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Letting Chicks Out - Page 2

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldhenlikesdogs View Post

You are suppose to start at around 85-90 degrees and lower the temperature by 5 degrees a week until brooder temperatures are the same as room or outdoor temperatures depending on where you are keeping them. At that age they should have 70-75 degrees. If your house is that temperature than no more heat is required. If outdoor temperatures are that your chicks can go outside comfortably. Sometimes it helps to put them out during the day than bring them in at night or provide extra heat at night only for a few more weeks. It's about slowly acclimating them to the next temperature.

Nah...best to use their behavior as an indicator of heat needed.

 

Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:

They need to be pretty warm(~85-90F on the brooder floor right under the lamp and 10-20 degrees cooler at the other end of brooder) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker acclimation to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder. I do think it's a good idea to use a thermometer on the floor of the brooder to check the temps, especially when new at brooding, later I still use it but more out of curiosity than need.

 

The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:

If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.

If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.

If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!

 

The lamp is best at one end of the brooder with food/water at the other cooler end of the brooder, so they can get away from the heat or be under it as needed. Wattage of 'heat' bulb depends on size of brooder and ambient temperature of room brooder is in. Regular incandescent bulbs can be used, you might not need a 'heat bulb'. You can get red colored incandescent bulbs at a reptile supply source. A dimmer extension cord is an excellent way to adjust the output of the bulb to change the heat without changing the height of the lamp.

 


Or you could go with a heat plate, commercially made or DIY:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate

 

 

....AND I use a 'huddle box', put it in the brooder after turning off the heat(you might have to 'persuade' them to use it) then move it out to the coop with them.

Cardboard box with a bottom a little bigger than what they need to cuddle next to each other without piling and tall enough for them to stand in.

Cut an opening on one side a couple inches from bottom and big enough for 2-3 of them to go thru at once.

Fill the bottom with some pine shavings an inch or so deep.

This will give them a cozy place to sleep/rest, block any drafts and help hold their body heat in.


Edited by aart - 3/16/16 at 6:22am

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #12 of 12
I really like the home made heat plate.I wish I would have found that link last week. I covered my heating pad w a pillow case.
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