Do Chicks Need Mother Hens?

Do Chicks Need Mother Hens?

In this installment on how to raise baby chicks, I will answer a question we frequently receive. Why can baby chicks be separated from their mothers, the hens, so early in their lives.

 

As we mentioned previously, you can purchase these little chicks online and have them shipped to you. When you receive them, you’ll probably notice the hen is not included in the package. Thus, many people email us with worry that the chicks won’t be okay, or they’ll get separation anxiety. Let me delve into this further for some perspective. 

 

Baby Chicks Are Born With Instincts

Unlike us mammals, baby chicks instinctively know what to do when they’re hatched. They understand where to find food. Well, at least as much as a baby chick can. In addition, chicks know where to find water. Therefore, all the needs of basic self-sufficiency are met a lot faster than mammals. 

Chicks also mature much quicker. You may have noticed this when your teacher hosted them at your school. One week they were cute and fluffy. One month later, they had grown considerably. In fact, chicks reach their maturity levels around 16 weeks. Due to this, their mothers aren’t needed as much.

 

Chicks Are Self-Sufficient

Plenty of baby chicks stay with their mothers. When this happens, the hens do contribute to the growth and survival of their young. Yet, while they provide basic needs, hens don’t do as much as mammal mothers. 

Right before they hatch, the baby chicks absorb the egg’s yolk sac. This provides them enough nutrition for the first 72 hours of life. It’s true they will be okay at this stage. Nevertheless, we like to feed and water them before that for the extra push. But if they’re not fed by humans, they know where to find food and water.

 

Separation Better Ensures Survival

Separation from the hens not only promotes the chicks’ autonomy. It also helps protect them from the predators found around farms. For instance, we have skunks, opossums, and coyotes. All predators that don’t have any qualms in taking chicks. On top of this, other chickens or roosters might bother them. 

To add an extra level of protection, you can show the chicks where the water and food are. At our farm, we pick them up and gently dip their beaks into the water, so they get that first taste. Then we do the same thing with the food. 

If it looks like they don’t quite understand, we sit there and finger-scratch the food and water. They tend to grasp the concept after that.

 

Chicks Already Understand How To Socialize

With these survival skills also comes a set of good habits in the form of social skills. Granted, these won’t stop them from being bullied by other chickens, but it does allow them to interact with each other and safer animals around them. 

This is not the case with mammals like horses. Though they seem to come out ready to walk, they don’t have the necessary social skills to go out on their own. The mothers need to instill these traits in them, so they act properly around other horses and humans.

 

Conclusion

In the end, don’t worry if the chicks feel homesick once they arrive at your doorstep. By the time you receive them they have already established their own paths to food and water. Furthermore, they have the social skills to interact with you and the other chicks. Granted, this might not stop a chick from wandering off. Yet, they’ll be back when they require food and water.

If you still feel uncomfortable when you first get the chicks, introduce them to the food and water stations by picking them up and softly dipping their beaks into the products. They chicks should be smart enough to understand for the next time.

Overall, enjoy their independence. Before you know it, they’ll be mature and ready to be among the other hens in your yard.

 

Main Takeaways:

  • Chicks don’t need mother hens because they instinctively know how to find food and water.
  • Hens provide some protection, but not very much. They can’t stop a predator from eating their chicks.
  • We usually separate chicks from mother hens on our farm to provide better protection.
  • Chicks instinctively know social behaviors (unlike other species), so their mothers don’t need to teach them.

 

Other reading:

Easy Tractor For Chicks

 

3 (Easy) Steps To Feeding Healthy Day Old Baby Chicks

3 (Easy) Steps To Feeding Healthy Day Old Baby Chicks

If we’re going to raise baby chicks from day-olds to layers, we may as well start at the beginning – with what to feed baby chicks.

 

In this video, we’ve got a new batch of little cuties that were just born! The problem is what to feed them from now until they’re ready for more advanced cuisine. 

 

In this video, I’ll show you what I feed my newborn chicks.

