Are the chicks too hot?

Nergock

In the Brooder
9 Years
May 31, 2010
20
0
22
Just brought home 3 chicks (Barred Red, Rhode Island Red and Ameraucana). At first they were eating and now the are all huddled away from the light. Temperature reading in the hottest part of the brooder (directly under the lamp) is 90 degree Fahrenheit. Is it normal for them to be inactive when you first get them home? At first they were eating for the first 5 minutes and just stopped after that and lay down with their eyes close and breathing kind of heavy.





 

MammaMoose

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
36
0
22
Lawrenceburg, KY
I'm very new to this whole chicken thing, but we "farm" on a budget. I use a desk lamp and a heating pad. Since it's summer, I've just been using the heating pad. I have them in the kid's old rat cage. So it's big enough for them to move to the other end of the cage if they get too hot. At night, they're at the part of the cage with the heating pad. I have lots of shavings on the floor, and there is a towel on the heating pad, under the cage. I make sure it doesn't get to hot to burn their little feet. This is my second litter, brood, group....whatever, and so far so good.
 

Nergock

In the Brooder
9 Years
May 31, 2010
20
0
22
Good to know. Thanks. I currently have the lamp set 2 feet from the shaving.

Quote:
 

chickee

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 20, 2010
3,756
171
266
Sierra foothills, California
Looks like your basket for the chicks is not large enough for them to get far enough away from the heat source. If they are staying away from your heat lamp then they are too warm. I use a ceramic 60 watt reptile bulb for heat. Much safer and lasts up to five years. GOOD LUCK!
 

Nergock

In the Brooder
9 Years
May 31, 2010
20
0
22
I thought the temperature in the first week should be 99 degrees. I was told that these are 4 days old chicks.

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Katy

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jun 29, 2007
16,317
73
331
Kansas~50+ yrs of chickens
Quote:
95 is recommended for the first week, but except in the coldest part of winter I've always found that to be too hot....especially in a small space like your brooder. I'd either raise the light or switch to a lower watt bulb.
 

chickee

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 20, 2010
3,756
171
266
Sierra foothills, California
Quote:
It is supposed to be 95 degrees and each week decrease the temp by 5 degrees until your chicks are completely feathered out. Check different areas in your basket with a thermometer to make sure the chicks have cooler spots to go to in case they feel too hot. Because your space is so small the whole area might be the same temp. A good indicator of proper heat is that the chicks sleep just on the outskirts of the beam of light.
 

teach1rusl

Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
10,017
161
356
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
And keep in mind that you can't judge a whole lot based on first day activities...as they've been through a lot with moving and all of that. But sudden crashing is certainly normal with all chicks, as long as they get up and start running around again within the hour. 90 degrees sounds fine if they have room to get away from the heat source. Now, if they're still avoiding the lamp light tomorrow, I'd certainly go w/a lower wattage or move your lamp further away. I'm sure they'll be fine.
 

ranchhand

Rest in Peace 1956-2011
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
13,295
62
291
SC
If you have to ask, chances are the answer is yes. Back the light off a bit and see how they respond. I have raised a bunch of chicks and I find that 85-90F is actually a better starting temp.

Wow, is that a 250 watt heat lamp? If you can get a 100 watt red flood light instead of the heat lamp it's much easier to control the temps. That's waaaaaay too much heat this time of year, no matter where you are.
 

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