250 watt bulb??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wjallen05, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. wjallen05

    wjallen05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Georgia
    Ok. I'm sure there are several threads on this topic, but I can't seem to beable to find the answers I am looking for.

    #1. How long do we need to keep the chicks inside? (I live in Georgia where it's anywhere from 40-60+ degrees during the day and anywhere from 50 to 20 degrees at night... I have a draft-free area to keep them)

    #2. Do they need a 250 watt bulb if they are kept indoors? Won't that be a bit too warm?

    #3. Do I need several different watt bulbs? How do I decrease the temperature by 5 degrees every week with a 250 watt bulb?

    Sorry for all the questions... any help and advice is very much appriciated! I have 18 chicks coming next week from Ideal.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  2. Smartie_Pants

    Smartie_Pants Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2008
    Madisonville, KY
    Keep them inside until they are fully feathered, then they can go out with a heat lamp. I can't help you with the rest of your questions, but I can answer that one! [​IMG]
     
  3. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    They need to be kept in until they are 6 to 8 weeks old, at that point they should be fully feathered and can go out on a nice day.

    The heat lamp just needs to be hung over the brooder at a height of a couple feet. If they all huddle up directly underneath it, they are a bit cool and you can lower the lamp a little. If they are all trying to escape it, then you can raise it up a little. If they are milling around all over the brooder, just right. You can raise the lamp as necessary as they get older and need less heat.

    You don't need to measure the temperature and you don't need to lower the temperature 5 degrees per week. That recommendation is for cage type brooders that are thermostatically controlled. You have to keep the correct temperature in one of those brooders because the birds have no where to escape to.
     
  4. vermontgal

    vermontgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, if you like running up your electric bill for no reason, then you can just use the 250 watt bulb, and raise it.

    Otherwise, if you use a thermometer and start the brooder at 90°F when 1 day old, and reduce 5°F per week - you can possibly use just a 100 watt bulb, then reduce to a 75 watt bulb in a couple weeks, then reduce to 60 watts, 40 watts, 25 watts -- instead of using a 250 watt bulb and raising the lamp, or using a 250 watt bulb and letting the chicks position themselves the right distance away. Raise each bulb until you are able to switch to the next lower wattage at the level closest to your brooder.

    But, it's your money.
    Even with the strategy above, it cost me about $15-18 to brood chicks for a month. A 250 watt bulb would have cost me almost $30 per month.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  5. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Oh yeah, that's much easier... [​IMG]

    A 250 watt bulb may be a bit much for indoors, you can adjust as necessary. I've brooded chicks twice on our open back porch in the spring and fall and the 250 watt lamp worked well. If you are truly indoors with them (I wouldn't recommend it) then a smaller lamp may work. If you are fiddling with a thermometer and trying to adjust to a "recommended" temperature, you are putting too much work into it. Only they can tell you if they are warm or cold, just pay attention to how they behave.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2009
  6. lilarabookworm

    lilarabookworm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we used a sixty watt bulb, but they were indoors next to a heater, so they actually don't even need a heat lamp anymore, so you might need something stronger. but for indoors, 250 watts seems a bit much.

    oops. I am actually arabookworm. she must have logged on while I was doing something else, and I didn't notice.

    I also wanted to add that we didn't use a normal heatlamp. we took a large glass jar, drilled a hole through the lid and set it up so that the bulb was inside the jar. the glass got warm, but not hot enough to burn, so they could huddle next to it if they were cold, and I didn't have to worry about them getting burned by the bulb.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I made a bracket to mount my heat lamp on and then I adjusted the distance for the correct temperature. Some poster have used a dimmer switch on theirs. I monitored my temp with a wireless digital thermometer. Actually at times I didn't use a Brooder heat lamp. I used an 60 watt incandesent bulb. Some of the lamps that you buy at a hardware store are rated for 150 watts and my heat lamp is 250 watts. The brooder lamp is rated for 250 watts. I set my brooder up out in the barn. I have a cover for it on really cold nights to help keep the heat in.
     
  8. wjallen05

    wjallen05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Georgia
    Thanks!

    I have a 60 watt bulb. Do you guys think that will be enough if they are kept indoors?
     
  9. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    60 watts may be all right. Is it a reflector bulb or do have a reflector type fixture? Just a bare bulb hanging on the end of a cord won't do much. You'll need to direct the heat.
     
  10. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    I've always thought this was a great idea, but haven't tried it:

    http://www.plamondon.com/brooder.shtml

    If you're handy you could build a smaller one for a few dozen chicks.

    Where are you keeping them inside? With the heat and the poop it doesn't take long for them to start stinking.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2009

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