More Info (Fact Sheets)
Alphabetical List

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Chick Vitality
Healthy Bird Management

 

 

 

 

First 48 Hours

Temperature - Temperature - Temperature

The first 48-72 hours of a chick's life is critical

To maximize immunity, performance and liveability the barn floor temperature should be 90 to 92 degrees F / 32 - 34 degrees C. This will create a comfort zone for the chicks. The feeders and waterers should also be in the comfort zone.

Comfortable At the farm the chicks will be spread out, eating and drinking. The chicks feet will be warm.
Hot The chick is panting in the bar. A "chirping" distress sound may be heard. Chicks may move away from the heat source and line up along the wall.
Cold The chicks will be less active. The cold chicks may huddle or "bunch" around the heat source or in the feeder trays. Low temperature chicks have cold feet. If the chicks feet feel cold to the touch on your cheek then they are too cold. These chicks are struggling and are diverting energy that should be used for growth and development to maintain body temperature.
Chilling in the first 48 hours of brooding Chicks do not have the ability to control their body temperature completely until they are 2 weeks old. floor temperature and insulation will mean more to the chick during this time than the air temperature. The chicks need at least 3-4 inches of Fluffy Dry litter to provide protection from the cold floor.
Feed and Water Must be within the comfort zone of the chicks. A good crumble, not pellets or mash will encourage uniform distribution of nutrients and give the chicks a good start.
Gases Carbon dioxide and ammonia, if they are present in the house, tend to sink to the floor, displacing oxygen and this low oxygen level at the floor can cause Ascites.

Chick uniformity is influenced by temperature, access to feed, access to water and air quality. Any time a portion of the flock is forced to struggle to maintain temperature, access feed, water or to breathe - uniformity will suffer.

Manually keeping the chicks spread out (walk the chicks) allows them better access to feed and water.

Remember, temperature is the most important factor for good flock health and liveability. Floor temperature 90 to 92 F / 32 to 34 C.