 

  1. Feed
  2. The Mess
  3. The Bowl
  4. Dried Tiny Shrimp 

 

Feed

As soon as chicks are born, we feed them an 18% chick starter with herbs in it. It’s our own special blend. And the reason we feed that is because it has 18% protein in it. It has all the nutrients that they need to grow from being chicks to healthy layers. And we like to have the herbs in there because the herbs help them grow healthy

 

We started packaging this and selling it is because people ask me constantly on my website: Where do I get my feed? What do I feed? Why do I feed that? What herbs can I use?

 

Providing our mix to people just makes it easier for their chicks to access to the same things that I use without having to go through the rigmarole of mixing it themselves. (You can view our herbal chick starter here)

 

Why Mess Is Good

One thing you might notice is that it’s pretty messy in my brooder. The chicks get feed everywhere. That’s actually a good thing because it shows that they’re eating.

 

One of the biggest concerns I personally had when I first started raising chicks was whether or not they would actually eat enough to grow. If they don’t eat, they don’t grow, which is bad. The mess tells me that they’re eating and I’m happy with that. 

 

Feeder Options For Day Olds

When chicks are day olds, I use a small, low bowl for their feed. That’s very intentional.

 

I’ve tried other feeders for the first couple of days of their lives, but with the hundreds and hundreds of chicks that I’ve raised, I’ve noticed the chicks have a hard time finding the food in juvenile feeders. Right after they’re born, they’re disoriented and tired because it’s hard hatching.

 

A bowl where they can just walk on top of the food, makes it easier for them to find the food, and – most importantly – to eat

 

As they get older, I’ll switch to their bigger feeder (like I show in this video). As day olds though, they don’t really understand how to use the bigger feeders yet: you have to teach them. So for the sake of making sure that they are eating and are healthy, I just use a little dish. 

 

So obviously they really like their feed; the bowl is easy to use and they’re healthy.

 

Encouraging Chicks To Eat

Something else I like to give chicks during the first weeks of their life and really until the time that they’re adults are dried tiny shrimp. (You can see my favorite type here).

 

I like these because they’re tiny. They’re easy to crush and they’re full of protein and they’re irresistible to chickens of all ages. 

 

Especially in the first couple of days of their life, I’m very worried that my chicks are not eating as much as they should. Treats that are full of protein, like these dried tiny shrimps, make it almost impossible for chicks not to eat. They love them so much that they just swarm. 

 

All I do to feed them is just put them right in the dish. These treats are not in place of chick starter, it’s just a supplement and it’s just really to ensure that my chicks are getting as much protein and as many nutrients into their body as possible so that they grow healthy.

 

There you have it! My little day-olds and I hope you’ve gotten a good feel for a convenient and balanced starting diet to help your chicks grow as strong and healthy as possible.

 

Got questions? Got comments? Got suggestions? Leave a comment below

Best No Waste Chick Feeders

Best No Waste Chick Feeders

When you get baby chicks, you’ll notice quickly, they’re very messy with their feed. In this article, we talk about the best chicken feeders for no waste – and they’re all easy for baby chicks to use!

 

 

We all want our chickens to group up healthy and strong, and the best time to start them off right is when they emerge straight from the incubator. The trick is knowing how to feed your baby chicks so they stay healthy. 

 

This probably prompts you to ask “What feeders should I use for my baby chicks?”

 

The answer to this question is going to depend largely on what age your chicks are. The feeders used for day-olds might not be the same feeder that you’ll use when they’re 12 or 16 weeks old.

 

As they grow, chicks have different needs. We’re going to talk about the different feeder options for each of age group: 

  • Day olds
  • 4 weeks to 8 weeks
  • 8 weeks to 16 weeks 

 

(For adults, you can read about the best feeders here).

 

Main Takeaways:

  • You always want to use a feeder your chicks can reach
  • I use something small and easy for them to find when they’re a day old.
  • I’m not a fan of long feeders because they’re harder to open and I have to teach chicks how to use them.
  • Mason jar feeders are okay, and a good way to keep your feed supply clean.

