The chicks are here, the chicks are here!
It felt weird only bringing home six this time, and they look tiny in their brooder, but I know that is a very temporary condition.
The first thing I did was dip their beaks in water, then shove them under the Brinsea EcoGlow:
That shut them up, I tell you. They’re all: “oooooo….warm.”
But it didn’t take them long to venture out. They were all camped out on top of the feed in a matter of half an hour. You can see a short video of that on the Heedley’s Hens Facebook Page.
The immortal “they” decree that newborn chicks must have temps of 95 degrees for the first week of life. Or they’ll DIE. Now, hens have been raising chicks outside for centuries, in all climates, of course. The Brinsea is based on the premise that it provides the hen’s body warmth when the chicks want it, and they’re more than capable of venturing out into cooler temps for short periods of time to get food and water, and finding their way back, if they’re cold.
I’m seeing the wisdom of this already. It’s about 68F in the coop right now, about 78F under the ceramic heat bulb in the brooder. The peeps prefer hanging out under the heat bulb than burrowing under the Brinsea, thus far. I’m sure they will do when the sun goes down and the temps in the coop and brooder fall, and it seems to me this is much more natural behaviour. Rather than eating and napping 24/7, they’ll sleep when it’s dark and fend for themselves in daylight hours.
Or I could be completely wrong, and they’ll all DIE.
3:20pm Update: They’re all still alive! They’re all crashed out having a snooze, parked have in and half out of the Brinsea. Funny, the brooder temp is 84, but they’re perfectly happy out from under the Brinsea. No peeping, no complaining, no distress. As a lifelong, unquestioning rule follower, I find this fascinating.
My human girls come home to meet the new babies in half an hour!