brooder bulb

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by stew1, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. stew1

    stew1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't know if the bulbs I got will work so I thought I better ask the experts. I got a Westinghouse 125 watt infrared heat lamp. From what im getting its not the right bulb and could even kill the chicks. Thanks for replies in advance.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    It is true they can die of being overheated, You can read in our Learning Center about raising baby chicks,. An inexpensive thermometer will help, at least in the beginning. If you can, first set up the brooder with the heat lamp on but no chicks, and check the temp at floor level after a few hours. Usually around 90 to 95F is best for the first few days. The rule of thumb is to drop it 5 degrees a week after that, but the chicks will also tell you the best temp by their behavior. They will dehydrate faster if too hot, and may get constipated and may get pasty butt, or dried feces bocking the vent. It can be a challenge to keep fresh. clean water available when they are young because they tend to poop in it and kick their litter into it. You will need to raise the waterer on a brick or similar, and erhaps glue a funnel to the top of the waterer so they don't stand there.

    Here are a few links that may help you out:

    This giives a good idea of how to tell by behavior: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...have-a-couple-of-questions/0_20#post_11151084

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/747137/pasting-up-first-day/0_20#post_10529951
     
  3. stew1

    stew1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I've read all that and under stand, what made me wonder was the post I saw about the tractor supply bulbs putting off toxic fumes. They are also a Westinghouse brand if I'm not mistaken. These ones I got are not a true red and are not vary bright, I'm using a old stock tank that's about 8 ft by 3 ft. I think the length of it will give them a good range of temps to be comfy. They will be in my heated garage that will not ever get below 40 degrees. I have 2 chick waters and 2 1 ft chick feeders I bought at farm and fleet. I planned on putting the waters and feeders on scrap boards I have around. I have 53 eggs in the bator and looks like at least 7 are duds. And my uncle already said if I end up with to many he would like some so I really only want about 25 to 30 for myself. I just wondered if that particular type of bulb was bad or not. It reads, do not use unprotected in brooders so thought it would be ok but wanted to ask before it was to late, I have about a week and a half before the first 34 are even going to hatch, (all have nice red veins so far) so was going to work on getting the brooder ready this week end. I got pine shavings for substrate but not sure that's what I want to use yet, thought about the stall dry stuff but not sure. I like the idea of river sand for 2 reasons, 1 I can get it free and 2nd cause it would drain well. 2 problems I have is its wet in the pile right now and worried about impaction. I know what it does to geckos so idk. I would really like to use ground up corn cobs but don't know ware to get them. Sorry for going on and on, most of my friends look at me like I'm crazy, rabbits now chickens and pigs this late summer (a ton of free hog feed and you would buy a few too, right?). Anyways thanks
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2014
  4. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    In all likelihood the bulb you have is o.k. You might want to get a back up bulb as well. The caution on bulbs is that you want to not use any teflon coated bulb as they do emit a fume that can be fatal to chickens. This goes for bulbs in your coop as well...not just heat bulbs for brooders.

    As for bedding. Use the pine shavings. Put paper towels (not newspaper it is too slick) over the shavings for the first few days the chicks are there so they learn what if food and what is shavings.I would avoid sand for a brooder (I know there are those who disagree with me) as it is too fine.

    Your setup sounds good otherwise. Good luck on your hatching.
     
  5. stew1

    stew1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, I actually got 3 bulbs. I don't get to town much so thought I would be prepared. I did buy 2 bales of pine shavings also. I need pp towels then. Thank you.
     
  6. jtn42248

    jtn42248 Overrun With Chickens

    Paper towels or even real towels with little or no nap. I actually use real towels for my ducks because I can wash them and reuse them. I use paper for the chickens.
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I've found that for small brooders, a 100 watt incandescent bulb is plenty warm enough to keep babies warm. The gonzo 200 watt or lower heat lamps are okay for your set-up since the stock tank is so large, but for small brooders, such as most people employ for just a hand full of chicks, they are way too hot. I usually drape a red cloth over the brooder between the bright light and the chicks so it isn't so glaring for them, especially at night, when I increase the layers of red cloth to darken the brooder.

    Also, the rule of 95 to 100 for the first week is overkill, too. Maybe for the first day, but chicks have indicated to me that they are more comfortable at around 85 the first week.

    You need to watch the behavior of the chicks and not so much the thermometer. If they're too hot, they will be as far away from the heat lamp as they can get, and will be prostrated on the floor. If they're not warm enough, you'll see them huddled in a solid pile and not doing anything else. Chicks that are just warm enough are running around all over and sleeping anywhere they happen to crash when they feel a nap coming on. They remind me of a swarm of happy little bugs.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Depending on how many chicks you hatch out and/or how long you keep them....you may need those extra bulbs and more brooder space!
    Good Luck to Ya!
     
  9. stew1

    stew1 Out Of The Brooder

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    My stock tank is actually a lot bigger than I thought, 3 1/2 ft by 10 ft. I plan on keeping them in it for 6 to 8 weeks. My garage temp fluxes a lot because I use a wood burner and am not home all the time to keep if full of wood. The fire never goes out but it will drop to 40 or so by time I get it going again. I did add some insulation so might not be that bad this year, has not gotten cold enough to tell yet. That's one reason I think a long brooder will work better, The heat lamps at one end so if its to hot they can just go to the cooler end. I know exactly what your saying about watching the chicks to see if tis to warm or cold, I never used a thermometer for my geckos. If they were all at the cold end it was to hot if all at the hot side too cold, I always build my gecko racks with long tubs and only had heat at one end. I'm kinda using the same theory with the chicks. Just wondering how many chicks up to 8 weeks could that tank hold ya think? I know its way more than I'm planning on having, just wondering. I bought 2 waters and feeders so I could spread them out enough so they wont have to freeze or be hot to eat or drink and make sure there is enough bunk space as us dairymen would say. I would really like a proportional thermostat to hook up to the heat lamps but cant justify spending that kind of money for one, tho if I would have bought one back when I was breeding geckos the amount of money it would have saved me on my electric bill would have paid for itself by now. I will most likely hook up a dimmer switch tho so I can keep the bulb the same distance and back the wattage down as they get older to save a few bucks. My electric bill runs any ware from 200 to 300 a month so I try to watch it the best I can. The tank is only 2 ft tall so do you think I need to build a top for it? I think I will but not really sure, I have all the stuff laying around to. The coop im moving them into will be about 15 ft by 20 ft, and the run I plan on building is going to be 20 ft by 25 ft. The coop has a cement floor with a 6 inch curb all the way around it, so I thought about using sand in it. And im going on and on again, sorry and thanks for all the help.
     
  10. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    By the time chicks are two weeks old, they'll be hopping up onto the rim of the stock tank and smugly perching there, daring their buddies to follow suit. Only a few very adventuresome chicks will hop down and explore the garage. If you don't mind poop on the garage floor around the brooder, there's no harm in this as they will return to the brooder when they need to warm up.

    When I set up a small, open top brooder in the house, I usually cover it with cheese cloth to keep them in. But plan on them discovering early on how to use those tiny wings to achieve lift-off.
     

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