 

Day-Olds

When they’re day-olds through the first week of their life, you’ll be concerned about whether they are getting enough food and whether they have 24-hour access to food. 

 

They are really confused and fragile when they first come out of the incubator. They need certain temperatures, so it’s really important to make sure that they have consistent access to chick starter and that it’s easy to find. 

 

There’s no evidence to support this, and this is just my own observation, but the first 24 hours of chick life is like newborn humans: they can’t see very well for the first couple of days. 

 

I think baby chicks have the same issue because while finding the feeder is instinctual, I’ve noticed that they’re very confused, especially in the first few hours after hatching through the first 48 hours. I’ve noticed that sometimes they can struggle a little bit finding the feeder, so I like to make sure that the feeders are really easy to find. 

 

I use low bowls or low pie plates. They don’t have much of a lip and they’re easy to find. We have even flipped lids to yogurts upside down (this works great for day old quail too). 

 

What I use also depends on the number of chicks I have. If we have a lot of chicks, we might use something that’s bigger or if we have three to five chicks, we’ll use yogurt containers for the first 48 hours.

 

You could also use mason jar feeders. Those are really good because they act as automatic feeders.

 

You can also use those long red feeders. I found for the first couple of days of life that they sometimes can’t find food in these very easily. They have to be shown how to use it. 

 

My chicks hatch, then for through day two, I’ll use yogurt containers. Day three and on, I’ll use the red automatic feeder. Or if we have a lot of chicks, I’ll use the pie plate, which is really easy to fill. 

 

If you read any book, they’re going to tell you to use the long red plastic feeders. I use them, but I don’t like these so much because they are a little bit tougher to open. Pie plates and yogurt tops are easier to clean and you don’t have to try to open them. 

 

These will work for the first four weeks. 

 

Four Weeks to 8 Weeks

For this age range, I tend to go for pie plates because again, they’re easy to clean; they’re cheap. After probably about week five or six, store-bought automatic feeders are harder for them to get food out of. The holes in these feeders accommodate baby chicks, but don’t as they become chickens.

 

As they get older, your chicks will wander around and forage food themselves. They tend to ignore automatic feeders anyways. Pie plates let them browse easily and they are easier for me to fill up. 

 

Eight Weeks and On

By the time that your chickens are eight weeks old, they are largely looking for their own food sources anyways. So, baby chick feeders are not really necessary. 

 

I really like this automatic feeder from Duncan’s Feeders – just be sure to install it low enough that your chicks can reach it. It’s durable, looks good, is easy to clean, and so easy to fill up.

 

This is just practical advice that I’ve learned over the years, and this is just my opinion about the best chicken feeders for no waste for baby chicks. 

Where To Buy Baby Chicks

Where To Buy Baby Chicks

Not sure where to buy baby chicks? In this article, you’ll discover the top (and safest) places to buy chickens!

 

You don’t need acres of land to raise chickens. In fact, there are many suburban and urban farmers who tend to their flocks in backyards or shared coops. Not only do these chickens produce fresh eggs, but they also become members of your family.

 

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This is certainly true when you start out with baby chicks. Tending to these soft and cuddly birds allows you to experience a unique nurturing experience. Today, I’m going to discuss the first stage of this process: where to buy baby chicks:

 

  1. Hatcheries
  2. Breeders
  3. Farm stores
  4. Friends/Family

 

Hatcheries

The first place to look for baby chicks is a hatchery. There are several major hatcheries in the U.S. that you can check out. Most of them guarantee their shipments to ensure the chicks you ordered arrive healthy. If not, most have flexible cancellation and reimbursement policies.

 

I personally use Cackle Hatchery, based here in Missouri. You can read my review of Cackle here.

