Brooder Feedback Please!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jennyf, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. jennyf

    jennyf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2016
    Agh, my meat chicks that were supposed to be here tomorrow (with a high of 60) are here today (with a high of 30). I have a premier heat plate that I had planned on using, but I'm worried that today and tonight is just too cold so I added a red lamp. Hopefully when it warms up tomorrow out it comes for good--the forecast is 50s/30s on out. The premier people say that the plate will keep them warm enough, but at 30 ambient temp, they won't come out much, which isn't as good.

    Details (now for a snapshot):
    25 F outside
    45 in garage
    80 right under heat lamp
    54 in coolest corner of brooder
    Can't get a read on what it is under contact plate.
    Dog crate is 28x42
    14 Cornish X chicks

    Pic attached--I'm off to pick them up now!!

  2. BBCHICKS123

    BBCHICKS123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 19, 2016
    Wander land
    I would leave the heat lamp in just for the night just make sure it's safe
    1 person likes this.
  3. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2015
    Mora, NM USA
    I would say, try not to worry. I've used one of these Premier heat plates and was thrilled with it. My chics grew very fast and seemed completely comfortable with it.

    Chicks do not come out a lot at first and that is normal. I think they will be OK. If they are peeping a lot then you need to do something, but if they are quiet under there, they are OK.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Wavechickens

    Wavechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2017
    We did our first batch of new chicks last year and I worried al the time about too hot or too cold.
    After the first time I learned by rule of thumb if they are too cold they will huddle tightly together under the light source, and if to hot they would avoid the light area at all cost. Hope that helps, and good luck
    1 person likes this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Even tho I mostly use a DIY heat 'plate'....first day I have lamp set up so I can observe them better and make sure they are eating/drinking.
    You can't really measure the heat under the plate like you can under a light as it works by the chicks touching their backs to the plate.
    Best to go by behavior anyway.

    Here's my notes on chick heat, hope something in there might help:
    They need to be pretty warm(~85-90F on the brooder floor right under the lamp and 10-20 degrees cooler at the other end of brooder) for the first day or two, especially if they have been shipped, until they get to eating, drinking and moving around well. But after that it's best to keep them as cool as possible for optimal feather growth and quicker acclimation to outside temps. A lot of chick illnesses are attributed to too warm of a brooder. I do think it's a good idea to use a thermometer on the floor of the brooder to check the temps, especially when new at brooding, later I still use it but more out of curiosity than need.

    The best indicator of heat levels is to watch their behavior:
    If they are huddled/piled up right under the lamp and cheeping very loudly, they are too cold.
    If they are spread out on the absolute edges of the brooder as far from the lamp as possible, panting and/or cheeping very loudly, they are too hot.
    If they sleep around the edge of the lamp calmly just next to each other and spend time running all around the brooder they are juuuust right!

    The lamp is best at one end of the brooder with food/water at the other cooler end of the brooder, so they can get away from the heat or be under it as needed. Wattage of 'heat' bulb depends on size of brooder and ambient temperature of room brooder is in. Regular incandescent bulbs can be used, you might not need a 'heat bulb'. You can get red colored incandescent bulbs at a reptile supply source. A dimmer extension cord is an excellent way to adjust the output of the bulb to change the heat without changing the height of the lamp.

    Or you could go with a heat plate, commercially made or DIY:
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
    1 person likes this.

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