Originally Posted by JulesChicks
I don't like using the heat lamp but I may need to if all 22 hatch, I don't think they will all fit under the heating pad. It's the extra large one. I may do both until I see how they are reacting.
I brooded 22 under a 12 x 24 outdoors last April. They did fine, and by the time they were 3 weeks old, they refused to use it at night, bedding down in the far corner instead. I gave up on stuffing them under the pad when I put my hand in the middle of the chick carpet and felt how warm it was!
Originally Posted by oldhenlikesdogs
I'm wondering how many people, who follow this thread, think heat lamps are bad. I often brood too many to fit under a heat plate. I do read some saying how terrible heat lamps are, but in my experience if used correctly they are just fine. I haven't noticed any behavioral problems from them as I read some people say, I find brooder size, too much heat, and not moving them out quickly to be more troubles. I've used heat lamps for over 20 years. Just curious what others think and do.😀
I had always used a heat lamp until last season. After trying the heating pad, I'll never go back to a lamp! That being said, there is no right or wrong here. There's a time and place for everything. Heat lamps do allow you to keep a closer eye on your chicks, but it's super easy to just lift one end of the pad for a visual inspection. Heat lamps allow for brooding larger groups of chicks.
With the pad, I've noticed that the chicks feather faster. They are more self assured or confident. They put themselves to bed at night, instead of being up putzing around and stumbling over one an other all night. The little sing-song trill they make when under the pad... I've never heard that under a heat lamp! I believe that there is less likelihood of behavior issues with the heat pad b/c they tuck themselves away in a dark little corner for nappy time. Not left out fully exposed when they try to sleep. If the power goes out with a lamp, the brooder temp (especially if they are outdoors) quickly drops to dangerous levels. With a pad, they have built up residual heat in the pad, the floor under the pad, and all of those warm little bodies.
Originally Posted by curious chickee
I had 4 sides open still squished chicks again only the bantams , and I only use a 75 watt bulb about 1 ft above the chicks so only the spot I want gets warm not the whole tote. About 95 directly under lamp and 75 and other end of tote. It is all about what works for you.
When you experienced the bantam squish, did you have the pad low enough that it touched their backs? Just curious why you had that experience. Did you post about that on Blooie's thread?
If I was brooding a big group of chicks, I think I'd look at building an Ohio brooder. Seems to make the most sense and be most conserving of electricity $$$ for a large group, while keeping the heat in one location and allowing more cool space.