 

The main thing to look for when you select a hatchery are the reviews. Here, you can determine a few things from buyer comments:

  • Did the chicks arrive on time and healthy?
  • Did the chicks experience stress and illness while in the mail for a long period of time?
  • Do they ship in a 24 to 48-hour period even on weekends and holidays?

 

These factors effect you and the chicks. For example, if a hatchery ships them on a Friday before a federal holiday, then the chicks can remain in the post office over a long weekend without proper circulation, food, or water. In the end, the chicks you receive on Tuesday may be sick or dead, and they don’t deserve that treatment.

 

I’ve had good and not-so-good experiences when ordering baby chicks from a hatchery, and so have many reviewers. While there are benefits to ordering from this type of business because of the variety, there are also drawbacks. 

 

For instance, unless you speak to the Postmaster ahead of time, you don’t know if post office employees know how to handle baby chick containers. You also don’t know if the package is placed in a temperature-controlled area or a space that’s overly hot or cold.

 

This is not to say the chicks aren’t taken care of at the hatchery. In fact, many of these locations come highly recommended from people who purchase them directly. So, in addition to reading reviews, directly contact the hatchery to get your questions answered.

 

Breeders

The next place to look for baby chicks is a local breeder. While you may have a harder time to find these people in a city like Indianapolis or New York, they are around. 

 

Though it seems we live in a nation-wide megalopolis, there are plenty of breeders and other agricultural business not far outside the limits of most cities. 

 

Baby chicks provided by breeders aren’t necessarily treated better than those at a hatchery. However, since they have a local customer base, there’s a better chance to determine if the chicks they sold went to good homes. 

 

It’s always nice to hear how a set of babies went to a family farm instead of the corporate entity. 

 

Another advantage of breeders is they tend not to ship their chicks via mail. The simple reason is they don’t want them to encounter a stressful experience. They also avoid shipping because they offer heritage or designer breeds that may be more fragile.

 

For instance, there are breeders in the market who raise Lavender Orpingtons. In another example, a breeder might bring up chicks that produce blue eggs. Or, they might have developed their own strain that are too delicate to deliver via mail or UPS.

 

It may sound too specialized for you. However, when you order baby chicks from these breeders you get additional help to understand how best to raise them. I may not have learned how well Blue Copper Marans do on 22% of game feed if I had to order the chicks from a hatchery.

 

The downside to purchasing chicks from a breeder is their cancellation and refund policies aren’t as flexible as hatcheries. Since they don’t handle orders at an industrial level, they tend not to have refund policies. In other words, they may not reimburse you if your chicks die within a week after pickup.

 

Local farm store

A third location to purchase baby chicks is a local farm store. These outlets tend to carry them from March to June. In some cases, they may sell them until they run out, regardless if it’s 90 days or not. 

 

There are several advantages to picking up chicks at a farm store. First, they tend to be reasonably priced – around $5 per chick. Sometimes, you can purchase a chick for $1. Second, since the store is nearby, you can quickly get the chicks to food and a heat source.

 

The main disadvantage is some locations may treat their chicks poorly. I encountered this when I was recently at one farm store. It seemed like the chicks weren’t going to make it. 

 

In these situations, you probably can’t rely on the staff to provide feed and warmth directions. Nevertheless, if the location is incredibly close to your home, then you might not need advice to set things up.

 

Another disadvantage is you don’t get the breadth of chick variety. You may be able to purchase a wide swath of one breed but nothing in the designer category.

 

Friends

The last place to get baby chicks is from a friend or someone nearby. They may simply want to find the chicks a good home. Sometimes you will pay for them, and sometimes you won’t. 

 

The advantage here is you know where the babies came from and if their parents were well cared for. The details you get depend on how much you ask. 

 

They may not know the exact lineage, but they can certainly provide some information on the breed. For instance, they can tell you if it’s a mixture of two different chicken breeds.

 

Purchasing from friends can be fun, because you don’t know the type of baby chicks you will get. While most of them will be standard, you could have a show bird in the mix. 

