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Having trouble regulating temp

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have 9 three week old chicks in my potting shed.  Its insulated and has 2 windows.  The chicks are in 2 separate homemade brooders since 4 are FBCM  and 5 are Lav. Ameracauna Bantams. I have been using the red brooder lamps and also when its cold at night a portable electric heater.  I live in Louisiana and the weather is so crazy .  I am going to be gone overnight and am wondering if I can just set the electric heater on 75 and not turn on the red heat lamps? It gets to60's in the day and with the heat lamps on its too hot.  I have to turn them off .  I worried about at night and since I will be gone If I leave them on it will be too hot the next day.  The prediction for the day I leave is 70 going down to upper 30,sor low 40's back up to 70's the next day.  Any suggestions will be appreciated.  I have learned so much from all of you this is such a wonderful site.  Thank You

post #2 of 9

If your electric heater is accurate & able to keep the room at temps that would work, except that I would replace the heat lamp bulbs with regular 100 watt bulbs and leave them on to give them a place to warm up if necessary.

post #3 of 9
is there a friend or anyone you know who can keep the chicks while your gone? Maybe I'm overly cautious but I've seen pictures of one too many she'd and coop fires due to a heater. I'd hate for some fluke accident to happen and you not be home to stop it. I guess im a worry wart but I've had fluke electrical accidents happen to me and I'm so glad I was home to stop the problem.If I were you I'd feel better having someone watch the chicks for me while I'm gone. it's not likely anything like that will happen but "just in case".
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you, Just a regular 100watt bulb in place of the red heat lamp, how far away from the chicks the bantams are in a large plastic tote, with a hardware cloth top and the marans are in a large dog crate with panels up 2/3's of the way to keep out drafts. Thank you so much for your suggestion. 

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

No , unfortunately I don't.  I used to have a handyman that helped me . He had chickens and he would take care of mine when I went out of town.  This is the first time I've had to leave since He's been gone.  Thank you for your help

post #6 of 9

Here's a recent thread where we discussed alternative heating sources for chicks. Maybe you can get some ideas.


I'm not sure I understand why you have your chicks in two different brooders if they're all the same age. They will need to be integrated at some point anyway, so why not now while they are still pretty accepting of new friends? It would be so much easier to keep them warm, too.


I really cringe when you mentioned your plan to leave an electric heater going while you aren't there. I've had electric heaters and lamps all of a sudden blow up, shooting sparks, and it was only because I was there that the house didn't burn down in each instance. Scary.


I'm inclined to set up some sort of hover or huddle box with a heating pad for the chicks to lounge on. The heat rises and is trapped under a cardboard box that's inverted and held at an angle so the chicks can scoot under it. If you have all the chicks in one brooder, you would just need the one heating pad and huddle box.


Of course, you would need a pad that will not shut off after two hours, but it sure would be much safer than an electric heater, in my opinion. And three-week old chicks will need some place to warm themselves under with the kind of night time temps you're expecting. Just heating the room won't be adequate.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much.  I went out last night and bought a sunbeam heating pad,I will make the little huddle spot today.  The reason I have them separated is because when I brought them home at 2 days old they were together and the bantams were so tiny and I found 1 dead the next morning.  I assumed it had been trampled.  It was lying flat on its little back,so I put them in their own little house.  But I will put them back together today and see how it goes, it does make more sense as you said.  Thanks again

post #8 of 9

If I could make another suggestion? When merging your bantams with the regulars, start off with just one chick from the standard group in with the bantams. If that goes well, introduce another standard, etc, until you've moved all standards in with the bantams.


And don't forget, you will need double the space so they aren't crowded. I would just rig a place in the coop for all of them if you can get electricity out to it. If you can't, two cardboard boxes taped together with a pass-though cut into the adjoining wall works splendidly. Think, chick condo.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

I made the moms heating cave and they get on top and rest/sleep but haven't gone under it.  I am going to Columbus,Ms to pick up chicks will be gone over night and when I return I will do as you suggested one at a time .  How long should I wait between ? I have a brooder that is very large, Its wood approx. 3x5 and has a top of hardware cloth.It should be fine for the 9 combined? Thank goodness the weather forecast for the night I will be away is better than previously reported.Thank you again for all your help.


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