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At what hight should I mesure brooder temp?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by [email protected], Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Tylerkaz@gmail.com

    [email protected] Chirping

    Jan 4, 2012
    Washougal, WA
    At what height should I measure brooder temp? I am using a 30 gallon fish tank, I am hatching my own chicks, (theres 7-9 that should hatch in a little over a week)

  2. cva34

    cva34 Songster

    Aug 10, 2011
    Van Vleck ,TX
    2-3 inches off floor >basicly where the chicks are to be....cva34
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Please re think using the fish tank as a brooder. Even a 30 gallon tank will only hold that many chicks for a week or two and they'll outgrow it. Plus, heat lamps + fish tanks = cooked nuggets. There is not enough air circulation and with the heat lamp the chicks overheat and die.

    Whatever your brooder, you measure the temp directly under the heat lamp with your thermometer on the floor of the brooder. You also need to be sure the chicks can get out from under the heat lamp to an area of room temp or so. Baby chicks don't spend all day under momma, they're out and about and get overheated easily under a heat lamp. Two biggish cardboard boxes taped side by side with a door cut between them works well. Put the heat lamp over one box and keep the feed and water in the cooler box. The chicks will adjust to the temp they need at a given time.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO

    Good advice. Small brood space and high temps = dead chicks.
    I put a heat lamp in and they go under if they get chilled, otherwise they're running around in the cool space.
  5. Tylerkaz@gmail.com

    [email protected] Chirping

    Jan 4, 2012
    Washougal, WA
    under the lamp its 95 (2" off ground) and at the other end its 70 (room temp) and is hanging so I can adjust the height. the top is wide open. what would the difference between a box be for ventilation? I only pan on using it for a week or 2, maybe less if they look too warm or crowded. I have a 24"x 24" box as back up but I got someone who is going to get me a bigger box.

    hears a picture (i plan on putting something on the bottom like news paper, straw or the special bark chips for chickens)

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  6. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Put a reliable thermometer on the bottom of the tank or the wood chips and set the light heat to make it 85* degrees the first week them measure what height is 80* degrees for the second week and then how high the stand must be when it heats up the thermometer the third week to be 75* degrees and so on each week 5 less degrees until the 7th week. But let me say after the 3rd week the fish tank just will not work or due at all. You are going to need a box big enough for softball size birds at 5 weeks. I would go to the local appliance store and get a huge dryer or washer box and cut it to 4' feet high with a net on top or a refrigerator box depending on how many birds you plan on. The fish tank may be what you think but forget it it just will not work after week 2. Best of luck.
  7. Tylerkaz@gmail.com

    [email protected] Chirping

    Jan 4, 2012
    Washougal, WA
    I thought you had to have it a 100-95 for the first week? or is that for the first day or two?

  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    A fish tank will hold heat, almost too well. At 100 degrees, you'll likely have signs of heat stroke and dehydration, poopy butt and even chick loss. Don't plan on much more than 90 degrees. The chicks don't have much room to move away from the heat and self regulate. Their behavior is more reliable than pre-determining temperatures. Too cold and they'll chirp madly and huddle. Too hot and they pant, stand with wings aloft, etc.

    6 or 7 chicks can outgrow that size much too quickly. A super large appliance box would work much better. As for the bedding, newsprint is far too slippery and can cause leg injuries. Shredded newspaper is fine.

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