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chick temperature

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hi! My baby chicks (first time chicken mother) are 6 days old. I've read that we should keep them at about 95 degrees, but this just seems way too hot for them (they cluster on the far side of the brooder). I keep raising the lamp, and now they're at 85 degrees, but they still avoid the heat lamp. has anybody else run into this? otherwise, they seem happy and healthy.

post #2 of 15

Hi, not much more than an agreement, but ours are the same age and 95 was way too hot for our little guys!  We keep it between 85 and 90 and they seem happiest at that temperature.  Have they always stayed away from the lamp?  Maybe a couple of lamps to create an even temp might be more comfortable?  Where your thermometer is located would make a difference too.  Good to hear they are happy little creatures.  Good luck!  

post #3 of 15

I feel strongly we need to regulate brooder temps by how they act, not a thermometer.  And I also feel 95 is way too hot, except maybe for a couple of days right after hatch or when recovering from shipping stress.  I would lower the temp in the brooder until they are active all over it.  I've had outdoor raised chicks move away from the heat lamp as far as they could when nights were maybe 60 F; I turned off the heat entirely and they were all over the place.  This was in about a 5' X 6' pen inside the coop; the heat lamp couldn't have been adding much heat, anyway.

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

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Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Reply
post #4 of 15

I wonder who the first person was who *determined* that chicks need those ridiculously high temperatures. Most likely all you might need is a small wattage bulb over one end of the brooder, for a warm *SPOT*. In my experience and using common sense, using the 95/90/85/blahblah to infinity thing is not even natural. Healthy birds are birds that are not forced to bake in a brooder. 

 

I totally agree with Flockwatcher, 

 

BTW I was thinking about this the other day. Using the faulty logic that "chicks were in an egg under 100 heat before they were born so they need to be kept cooler gradually", then human babies, puppies, kittens and any other creature that was gestated in a warm environment should be kept at the same crazy temps. Nobody keeps their homes 95 degrees for the first few months of their babies life, why do the same (on an age scale) to our chicks?

post #5 of 15

The woman I got most of my chicks from also agreed with the no thermometer rule.  She said to throw it out and just watch the chicks.  I was worried b/c we couldn't get ours to 90 but our chicks are all over the brooder and very happy.  Ours is only about 75-80 and they are 6-8 days old now.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone. It looks like somewhere between 80 and 85 is perfect for them. So glad to have this forum so I can ask!!

post #7 of 15

I am new to the chicken things also, and I am glad I read these posts. I have been wondering when I should turn off the heat lamp mine are about 2 weeks old and the temp is right around 80-85  I am contemplating changing their 250watt bulb to a 40 watt incandescent.  From the sounds of it they should be just fine.  They are in a spare bedroom in a large box right now and are very active.  As soon as the weather warms just a bit more these girls are going to go to the garage to their new coop. I will probably put a bulb for warmth for the first few days and then see what happens.  I am so glad for all the information b y c has available.  Thanks

mom to three adult children,  Two australian cattle dogs, 6 chicks, grandma to two baby girls and two pit bulls.  what a troop!

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mom to three adult children,  Two australian cattle dogs, 6 chicks, grandma to two baby girls and two pit bulls.  what a troop!

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post #8 of 15

Similar quandary here:

 

My chicks are 2 weeks old today, and I tend to regulate temp by how they behave.  Since they've got a good-sized space with good ventilation in my garage (brooder is 3'x5', open sides), they have a wide variety of temperatures to enjoy.  In terms of feathers, they're doing really well on their wings, but their heads, backs, and bellies are still pretty fluffy.

 

It's going to be 80*F tomorrow, and the brooder is in my garage.  Once the garage warms up to the daily high, I worry that the heat lamp I'm using is going to result in baked chicken before I can get home from work at 5-6 PM.  Today was similarly hot, and I just unplugged their heat lamp in the early afternoon and plugged it back in now that the garage is back to reasonable temperatures -- it's about 72*F outside, so ambient in the garage would be just a little warmer at the moment, and it'll all cool off to about 60*F in the night, so I want the lamp back on for that!

 

My options right now kind of look like unplugging the lamp in the morning and hoping for the best or leaving it plugged in and hoping for the best.

 

Thoughts?

Current flock: one Australorp, one EE, one Barred Rock, and one Buff Orpington, all hatched at Cackle on March 19, 2012.   
-
"So learn more and more in order to teach wise, long-lasting values.  Work more and more to leave the world things of great beauty.  And love, love, love people around you for the light of Love heals everything." - Francois Bourillon

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Current flock: one Australorp, one EE, one Barred Rock, and one Buff Orpington, all hatched at Cackle on March 19, 2012.   
-
"So learn more and more in order to teach wise, long-lasting values.  Work more and more to leave the world things of great beauty.  And love, love, love people around you for the light of Love heals everything." - Francois Bourillon

Reply
post #9 of 15

Howdy. We're new to the chicken thing to. Our peeps are about 3 weeks with a few feathers. At first did the 95 degree but none of ours would even venture down to that end. So I backed the light out and angled it so some of the light went into the brooder. Temp stays between 80-85 and they seem happy with this.

post #10 of 15

After researching some on the byc site I think its safe to say unplug the light during the day and put a 40 watt incandescent in for warmth but not bakeing. lol  I turned my heat lamp off last night for the first time and just had a secondary light on in a closet because my chicks were a bit afraid of the dark.  poor dears.  They did great though and slept through the night instead of tearing around all night and messing up their water container.  I am in Michigan and as soon as it gets a bit warmer and I put the finishing touches on my coop I am going to transfer my girls outside.  They are dying to get ther toes in the grass and chase bugs.  They are setting up their pecking order now and can get a bit rambunctious.  Good luck. 

mom to three adult children,  Two australian cattle dogs, 6 chicks, grandma to two baby girls and two pit bulls.  what a troop!

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mom to three adult children,  Two australian cattle dogs, 6 chicks, grandma to two baby girls and two pit bulls.  what a troop!

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