BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › Keeping Heat Lamp Consistent
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Keeping Heat Lamp Consistent

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

We received 25 chick from Murray on Wednesday. I had the brooder all set up and had checked the heat lamp several times before the chicks arrived. Since we have had the chicks, we cannot keep the heat lamp at a consistent temperature. It is on a chain hanging from the ceiling, so we can move it up and down to adjust the temperature. We'll get it set make sure it's consistently 95 degrees for 15 minutes or so, think everything is ok, then come back a few hours later and it will be 80 degrees. Drop it down a link or two and it shoots up to 100. Any tips on how to keep the temperature more consistent?

post #2 of 7

How are you measuring the heat temp? And how large is the brooder? Are you trying to keep the entire thing hot?

 

Also, the temperature guidelines are just that - a guide. It's not mandated by scripture. The heat zone you need to be concerned about is directly beneath the heat lamp. The rest of the brooder should be much cooler!

 

Watch your chicks. Chicks that are comfortable are actively moving in and out of the heat zone, not cringing in a big pile either off to the sides or directly underneath.

 

If that's happening, you will raise or lower the lamp in order to achieve a temperature directly below the lamp where the chicks will stand for a minute to warm up, then wander off. It can be anywhere from 80F to 95F in that spot. (Then five degrees cooler each week from there on.)

 

It's crucial that your brooder is large enough so that the rest of the space is a good ten degrees or twenty degrees cooler than it is under the lamp, or you'll start seeing heat stress issues - panting and pasty butt.

 

By the way, many of us are now brooding outdoors where it might be nearly freezing. This does not impact the chicks in any way as long as they have a heat source at which to sufficiently warm themselves. (See my article on brooding outdoors linked below.)

post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mistermaster View Post
 

We received 25 chick from Murray on Wednesday. I had the brooder all set up and had checked the heat lamp several times before the chicks arrived. Since we have had the chicks, we cannot keep the heat lamp at a consistent temperature. It is on a chain hanging from the ceiling, so we can move it up and down to adjust the temperature. We'll get it set make sure it's consistently 95 degrees for 15 minutes or so, think everything is ok, then come back a few hours later and it will be 80 degrees. Drop it down a link or two and it shoots up to 100. Any tips on how to keep the temperature more consistent?

Personally, I'd scrap the whole heat lamp and switch to a heating pad brooder.  You're going to need an extra large pad, and maybe even 2 in order to brood that many.  I brooded 22 chicks outdoors with and extra large heating pad last spring.  Here's the link:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am measuring the temperature with the supplied thermometer in the Murray McMurray chick starting kit. I have a half square foot for each chick, so approximately 12.5 square feet. I am not trying to keep the entire thing hot, I'm just checking directly below the heat lamp. The chicks are in a room in my barn, so i guess it's semi-outdoors, or at least not climate controlled. 

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

I found out about the heating pad method right after I bought the chick starter kit form McMurray. I just can't spend the money on something else right now. 

post #6 of 7

That is splendid that the chicks are in the barn. They will develop so much more naturally out there.

 

In another week or so, I suggest you take away the box brooder and let them have the entire room to romp in. They double in size every week, and by age two weeks they will need the space to flex their wings. Chicks who are in a brooder with no netting over the top will start to escape from it by age two weeks, so that should tell you they really do need lots of space.

 

Continue to provide the heat source, raising it each week until they appear to no longer use it, around age four to five weeks, depending how cold it is in the barn.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

I think I have decided as of now to lower the lamp. This means it may get 100+ directly under the lamp, but at the edge of the brooder it is closer to outside temperature (which right now is 36 degrees.) They have plenty of room to spread out and find a comfortable spot. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Raising Baby Chicks
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › Keeping Heat Lamp Consistent