Dip the beaks of a few chicks into water
and trigger nipple or water cups to help
them start drinking.
Supply the chicks with additional feeding
bowls to ensure a better feed intake in the
first few days. After cleaning and refilling
the bowls put them back in another place
close to the old place.
Chicks should be fully feathered before
brooding equipment has to be removed.
Body Temperature of the
The body temperature of housed chicks
is a very useful indicator to adjust house
temperature in an optimum way. A simple
tool to measure the body temperature
of day old chicks is usage of modern
ear thermometers, known from human
medicine. The correct application tomeasure
the body temperature is just to touch the
cloaca gently with the thermometer probe.
The optimal body temperature of the chicks
is about 40 to 41 °C.
Obtain samples of the chicks distributed
in different parts of the house in order
to have reliable results. Proceed in a way
you normally do while weighing chicks/
pullets to check their uniformity. Collect the
information, calculate the average and adjust
house temperature accordingly to achieve
optimal chick temperatures. For example
increase the house temperature by 0.5 °C, if
the average body temperature of the chicks
is 39.5 °C.
Besides house temperature, there are
other factors which could affect the body
temperature of the chicks negatively:
Insufficient air distribution in the house
Low humidity level (heat transfer capacity
of the air)
Missing to pre-warm the house at the right
After a few hours, check whether the chicks
have settled down well. The chicks behaviour
is the best indicator of their well-being:
If the chicks are evenly spread out and
moving freely, temperature and ventilation
are all right.
If the chicks are crowding together or
avoiding certain areas within the house,
temperature is too lowor there is a draught.
If the chicks are lying about on the floor
with outspread wings and gasping for air,
temperature is too high.
Chicks should be active eating and
drinking. Check if the bird find out where
the water is and if they are learning to
drink. When the water is too hot chicks can
refuse to drink, water must be fresh!