1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Babies... Do they need light 24/7??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kittikatti69, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. kittikatti69

    kittikatti69 Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    32
    Apr 9, 2007
    NW Washington State
    Hi everyone! I'm new to this board and a new chic mommy (I already have 2 layers). Decided to add 2 new hens, and thought, heck... why not get cute baby chicks. [​IMG] Anyway... reading online and getting conflicting stories about how much heat/light. These guys...eek... sorry... these GALS (knock on wood) were born last Tuesday so are what... 6 days old. I've got them in a rubbermaid with a 65w lightbulb & they seem perfectly comfortable. Now I'm wondering... how long do they need the light on 24/7? They're inside the house, so it's not going to get real cold - and I know the adults arent supposed to have light overnight or they wont sleep and can die?? Or is that a rumor. Anyway... I saw one thing that says:

    1-7 days - light 24hrs/day
    1wk-6wk - 8-10hrs/day or 12-13hrs/day, cutting back to 8-10
    6-20 wks - 8-10hrs/day
    20+wks - gradualling increase from 12 to 16hrs/day.

    I have no idea how reputable the site is though, and none of the "official" looking ones have any info about light, just heat.

    HELP?

    Thanks in advance. I know you guys will save the day. [​IMG]
     
  2. Kirstyaa

    Kirstyaa Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    22
    Apr 6, 2007
    Suffolk, England
    are the adult chickens in with the babies then?

    My chickie has light 24/7, and she sleeps fine. I dont know how old she is, but between 1-2 weeks.

    Sorry i cant answer all your questions, im new to this too [​IMG] Someone else will get it for you im sure!

    Forgot to ask - why would you increase the light again as they get older? Thats kind of weird isnt it?
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2007
  3. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    I'm not sure what the heck they're talking about. Chicks need heat more than they need artificial light. Turning the light off takes away their heat unless what you found has to do with a commercial set-up.

    I let my chicks tell me what they need. If they're too cold they scream about it but I must hit it right because they never scream. I don't follow any particular pattern for their heat since TN doesn't seem to have any rhyme or reason to the seasons. Chilly one day, baking the next. Or like now 80's during the day then slammed right back to Winter temps.

    I use an 85 Watt red spot light in a bell work lamp. Its been more than adequate for what keeps them comfy here in the house.
     
  4. kittikatti69

    kittikatti69 Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    32
    Apr 9, 2007
    NW Washington State
    The babies are in the house - I just mentioned the older hens (which they'll eventually be introduced to) so you'd know I'm not a complete newbie... just to the babies. [​IMG]

    My set up is just a rubbermaid and a regular household light bulb... nothing commercial. So then I want to leave it on 24hrs/day but gradually move the bulb further from the cage (to reduce temp as they get older?) I guess???

    I think the increased lighting at 20 weeks is to encourage egg production... but I'm still wondering about between now and then. I guess my main concern is... if I turn off their light at any point, they have no heat (beyond the fact that it's room temp in the house). So do I just always leave it on then?
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2007
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I was part of an accidental experiment once with light influencing the growth of chicks. I bought two Barred Rocks from the feedstore. They had the rest in plexiglass cages with heat lamps, but the pens were set up in the picture window of the store where they got LOTS of natural sunlight as well. After a week, when I went back, those same chicks that she had not sold were TWICE as large as the ones I took home to my brooder, which was in a bsmt bathroom with a very small window, overhung by an 8 ft deck, so not much natural light got in. I was feeding them the same exact feed as she was and was amazed at the size difference! So, since then, I've been convince that they not only need heat but need the light as well for the first little while. Just thought I'd mention this since it was so interesting to me.
     
  6. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Cynthia, to me artificial incandescent light is not going to provide that kind of growth boost. I can see having them in the basement without any natural light might very well make a difference but for me I have to close the blinds some so the peeps don't get too overheated. My red light is for nothing more than their heat requirements, they get natural light from the windows in here.
     
  7. kittikatti69

    kittikatti69 Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    32
    Apr 9, 2007
    NW Washington State
    Maybe that'd be a more natural way for me to go... use a red light, then just have them near a window for actual light. I'd just hate for them to NOT lay when it's time, thinking they days are shorter than they're used to or something. A red light would probably be easier for my daughter to sleep with too... they're in her room. [​IMG] Luckily she's a heavy sleeper. [​IMG]
     
  8. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Another good reason for the red light, they get acclimated to the day time light and when its time to go to sleep. I still hear mine when they bed down for the night quietly talking but not all the frenetic non stop activity and talking that I hear during the day light hours.

    Made the mistake of turning a flourescent light off on a group I had in here that no longer needed heat after it was already dark outside. Went out in the living room with my husband, after a few minutes he asked me what was wrong with the chicks since they were in here screaming. Told him I turned the light off, he suggested I go turn it back on. Guess all that screaming was getting on his nerves.
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Yep, Robin, I doubt that incandescent light would provide that much of a growth boost, but I was just mentioning that because I did read that they do grow better in the first weeks because of light around the clock. It is, however, a good argument for having as much natural light in a coop as possible, I think.
     
  10. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    5,928
    44
    293
    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Thats where full spectrum bulbs come in to the equation. Use them in all my chicken houses.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by