My guess is they're 4-5 days old. Some are definitely are more active, and bigger, than others.

Thanks!

Sorry the pics aren't great. My phone is capturing well in the red light and I don't want to flash them!
 

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aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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Just got my chicks today. I posted earlier about some struggling chicks but all have bounced back. My question is about the way some sleep. The have their wings out to their sides. I've read that means they are hot, but the temp is about 92 and they aren't moving to the cooler side of the brooder. They do not have their mouths open and are not panting.
They may just be 'sunbathing'.
Were they shipped or from farm store?
As long as they are eating/drinking/pooping/moving around OK I'd not worry.


Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:

They need to be pretty warm(~85-90F on the brooder floor right under the lamp and 10-20 degrees cooler at the other end of brooder) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker acclimation to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder. I do think it's a good idea to use a thermometer on the floor of the brooder to check the temps, especially when new at brooding, later I still use it but more out of curiosity than need.

The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:
-If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.
-If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.
-If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!

The lamp is best at one end of the brooder with food/water at the other cooler end of the brooder, so they can get away from the heat or be under it as needed. Wattage of 'heat' bulb depends on size of brooder and ambient temperature of room brooder is in. Regular incandescent bulbs can be used, you might not need a 'heat bulb'. If you do use a heat bulb make sure it's specifically for poultry, some heat bulbs for food have teflon coatings that can kill birds. You can get red colored incandescent bulbs at a reptile supply source. A dimmer extension cord is an excellent way to adjust the output of the bulb to change the heat without changing the height of the lamp.
 

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