Brooder Heat Lamp Question?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ALostAngel1970, May 13, 2016.

  1. ALostAngel1970

    ALostAngel1970 In the Brooder

    Mar 3, 2016
    Northern California
    Hi everyone'
    I have a question. I have 6 hens in a coop outside that I got just as they started laying and are doing great! But this morning we got 6 baby chicks that are 1 is 2 days old, 3 are about 10 days old and 2 are about 15 days old. I am using a large plastic and metal dog crate and the feed store sold me a brooder heat lamp with a 250 watt bulb. It seems VERY hot and when I leaned in to add more chic starter I burned my neck with it. That's hot and there are only 6 chicks. Can I use an egg timer to regulate how long I leave it on and leave it off? I don't want to cook them and I don't want them to get sick. Or, I have a XL dog crate I can clean up and bring in to use that. They are in the bathroom and I need the crate door to keep our Nebelung cat out. I don't think he will eat them, he has bonded with snowflake outside but I think they need a longer introduction time first. He is good with all pets though. So the heat? What should I do?
    Thanks for your help!
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    When using a heat lamp to brood chicks, you need a brooder that is large enough for a 'warm' zone, just under the lamp and the rest of the brooder needs to be at least 20* cooler. That's very hard to do in small plastic containers. They tend to have an oven effect, where the heat lamp warms the whole thing. A 250 watt bulb may be too hot. You can switch to a regular 75 watt bulb, and then adjust the height of the lamp, by watching the chicks. If they start huddling up in a pile, they are too cool and need it a bit warmer. If they are all spread out and seem a bit listless, they are too hot and the lamp needs to be raised.
    Also, when deciding on a brooder, remember that chicks will double in size each week for the first six weeks, and their space needs double too. At 1 week, they need about 1/4 sq ft per chick. At 2 weeks, they need 1/2 sq ft, and so on.
    1 person likes this.
  3. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Crowing

    Oct 21, 2015
    No where Nebraska
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  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I never use a 250 watt, they are too hot. 125 watt is what I use.
    1 person likes this.

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