Getting Chicks Off to a Good Start

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Date: 
1996
Volume: 
8
Number: 
10
Tip Category: 
Cold weather management

Birds, like other warm-blooded animals, try to maintain relatively constant body temperatures. Unlike mature birds, young chicks are not very good at maintaining a constant body temperature and as a result, their body temperature is affected by house temperature. In fact, a chick's ability to regulate its own body temperature (referred to as its thermoregulatory system) does not fully develop until about two weeks of age. Therefore, it is highly dependent upon the grower to provide the proper house temperature. If a house is too cold, a chick's body temperature will decrease, which can stunt its growth and/or make it more susceptible to disease. If the house is too hot, the chick's body temperature will rise, which can lead to dehydration problems.