WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY CHICKS?!

ChickensinAfrica

In the Brooder
Sep 10, 2017
30
30
39
southern africa
My Potch Koekoek chicks are panting! They are drinking just fine but they also seem tired (it is 8:25 PM here though) They are nine days old. They also huddle together on the opposite side of the room as the light so it looks like they are trying to avoid the heat...so then why are they huddling to avoid the heat?! The temperature is staying around 86 degrees. Also it just rained so its a bit humid. Here is a picture.
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azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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They are not huddling. They are fleeing to the extreme outskirts but can't flee the confines of a too small brooder so they crowd, risking trampling and smothering.

If 30C (86F) is the temperature of the entire brooder, these chicks are in danger of not being able to shed excess heat, and they will experience heat stress and die very quickly from it.

You are already observing your chicks' needs. So ignore those stupid heat guidelines all together and let you chicks tell you how warm and cool they need it to be. If the room is warm where your brooder is, 30C (80-85F) may be the highest the heat zone needs to be.

If your house or wherever you have these chick is very warm, you will only need a very, very small wattage heat source for the chicks to warm under. If the room is 30C (86F), you won't need any heat at all for the brooder during the day, and a minimal heat source at night.

With that many chicks, it's critical to have a brooder large enough that the chicks have a choice of very cool space in which to cool off, and one heat zone to warm up. They are a lot like lizards at this age, moving in and out of the warm zone to regulate body temperature. They aren't cakes baking in an oven that has to be kept a uniform temperature.
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
57,593
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A little further north from the OP, I find that with night time temp lows of 72f (indoors) my chicks require no heat after day 7. From day 3 they have no heat all day.

As azygous says, ignore silly temp charts and rely on your common sense (which you are doing). If the chicks are too cold, they'll huddle together and chirp. If they don't, they are fine
 
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azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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If your ambient temperature gets too high, 30C or above, you might want to bring a fan in, not directed at the chicks, but at an angle to move the warm air out of the brooder, still keeping a heat zone with minimal heat from a light bulb or heating pad.

What you are seeing are chicks that are shedding excess accumulated body heat, were in heat stress, and now are able to regulate their body temps again. This is why it's so important to create a space in the brooder that is at least 20 degrees cooler than the warmest zone.
 

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