Brooder heat lamp question

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Hiddenintheivy, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. Hiddenintheivy

    Hiddenintheivy New Egg

    May 21, 2014
    Arvada, CO
    So I bought a standard brooder reflector lamp and the 250w clear bulb. Everything is working fine. My question is this.
    The bulb puts out a ton of heat and seems to be over kill in my house that is typically around 68* night and day. Could I use a lesser light bulb that is lower wattage? I'm only raising 2 Cochin chicks at the moment and I have it set up under the bar height counter in my dinning room. Even with the lamp almost as high as it can go it seems to be a little warm for the chicks.
  2. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Do you have a heating pad that doesn't shut off automatically after two hours? The amount of heat in your setup for 2 chicks does seem like overheating to me. You can put a lesser watt bulb in there, and some people go to pet stores and pick up ceramic emitters for their chicks. (I think that's what they're called.....I'm not sure.)

    Anyway, I haven't used a heat lamp since I started using a heating pad for my one single chick and then 3 subsequent batches. This thread will show you what I mean. Lots and lots of folks have made the change and are so happy they did. Using this I am confident enough to even use it outside and raise chicks when temps are in the teens and twenties here in Northern Wyoming.
  3. mrv19

    mrv19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2016
    As long as you can maintain a temp where they are happy and scampering about vs huddled and chirping loudly (cold) or on outskirts of light and panting (hot) you can use any kind of bulb you want. Keep the heated area to one end of the brooder so they can move to cooler end when thet want.

    My house temp is about 68 as well and they were without any heat lamp in 3 short weeks
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2016
  4. pasuit

    pasuit Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Mar 26, 2013
    Midwest City, OK
    I'm looking for some reflectors for lamps I already have. Everyone is selling the complete lamp. Any ideas where to buy just the reflectors?
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    It probably is too warm; are they telling you that?
    White heat lamps give them daylight for 24 hours, not a good idea. Get a red bulb instead, and try a 150w instead. They are available from pet store (and 75w bulbs too) for reptiles.
    pasuit likes this.
  6. pasuit

    pasuit Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Mar 26, 2013
    Midwest City, OK
  7. pasuit

    pasuit Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    Mar 26, 2013
    Midwest City, OK
    No. I'm just trying to get reflectors. Don't need the bulbs, sockets or power cords. They sell everything already put together. I do all the wiring and assembly myself. Mine are getting old and I've done everything but can't get the reflectors. This is the first time I've run into this problem.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Dimmer extension cord might help...or a smaller bulb...60-100W.
    BEWARE do NOT use 'safety coated' bulbs.

    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:

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