 

Plus, you know they’ll be healthy, so there’s little need to worry about lack of food or warmth. You simply need to carry on where they left off, especially if they give you additional advice or instructions.

 

So, do you still wonder where to buy baby chicks? I sure hope not!

 

Why Don’t All Incubated Eggs Hatch?

Why Don’t All Incubated Eggs Hatch?

Why doesn’t every incubated egg hatch? 

 

It can be so disappointing. You’ve just nurtured your clutch of a dozen or two eggs for nearly 3 weeks, but then, on hatch day, not all of your eggs have hatched. 

 

 

Despite your best efforts, it breaks your heart, and you can’t help but second-guess your decision to raise chicks. 

 

While it’s impossible to truly know the exact reason, there are many factors that can result in a less than stellar hatch rate.

 

In this article, you’ll discover a “checklist” of reasons – and you can use them to determine where you might have gone wrong.

 

Today, I’ll provide some insight into the question “Why doesn’t every incubated egg hatch?” 

 

A short list of why every incubated egg doesn’t hatch:

 

  1. Wrong Temperature and/or Humidity
  2. Chicks Run out of Air
  3. Chicks Run out of Energy
  4. There’s a Genetic Issue
  5. Wrong Position to Pip
  6. “Shrink wrapping”
  7. Hatched Chicks Cause Trauma

 

Unhatched Eggs Are Very Common

Whether you incubated eggs in an incubator or they’re hatched by a hen, it’s really common to lose some chicks before they enter the world.

 

A lot of owners get upset when this happens, and think that they did something wrong. While it’s possible you influenced a poor hatch rate, a lot of times, you probably didn’t.

 

Many times, eggs don’t hatch due to factors outside your control. 

 

So, if you get a poor hatch rate, don’t beat yourself up. Just look at the reasons we discuss below, and see if any of them might be relevant to your most recent hatch.

 

Wrong Temperature/Humidity

The first reason could be that the conditions inside the incubator or under the hen weren’t ideal. This comes down to temperature and humidity. 

 

It takes about 21 days for eggs to hatch. When you incubate eggs, or when a hen hatches chicks, the eggs need a fairly consistent temperature of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit (37.5 degrees Celsius) and a humidity level of around 50%. It’s ok to have slightly less humidity during the first 18 days of incubation and a slightly higher degree of humidity during the last three or four days of incubation (ideally, 50% to 60% humidity). 

 

The first 18 days, you should turn your eggs three of three or five times a day – odd numbers of turns. 

 

Then the last three to four days, until they actually hatch, they have to just sit in one place. This helps the chick prepare itself for birth. During this time, you need that consistent temperature and humidity levels to be hatched. 

 

When a large portion of the eggs don’t hatch, it’s sometimes because the temperature isn’t consistent or correct. In most incubators, a temperature remains constant, especially if you use something like an automatic forced air incubator

 

So, if you know your incubator temperature is spot on, then more likely, the humidity isn’t correct. 

 

Chicks Run out of Air

It’s something that’s more common than people realize: When inside the egg, chicks can run out of air during the last day or two of incubation.

 

When the chick is starting to hatch, it twists itself into position to peck through the egg and pip and zip. It has to pip through the inner membrane before it starts to pip out of the eggshell. 

 

During this time, it can run out of oxygen. There’s only a set amount of oxygen in the egg and it can run out of air while it’s trying to hatch. This is fairly common. 

 

In these cases, if you know that it’s alive, but it’s not going well (if chirping gets fainter, or it’s been a day or so and the chick still hasn’t broken out of the shell) – it’s not getting enough air or the hatching isn’t going well, you’re not sure why – you can always try drilling a hole into that air cell. 

 

It’s probably something only an experienced professional should do, but it is an option if you think that you know there’s not going to be enough air for your chicken. 

 

Chicks Run Out of Energy

In a same sort of vein, the chick can run out of energy to be born. When they’re hatching, they have to break through the inner membrane of the shell (pipping), and then they create a break in the shell where they can actually push the eggshell out and enter the world (zipping). 

