brooder heat qustion

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by vnsseed, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. vnsseed

    vnsseed Chillin' With My Peeps

    718
    2
    133
    Feb 12, 2009
    New Hampshire
    Hi,
    I am new to this and I want to make sure I don't lose my chicks. I have built a 4x4x2ft brooder out of plywood, with a hardware wire top. The brooder is 2ft off the ground and will be in my garage, where the ambient temp is 50 degrees, give or take 5 degrees. I have two 250 watt heat lamps and after running the lamps for 3 hours, it was only 60 degrees in the brooder (I have a thermometer at either end of the brooder) and the heat lamps are on the diagnal corners. My 12 Dominiques will be here in April and I want to be ready for them. How long should I run the heat lamps before I put them in? Should I do something different? The lamps are about 24" off the bottom of the brooder. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Snakeoil

    Snakeoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    358
    1
    120
    Jan 10, 2009
    SE Iowa
    60 degrees is too cold for chicks, the heat needs to be right at 90 - 95 degrees which you can drop 5 degrees a week. If you can only get 60 degrees you need to lower the lights until the heat gets to where it needs to be.
     
  3. vnsseed

    vnsseed Chillin' With My Peeps

    718
    2
    133
    Feb 12, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I should have clarified, I realize it needs to be 95, what I am wondering is how long, on average, does it take for a 4x4x2ft area to get to 95 degrees?
     
  4. vnsseed

    vnsseed Chillin' With My Peeps

    718
    2
    133
    Feb 12, 2009
    New Hampshire
    UPDATE:
    Thanks to NH BYC member Gypsy for her recommendations on my brooder heat issue.

    I have covered half of the 4x4ft area of hardware wire with a blanket and am already seeing a temp difference. I may block off half of the brooder with plywood and only heat a 2x4 ft area with one heat lamp, since I only have 12 chicks coming, and maybe some type of a backup heat, in case the bulb burns out.

    Thanks again, Gypsy.
     
  5. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

    4,625
    124
    291
    Jan 20, 2007
    Wisconsin
    Usually 18" from the brooder floor is the right height, providing you have room for the peeps to come and go under the heat as needed.

    ~ bigzio
     
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,224
    672
    396
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    I have alway had chicks in the dead of winter. I cover my brooder with a blanket. I also have a wireless digital thermometer with an alarm so if for any reason the lamp goes out (which has happened) the alarm will sound. One of my brooders is 3' x 3' x 2'.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by