75F too cold for chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Alex Jimenez, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. Alex Jimenez

    Alex Jimenez Hatching

    Jan 26, 2018
    Hi there friends!

    I am brand new to this, and I just picked up 5 barred rock chicks to start. I have a brooder made out of a big plastic tote with a waterer and feeder. The saucer in the upper right hand corner has chick grit, as I am also raising mealworms for when they are a bit older. I have a heat lamp attached to the side of the tote, but it is not getting any warmer than 75 degrees in the tote according to the thermometer in the corner. They do not seem to be bundled up together in the middle as if they are too cold, but I read they should be in an environment of at least 90F degrees for the first week. Should I trust what I am seeing in their behavior that they are not too cold? Or is the thermometer not reading accurately? Should I get a second heat lamp? Or should I be using a smaller tote so that the lamp is closer to the chicks? My worry is that the bulb box reads to not put the lamp any closer to the surface than 18in.


    Alex DSC_2339.JPG
  2. nerfworthy

    nerfworthy Songster

    Mar 29, 2018
    South Western Idaho
    For me... I trust the chick's behavior more than anything else. I never have used a thermometer on them. They will let you know if they are too hot or cold! As you said, huddling means they're cold. If you see them spread out to the corners and panting, that means you're cooking them.
    Angeline1978 and Killer Tomato like this.
  3. 9chickenwhisperer

    9chickenwhisperer Chirping

    Jan 30, 2018
    ^X2. use the chicks as the thermometer. sounds like they are warm enough!
  4. HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Songster

    Mar 21, 2016
    Maine, USA
    My Coop
    Agreed! Like others said: trust your chicks. That skill of just carefully observing will teach you far more than you might guess :)

    My chicks (two of which were barred rocks - they are the best!!) wanted it MUCH cooler than the 90-95 number you may hear. Even on day one they wanted it in the low 80s and a few days after that they wanted in the upper 70s. By the end of the first week/beginning of the second we added a second, unheated brooder attached by a removable chicken moat. Pretty soon they were spending 80% of their waking time in room temp (high 60s/low 70s).

    They know what they want! If you can "square" up your heat lamp to try to just heat one side of the brooder, that is ideal: to give them the option of both warm and cool spots. Then they just hang out wherever is comfortable.

    Obviously that can be difficult with the clip-on mount you've got. But that's a different topic.

    Oh! Love those little head-spotted hooligans!:love

    Just wait until they get that Einstein/Don King look going - it's AMAZING :lau:gig
    nerfworthy and Killer Tomato like this.
  5. Killer Tomato

    Killer Tomato Songster

    Mar 2, 2017
    Willamette Pass, Oregon
    Yes -- same as others above. I have my light aimed straight down (secured by a chain, and hanging) so that the chicks have some place to go if they're too hot. That's when I know to move the tote away from the light, or even turn it off. I had mine much further away, even for day old chicks.

    You could probably get a little more space in there, if you move out the grit. I don't give anything other than starter/chick feed for several weeks, so there's no need for the additional grit just yet.

    If you haven't done so already, place the waterer on plate or something to raise it up. Those kind fill up with bedding really fast, and raising keeps it a bit cleaner, longer. I have to clean and refill mine twice a day. I need to install my other nipple drinker, as a backup.

    You'll love your Barred Rocks -- the chicks all look like they are wearing soggy diapers with those fluffy white butts! Mine are great layers, but definitely the bossy girls of the coop.
    nerfworthy and HoopyFrood like this.
  6. HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Songster

    Mar 21, 2016
    Maine, USA
    My Coop
    I hung mine from a chain as well. A fantastic setup!

    We opted for vertical nipple waterers for exactly those reasons. Cleaner and increases floor space. Even our day old chicks took only about five minutes to learn how to use it. They are awesome!

    LMAO! Here comes the Don King pic... ours are the zany madcap birds of the flock and the alpha and beta as well. They are bossy, but in more of a benevolent dictator way. They really are sweet girls. Our beta (Amelia) is the tiniest of the the flock by a wide margin (probably just at 6 lbs), she is totally lovey-dovey and is cuteness incarnate. But she is the most voracious bug eater! For any chicken fool enough to try to take a tasty bug she found, sweetheart that she is, she will beat any larger chicken down - and pin them to the ground! It's quite a sight! Actually I don't know if I could handle more than two of them :lol:
    Amelia as Don King.jpg
    Killer Tomato likes this.
  7. Kes

    Kes Chirping

    Aug 9, 2017
    I kept my chicks in a room with a wood stove this year along with a brooding plate and they always seemed to be most comfortable at 80-85, even when they were only a day or two old. The times that it got up to 90-95 I'd usually find them with their wings fanned out and I'd have to open a door for a while to let things cool off.

    I'd trust them, but if it concerns you, you could try lowering the height of the lamp. If they begin crowding the cooler corners/etc, you'll know they were probably happier with the original setup. Like others mentioned too, it's always better if you're able to just heat one side.
    Killer Tomato likes this.
  8. gator75

    gator75 Songster

    Aug 25, 2012
    My chicks never had temps over 78 degrees. They are alive and kicking and loving life at 5 wks old.
    Killer Tomato likes this.

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