 

During this process, they sometimes they run out of energy, they can’t finish it, and then they die. 

 

In my experience, this is less common than a temperature or humidity issue, but it can happen, and it probably happens more often than we realize. 

 

There’s a Genetic Issue

Another reason eggs don’t always hatch is because the chicken just isn’t developing normally. 

 

The scenario works like this: The chick makes it to the final few days of the hatch. You do your final candling and you see that it’s in there, it’s moving, it’s alive. But then it never hatches. 

 

That could be due to something as simple as it just didn’t have the right build to be born. Maybe the heart didn’t develop correctly, or maybe the lungs didn’t. Ultimately, some part of the bird just didn’t develop correctly and in a final few days, when they had to pip free, they just couldn’t because the body just wouldn’t let it. 

 

Wrong Position to Pip

Chicks sometimes can’t get into the right position to actually break through the inner membrane or the eggshell itself. Quite a few times we’ve autopsied the eggs that didn’t hatch, and we see that the chick never got into the right position. 

 

We’ve also seen chicks that have half-pipped or are struggling to get out of the egg. We help them pick through the outer shell. If we hadn’t done that, the chicken never would have hatched because it wasn’t in the right position to actually break through the eggshell. 

 

There’s really nothing you can do to avoid this.

Shrink Wrapping

Another reason that not all the eggs in a clutch will hatch is because of shrink wrapping. This goes back to the humidity issue. 

 

Shrink wrapping is when the inner membrane gets stuck to the chick, and because of this, the chick can’t move. 

 

Usually, the chick starts to break through the shell, but a sudden humidity drop (if you open the incubator, for example), causes that inner membrane to dry out, and stick to the down. The chick then can’t move and complete the hatching process.

 

It’s like if you shrink wrap a piece of meat: the membrane covers the entire piece of meat, and nothing can get in and nothing can get out. 

 

Shrink wrapping can could happen before it pips, during pipping, or after pipping. We’ve actually seen it happen in all three stages. This is tied to the humidity issue because during those last few days, the humidity level in the incubator should be a higher: 50 to 60%. 

 

Hatched Chicks Cause Trauma

This isn’t something a lot of chicken owners talk about, but I’ve found it to be pretty common.

 

After hatching, newborn chicks jostle and roll the other eggs so much, that they break the unhatched egg. 

 

Why does this happen? Well, newborn chicks can’t walk very well, and they’re freaked out because they just entered the world and don’t know what’s going on. They hear noises, everything they see is new, and they’re very, very confused – so they flop everywhere. 

 

All this flopping around cracks the unhatched eggs, which causes trauma to the embryo that’s in there. The embryo then dies, and never hatches. 

 

While it’s never clear WHY a chick doesn’t hatch, if you see that there’s cracked eggs with fully developed (but dead) chicks inside, then it’s possible all the jostling from other chicks contributed to it.

 

I hope this article answers the question “why doesn’t every incubated egg hatch.” So, the next time your clutch doesn’t have a 100% hatch rate, you can look at this list, and maybe narrow it down to a single reason.

 

Why Chicks Cheep Loudly

Why Chicks Cheep Loudly

When you have day-old chicks up until they’re 16 weeks, you might notice that your baby chicks make loud noises. In case you didn’t already know, we call that “cheeping.” During this very important time of your chicks’ lives, if they are cheeping very loudly, you’re might not be sure exactly what the problem is or why they seem distressed. All you know is you’re not really sure what to do about it.

 

There’s a few reasons why your chicks might be making loud noises. In this article, we’ll decode these types of cheeps, and hopefully, the next time your flock sounds distressed, you’ll remember this article, and stop worrying!

