Chicks are very delicate creatures that need to be raised in warm, safe environments to boost their immunity. If they do not receive an ideal temperature in their first weeks of life, they can develop several problems such as disease, high mortality risk, and slowed development.

What are the considerations on the right way to warm chicks?

How to warm newborn chicks

Ensuring proper temperature is crucial to making sure chicks have ideal conditions for healthy growth. The heat-delivered by heat lamp or infrared lamp-must spread to the entire enclosure, including the floor. The chicks are hatched at a temperature of 32 degrees, and every week the temperature needs to be lowered by two or three degrees. By doing so, 16-day-old chicks will be kept at a temperature of 26/28 degrees. The temperature must be lowered for the next 5 to 8 weeks: at the end of this period they will be able to go outside and move to a roost connected to the outdoors

During the first three days of life, the newly hatched chicks should be provided with 21-23 hours of light per day, decreasing during the next three weeks to 16 hours per day and then to 10/12 hours of light daily to ensure proper development of the bird.

Sistemazione del pollaio con la neve - River Systems

How long should the chicks stay in the artificial hen?

After the eggs hatch, the chicks should be placed under an artificial henhouse, a device in which the eggs receive the required temperature and humidity.

When a hen is not available to care for the chicks, in fact, a special heating plate can be used that will provide them with the proper conditions to hatch. It has a built-in thermostat that adjusts its heat level based on the temperature of the environment in which it is placed.

Artificial hen is a more effective solution than infrared lamps: compared to the latter, it does not produce light, and in this way the baby poultry do not suffer stress from unnatural lighting and grow more naturally. Artificial hen houses are very convenient since they do not consume as much energy as infrared lamps need.

The chicks must have enough space available. In the first 14 days of life we should not concentrate more than 40 chicks per square meter. After 15 and up to 42 days of age we must not collect more than 20 specimens per square meter. After 42 days we must limit ourselves to 10 specimens per square meter.

After 5 to 8 weeks the chicks will start to show their adult feathers, and based on that you can base on removing them from the incubator. As early as three weeks, you can think about taking them out of the incubator in the middle hours of the day, but be careful that they do not experience too great a change in temperature.

How to tell if chicks are hot

If we see that chicks move away from the heat source, tend to drink a lot and ruffle their feathers, they are probably feeling too hot, a condition that can lead them to become dehydrated.

How to tell if chicks are cold

If we see that chicks tend not to move, move closer to the heat source or if they tend to huddle together, it is a sign that they feel cold. We can also touch their feet to ascertain if they are cold, and figure out if we need to increase the heat.

How to protect chicks from the cold

The chicken coop is intended to house roosters, hens and chicks, and to be cozy it must keep them safe from drafts and moisture. That is why it is necessary in winter to clear away all traces of snow, perhaps by arranging a layer of straw to make sure that the poultry’s feet stay warm. If the cold is too bitter, a heater can be placed in the chicken coop to be turned on when temperatures drop below 5 degrees Celsius. 

Come proteggere i pulcini dal freddo

Il pollaio è destinato ad accogliere galli, galline e pulcini e per risultare accogliente deve mantenerli al sicuro da spifferi e umidità. Per questo occorre d’inverno fare sparire ogni traccia di neve, magari disponendo uno strato di paglia per fare sì che le zampe degli avicoli si mantengano al caldo. Se il freddo è troppo pungente, si può inserire nel pollaio un riscaldatore da attivare quando le temperature scendono sotto i 5 gradi centigradi.