Why do our chicks go nuts?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RedDrgn, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    My Coop
    We have five chicks (our first ever) that are 16 days old today.

    Due to our guest room being unexpectedly in use over the past two weeks, we've been keeping the chicks in their brooder in our master bedroom (it's the only other place in the house with enough space for it and is an a/c area). We've had no problems and they've been quite a delight to have so far. We make a point of spending time within sight of them and taking time to handle and interact with them every day. When it's not so blasted hot out, we even take them out in their run to let them explore it and their coop for an hour or two per day.

    Over the past two days, though, we have noticed one thing....they've started going crazy (in the brooder) whenever we come around. The first day we thought something was wrong - too hot, too cold, not enough food/water...we checked it all and everything was fine, but they were in such a tizzy and making a tremendous racket! We handled them for a bit and they chilled a little, but wound right back up once we put them back and didn't really settle until the lights were out for the night.

    Last night was similar. When I got home from work and we went back to see how they were doing, they were milling around without a care in the world. Once they noticed us, they went nuts and would not settle at all. We opened the brooder up to renew their food and water and got bombarded. We played with them for a few hours and then put them back, and they were still high strung, tearing around, trying to get back out again, and again didn't settle until it was lights out.

    So my question is...is this normal? [​IMG] I mean, they're healthy and all, just crazy suddenly, and seemingly not content unless perched on us or on top of their brooder. I guess it would get irritating being stuck in the same place most of the time, but we do provide some toys and move things around periodically so it doesn't get too dull. Is there something else that we should be (or not be) doing?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. earnhardtlvr

    earnhardtlvr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It sounds like u r doing everything right. They r just crazy! Mine were like that. It is like u say, they get bored being in the same place all the time. They sound like they really enjoy the interaction w/ the humans! [​IMG] Fortunately I had my baby chicks when it was still cold out and I would use the red heat lamp to calm them down. It worked really really well for us. I don't know of anything else that u aren't already doing with the toys and taking them outside and playing with them. I can just tell u that they r crazy! Enjoy them becuz they grow up fast!

    Here is my Barred Rock (the black one behind the chipmunk looking one) at 2 days old.

    [​IMG]

    Here is my BR at about 13 weeks!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am by no means an expert, but I have been really amazed by my first batch of chicks (almost 6 weeks old) at how curious and adventuresome they are. My childhood experience with chickens left me thinking that they were really stupid animals but while I wouldn't call my chickens future NASA engineers they do seem to need mental stimulation and exercise to stay happy. I have a brooder set up in my garage and then a second, much larger "play pen" set up near it.

    They spend their nights in the brooder and their days in the play pen. If I know I'm going to be away for long periods of the day, I often set up the play pen the night before with something new and different, a different configuration of perches, a big cookie tray full of gravel and dirt from outside, a log from the woodpile or a cardboard box with a "door" cut into it. When I come into the garage in the morning the girls are happy to be picked up (other than one of my Jersey Giants who still acts like I'm going to eat her) and be transferd into the play pen. They spend quite a lot of time running around and flapping their wings and jumping up on top of things and then start a thorough examination of their new digs. In the evening they seem perfectly happy to be picked up and put back in their smaller brooder.

    I don't know if you have the room for something like this, but perhaps some exercise and enrichment time might help.
     
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    You've put the time and effort into making sure they are happy to see you, so they are happy to see you.
     
  5. feliciamckee

    feliciamckee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree! My babies are the same way. They just have a lot of personality. Chickens are very social creatures and love to be dramatic![​IMG]
     
  6. feliciamckee

    feliciamckee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I love your BR! She lookes just like my Edwina and is about the same age. She is adorable.[​IMG]
     
  7. earnhardtlvr

    earnhardtlvr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I love your BR! She lookes just like my Edwina and is about the same age. She is adorable.[​IMG]

    Thank u! My Sweet Pea is one of my friendliest chickies! I [​IMG] her!
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd say it's time for them to move outside, that they want to forage.
     
  9. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they do seem to need mental stimulation and exercise to stay happy.

    Yep...throw them outside in a run and give them lots of chicken toys, which in the chicken world can mean a shovel full of dirt, a perch in a different location, concrete blocks to climb on.

    Also running around like idiots is, believe it or not, a defensive action on their part. Once they get to know you and that you bring food, you will be their best friend. For a few seconds anyway.​
     
  10. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    Quote:I think I can deal with the, "they are just crazy" aspect. [​IMG] Yeah, they do seem to like the handling and running around time (and it's fun to do, too), though we do our best to mix things up and add new things for them to explore in their brooder when they are left to their own thing. Oh, they are definitely growing up fast! It's incredible! :eek:

    Beautiful chicky-chicks, too!!! Ours BR and DOM are just starting to get their bars and are looking like they're perpetually having a bad hair day right now. [​IMG]

    Quote:That's an awesome setup! [​IMG] Unfortunately, we don't have the space for two separate indoor areas like that. Their brooder is big, though (about 65 square feet for 5 chicks) and allows for lots of room for us to add goodies like perches and toys (they loooove marbles and red bottle caps). We move those things around every few days and put new things in and take old things out as well, just to freshen up the look and get them investigating all over again.

    Like I said, we take them out in their coop and run for periods of play in the evenings. We just couldn't do that last night or three nights prior due to the heat. I know I saw somewhere that drastic temperature shifts are tough on them and with temps pushing the 100s (compared to their 80 degree brooder), we didn't want to shock or stress them. Hopefully tomorrow night we'll be able to get them back out for more outdoor time...though they definitely do the run/flap/craziness indoors. XD

    Quote:If that's the case, we can live with that! [​IMG] We just don't want their excitability to be indicative of something we're doing wrong or overlooking. Being the n00bs we are, we had no idea chickens were as curious/adventuresome/and social with other species as they apparently are!

    Quote:It seems so! XD

    Quote:I thought you needed to wait until they're fully feathered to move them outside. Right now, their wings are feathered and their tails are well under way, but they only have some pin-feathering on backs, necks, and chests. We don't have electricity in the coop, so we don't have any way to maintain temps in there when it cools in the evenings. We do take them out for foraging and roaming (under close supervision) in the evenings when the temps are more like their brooder and less like an oven.[​IMG]
     

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