 

Why do baby chicks cheep loudly:

  1. They’re hungry
  2. They’re thirsty
  3. They’re cold
  4. They’re lonely/scared
  5. They don’t feel good

 

Main Takeaways:

  • Chicks cheep loudly usually because they hungry, thirsty, cold, lost, or not feeling well.
  • To figure out why YOUR chick is unhappy, look at how it’s acting (are they huddling? Do they look sick?)
  • To figure out what to do, check their brooder temperature, their feed, their water, and do a head count.
  • If they’re not feeling well, try to determine the cause (a qualified veterinarian can guide you).

They’re Hungry

Number one is they’re hungry. If they’re cheeping loudly, ask yourself “Do they have chick starter?” “Can they get to it?” 

 

Sometimes even I mess up and I put their bowl somewhere that’s not easy for day-olds to get to. To fix this, I look at their brooder and just double check. And if I have done that, I fix it.

 

We talk about the best chick feeders here. What really matters is that your chicks can get into the feeder and get to the food. 

 

If you’re not feeding an 18% chick starter and they’re constantly cheeping loudly, I would then look also at your food. 

 

Is your flock’s feed giving them the right diet and the nutrients that they need in order to grow? Is it giving them enough protein? 

 

I’ve found the best is a really good commercial chick starter – you can be sure your chicks are getting all the nutrients they need.

 

They’re Thirsty

Reason number two that baby chicks cheep loudly is because they’re thirsty. Do they have access to water? Is there water? Can they get to the water? If they don’t have any, then you have to get the chicken some water. But this is another common reason why chicks cheep so loudly. 

 

They’re Cold

Reason number three is that they’re cold. It is important to keep their brooder at a specific temperature (more about that here), but if the brooder is not warm enough, they’ll start cheeping. 

 

Even if you think it’s warm enough, if your chicks think it’s not warm enough, they’ll let you know. Animals don’t really lie, and young chicks certainly don’t lie about something like this. 

 

They’re Lost Or Scared

The fourth reason why you’ll hear loud cheeping is because your chicks are lost or they’re lonely and they don’t know where the rest of their flock is. 

 

While you might wonder how this can happen, truthfully, even if the rest of the flock is 6 inches away, if your chick can’t see its friends, it’ll get lonely real quick. To avoid this, just keep everyone together.

 

Chickens are prey animals. They’ve evolved to depend on a large number of flock members to keep them safe. 

 

That’s why they say you shouldn’t really just have only one or two chickens; having more than that helps chickens be happier. It’s not just a companion issue; it’s an issue of making sure that they feel safe in their environment. 

 

When baby chicks cheep loudly, it’s probably that they don’t know where everybody else in their flock is and they’re lonely and they’re scared.

 

Sometimes my baby chicks will wander off from the rest of the chicks. They may wander from the larger penned-in area and into tall grass, and they’re lost. They can’t see everybody else and it’s scary enough to start cheeping. As soon as I pick them up and I put them with the other chicks, the cheeping stops. 

 

They Don’t Feel Good

If your chick isn’t developing correctly, or maybe they came out of the shell weaker than the other ones, they might not be feeling good, and then they have a harder time keeping their body temperature up. 

 

The key here is to watch for a few different behaviors. If you hear loud cheeping AND your chicks are closing their eyes, and hunching over, it shows that it’s more than just cold – they’re not feeling well.

 

In such cases, we put them and a friend in a brooder that is warmer than what the other chicks need. If the chick just needs an extra boost, then within 24 hours they’re fine and back with a regular flock. We usually follow up with apple cider vinegar.

 

What Do These Cheeps Sound Like?

If you’re wondering what the cheeps sound like, it’s a very shrill, high, loud cheep. It’s not the same as their happy little chirps: the “Oh, I’m a chicken and I’m walking around kind of chirps.” These are very loud and insistent chirps. 

 

Regardless of the problem, in my experience, there’s not really, one cheap for each problem: no lonely cheep, no cheep for “I’m cold”, or “I’m hungry,” or “I’m thirsty.” Chicks are not like dogs or cats, who have a full call range that will tell you kind of what they are experiencing. 

 

Hopefully this article explains why your baby chicks cheep loudly!