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Heat Lamp

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone! Hope I am putting this in the right area...
I am a newbie & soon to be a brand new chicken mom in a few weeks! So forgive my ignorance.

I know week by week you drop the temperature down by 5°, but my question is, is there a way to do heat control with a heat lamp (double headed) that does not have a temperature dial? My mama is offering me her old reptile lamp, just wasn't sure how or if this would work for the little critters.
Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 5
Let the behavior of the chicks tell you if they are too hot or too cold. If you have an adequate temperature gradient in the brooder, they will self-adjust. If they are all huddled under the lamp all the time, they are probably cold...move the lamp closer to them or get a bulb with higher wattage. If they are all on the side of the brooder away from the lamp, breathing with their mouths open, or getting soft poops (pasty butt), then it is too hot...move the lamp away from them.

An even better way to brood chicks than with a heat lamp is with a heating pad formed into a cave as described in this thread in the first few pages:
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much. I forgot to include in my original post, how strong of a bulb should I use if using two?
post #4 of 5

Do you mean two heat lamps? Unless you are brooding a hundred chicks, you would never need two heat lamps!


The entire objective in brooding chicks is to create two temperature zones, a warm zone and a cool zone. so they are then able to self regulate their body temps. You never want to heat the entire brooder.


Just imagine yourself in a big crowd, tightly packed around a bonfire. You would very quickly overheat if the crowd was so dense as to prevent you from moving away from the fire. In fact, you could get heat sick and die. That's precisely what happens to baby chicks in a brooder that's too small and heated with too many lamps as to prevent any cool spaces in which chicks can cool down after absorbing a bit too much heat.


Also, a 250 watt heat bulb for just a hand full of chicks is often overkill. A 100 watt incandescent bulb would be plenty in most cases. But, many of us have ditched the old fashioned and dangerous heat lamps and are now brooding under the much safer and more natural heating pad system. See "Mama Heating Pad for the Brooder thread, and read my article on brooding outdoors for healthier chicks. It's linked below under "Articles by Azygous".

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry, I meant two bulbs. The lamp has two sockets. It may also help to say that I will be putting them in the garage, our area is still a little chilly here & there as well. The garage isn't super cold but it still can get a little cool in the morning hours and evening. There is no way I can put the cuties in my house, for I have 5 cats. There is not a room I can close off either the way the house is set up.
I will check out the pads.
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