Brooder heat lamp alternative and towels?

TMarie

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Feb 28, 2013
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Hello everyone! I'm very new to coturnix quail and I'd love all the help I can get! My babies are hatching, I just set up my brooder (pictured) and I immediately dislike the heat lamp. The brooder will be indoors and our house is almost always 74 degrees. So the heat lamp is heating it to 120. I'm struggling to find a way to hang it higher.

I think I'm going to buy the heating plate but some reviews say they're not hot enough and other reviews say they're burning the chicks. Any brands you suggest?

I plan to use sand but I thought I'd use towels for the first couple days. Are there any reasons why that might be unsafe?

How soon should I put the babies in the brooder? As soon as they hatch or once they're dry?

Thank you in advance!
 

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le_bwah

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I'm new also, dealing with my first hatch right now. I think most people who find heating plates too cold are measuring air temperature underneath; the plate work through direct contact, as though the chicks are cuddling up to a mama hen. They do get hot, almost uncomfortable to the touch, but setting one side higher than the other gives the chicks a chance to regulate their own temperature and escape the heat/snuggle pile if need be.

Currently I've got a Titan "electric hen" set up on old dish towels (shavings later). It's cheaper and more adjustable than the Brinsea model. There are only two chicks under mine at the moment (more on the way :fl), but they seem to enjoy sleeping under it and waking up for little jaunts around the brooder. No frozen babies or singed feathers yet.

I popped the chicks in the brooder as soon as there were no more actively zipping, around 16 hours after the first hatched. They can supposedly go over 24 hours in the incubator, but I'm glad I got them out earlier.

Good luck with the hatch!
 
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TMarie

Songster
Feb 28, 2013
108
64
166
I'm new also, dealing with my first hatch right now. I think most people who find heating plates too cold are measuring air temperature underneath; the plate work through direct contact, as though the chicks are cuddling up to a mama hen. They do get hot, almost uncomfortable to the touch, but setting one side higher than the other gives the chicks a chance to regulate their own temperature and escape the heat/snuggle pile if need be.

Currently I've got a Titan "electric hen" set up on old dish towels (shavings later). It's cheaper and more adjustable than the Brinsea model. There are only two chicks under mine at the moment (more on the way :fl), but they seem to enjoy sleeping under it and waking up for little jaunts around the brooder. No frozen babies or singed feathers yet.

I popped the chicks in the brooder as soon as there were no more actively zipping, around 16 hours after the first hatched. They can supposedly go over 24 hours in the incubator, but I'm glad I got them out earlier.

Good luck with the hatch!

Thank you so much for your response! You're not going to believe this, but I just bit the bullet and bought that titan brand a couple hours ago! So I'm very relieved to hear you say that. And your explanation makes perfect sense! I just have to use the dreadful heat lamp until I get the plate in the mail :hmm it's 120 under the lamp but 80 on the other side so hopefully they'll find the cozy spot in between.

I noticed the first poked hole in the egg about 11am today and still nothing. But I can see her beak sticking out and she's breathing. Another egg I noticed at the same time looks like a hole has started, but the beak hasn't come out yet. I feel so impatient! Lol

Hope many eggs do you have left to hatch?
 

Danny C.

Songster
Jan 10, 2018
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131
Hello everyone! I'm very new to coturnix quail and I'd love all the help I can get! My babies are hatching, I just set up my brooder (pictured) and I immediately dislike the heat lamp. The brooder will be indoors and our house is almost always 74 degrees. So the heat lamp is heating it to 120. I'm struggling to find a way to hang it higher.

I think I'm going to buy the heating plate but some reviews say they're not hot enough and other reviews say they're burning the chicks. Any brands you suggest?

I plan to use sand but I thought I'd use towels for the first couple days. Are there any reasons why that might be unsafe?

How soon should I put the babies in the brooder? As soon as they hatch or once they're dry?

Thank you in advance!
I had to adjust number of different times til found the right distance. Ended up with it attached to a chair beside brooder box. You will find the right way to hang. Good luck.
 

le_bwah

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May 1, 2018
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Thank you so much for your response! You're not going to believe this, but I just bit the bullet and bought that titan brand a couple hours ago! So I'm very relieved to hear you say that. And your explanation makes perfect sense! I just have to use the dreadful heat lamp until I get the plate in the mail :hmm it's 120 under the lamp but 80 on the other side so hopefully they'll find the cozy spot in between.

I noticed the first poked hole in the egg about 11am today and still nothing. But I can see her beak sticking out and she's breathing. Another egg I noticed at the same time looks like a hole has started, but the beak hasn't come out yet. I feel so impatient! Lol

Hope many eggs do you have left to hatch?

I had reservations about heat lamps too, so I'm glad there's an alternative. My babies are still loving their brooder (they go under when I turn the lights off and come out when I turn them on, it's too cute). I'm sure your chicks will find the right spot, but if you notice them fleeing the light, there isn't much harm in playing with the height settings.

My first hatched around 8 PM last night, but had been pipped for almost 24 hours. Don't worry if it takes that long for them to get from "tiny hole" to "out and about". I've even heard 48 hours isn't an unreasonable time for them to take. It really does make you impatient. I've got six left to go. Hurry up, babies!
 

Kiki

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Are you guess serious about keeping the temp at 110 degrees under the lamp?
That seems too hot too me.
 
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lomine

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Aug 7, 2015
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I agree that 110 is way too hot, even for a newly hatched chick. If you want to use a heat lamp but also want more control over the temperature I suggest getting a plug-in dimmer switch. It will allow you to lower the temperature without having to fidget around with the height.

I am using a heating plate for the first time with quail chicks. I have used a heating plate with chicken chicks and ducklings and I prefer it over the heat lamp. For me the biggest positives are that you aren't heating up the whole room and it's more natural for the babies. I will cation you @TMarie, keep a very close eye on your chicks for the first couple days. The first morning I went in to check on mine and half of them were laying on their sides in the brooder looking half dead and cold to the touch. I gave them all some nutri drench and put them back under the plate. I think they didn't yet get the idea that they had to go under the plate to warm up. They are super cute but not the smartest birds I've encountered. After less than half a day they were all up and running around.

I have them in a naturally lit room and try hard not to turn the light on in the room at night. For the first couple nights I gave them a night light so it wasn't completely dark. They kept playing zoom-zoom around the brooder so no more night light for them.
 

mdees88

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Better too hot than too cold. On that brooder the temp was 110 at one end and 80 at the other. You can see no quail were at the 110 degree end of the brooder. I could set it at 120 or 130 degrees and my quail would be just fine. They will stay where the brooder temp is between 95-100.... and they looked pretty comfortable to me.

No need to overthink it..... or worry about "precise" temps. Just use a big brooder and keep it hotter than they need at one end and cooler than they need at the other end.
 
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