Brooder Lamp?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Porterfive, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. Porterfive

    Porterfive Songster

    Sep 12, 2007
    Collinsville, MS
    We are very new to chickens and this forum so apologies if this thread has been discussed already.
    I have 12 baby chicks on order to arrive next week and are trying to get ready for them.
    We are unsure about which kind of brooder lamp to use.
    The info on the hatcheries web site recommends using infrared bulbs but notice from lots of photos on the forum that regular white light is used.
    I am thinking, as long as the temperature is correct of course, of using a 125 watt white light brooder buld during the day and a 250 watt red bulb during the night.
    What do you all think. Thank you in advance for all your advice.
    One of Porterfive [​IMG]
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Just 12? Unless you are brooding them in a barn I think 125 is overkill. I brood mine in a wood brooder box and use a single 100W light bulb on a dimmer switch even when temps get into the 40's at night. Their ceiling is low in the box though and it's not drafty, so they stay pretty warm and cosy.
  3. Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies

    Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    We need a lot more information.
    What part of the country are you in?
    Will they be in the house or out side?
    how big is your brooder??
    I keep mine in the house Please look at My Personal Pages and I show what I use.
    I use a 100 watt yellow bug light for the first 2/3 days then a 60 Watt
    then after a few weeks 40 watt then eventually nlothing.

  4. Porterfive

    Porterfive Songster

    Sep 12, 2007
    Collinsville, MS
    We will be keeping them in the house, ac is set to about 75, we are in Mississippi, about 95 outside temp.
    They will be staying in a huge dog crate( big enough for a 100 lb goldie)
    I have heard that a regular 100 watt bulb is adequate but the hatchery sites say otherwise, although they also want you to buy there products too.
    Should the white light bulb be left on even during the night, not sure how this will affect their sleep cycle?
  5. Chelly

    Chelly Cooped Up

    May 11, 2007
    I used a ceramic heat lamp - no light! I didn't want my girls to FREAK out at the dark, I wanted them to be used to it from day one!
    We didn't use it much, it was warm here - I probably only used it for 5 or 6 days total - not all in a row, we had a couple of cold nights when they were 2 weeks old!
  6. marie_martin

    marie_martin Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Grenada, MS
    Nice to meet another person from MS. I live in Grenada. What I use is a 100w bulb and I got a shield in the automotive section that is like a drop light and I hung it over the brooder then I raised it a little at a time each week. I started off with a thermometer in there but then I just went by the chcks behavior. If they were cuddled up like they were cold I knew to drop it a bit closer. If they were trying to get as far from the light as possible I knew it was too warm. That did not really happen but you see what I mean. Anyway, nice to meet you. And good luck with the new chicks. You must post pics and tell us about them when they get here.

  7. smnytx

    smnytx In the Brooder

    Sep 9, 2007
    Hi -

    I am also a newbie, and someone (Elderoo) posted the following for me. I'm going to highlight the items that specifically address lighting, but include everything, because it's all good.

    1. Use red heat lamps for heat. Chickens are tuned to the color red and sometimes chicks peck at each other, drawing a little blood during these pecking episodes. When that happens the others will go for the bloodspot, leading to a genuine bloodbath for the injured chick under white lights.
    Under RED lights, the blood appears black and gets far less attention.

    2. Whether you're using a hover or not, just hang your heat lamps above the brooder and adjust the height to adjust the heat at chick level. Thats the cheap way. Use a corded light dimmer if you want a control for under $10. On a hover, it's a bonus.

    3. Give the chicks somewhere to escape the heat. Allow ample room around the focus of the heat so they can regulate themselves. When its too hot, they head for the edges, away from the heat. If too cold, they huddle under the heat, never relaxing. Ideal temps will have them scattered around the heat in comfort. Use a thermometer in the beginning.

    4. Allow no more than an inch within the waterer for them to dip their beaks. Chicks will get in and even drown if you don't. Some add marbles inside, but thats too much fuss when you have to clean it everyday...did I mention you have to clean it often? Chicks kick everything into their water and it gets funky fast.

    5. Elevate the feed and water as the chick grows. It should always be at the height of ther back.

    6. For the first week, use white lighting over feed and water. Chicks especially are sorta dumb and, while they are attuned to the color red, they are drawn to white light. A low wattage incandescent over the feed and water helps them find it.

    7. Ensure your brooder has no inside corners. Chicks will pile up in them and often trample a flock mate that gets into a corner. An old bathtub would be ideal; some people use a small wading pool. you get the idea.

    8. Use paper towels for the first 5 days - NEVER newsprint. Newsprint is slick as ice when wet and it it will get wet. Paper towels allow traction.

    9. DO NOT add litter until the chicks are eating their feed, usually at around 3-5 days. Otherwise they will eat the litter and it can do them harm, even kill them.

    10. Just keep adding litter on top of the old. Before long, they will be in a deep litter sytem. By the time you have 3 inches or so, you 'll need to move them to their next home.

    I hope you find that as helpful as I did!

    SE Texas​
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2007
  8. schlitch

    schlitch In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2007
    Raymond, Mississippi

    I'm in Raymond MS, and just got in 10 biddies last week. We are keeping them in a dog kennel probably close to what you are planning. Check out the link in my signature to the Biddy Brooder, to see if its about the same size if you want. In the pictures there I had a normal 125watt light using a regular shop/drop light fixture, but went and purchased a 75 watt red heat lamp that is used for reptiles. I got mine at pet smart. I have to angle it parallel with the floor of the brooder to get temps at 95. If I point it down to the floor at at 45 degree angle, the temp easily hits 100. If yours is comparable in size and even a little bit larger it should work fine.

    The only reason for getting a larger one would be for when you plan to move them outside for over night. But with my small portable coup the 75watt will work fine.

  9. Cheryl

    Cheryl Songster

    Waiting for my chicks, I plan on using a dog kennel for the first week or 2, not sure until I actually see how fast they grow...but I bought a 250 watt red heat lamp and it seems some think it is over kill and others (like where I am buying them from: My Pet Chicken) says 250 is just right... Well I do plan on monitoring the empty "brooder" this week-end to adjust the temps...
  10. schlitch

    schlitch In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2007
    Raymond, Mississippi
    Hi Cheryl! [​IMG]

    I think the commonly given instructions are for when most people purchase chickens, around March or April (Easter). If you keep them outside during that time of year in most of the country you will need some heat. For us here in the Southern US during August, September, it just doesn't appear to be a necessity. During August most of our daytime highs were over 100 and nighttime highs were mid 80s. In New Hampshire, you are having highs in the low 70s now with lows in the mid to low 40s. If you plan to ever move them outside, you probably need that 250 watt lamp!

    For Porterfive and myself, we both have them inside our homes around 75 degrees constantly in a dog kennel. So that 75-100 watt heat lamp works very well for these conditions. I wanted a bulb that would fit in my existing shop drop light fixture and none of the 100watt plus floodlight style bulbs would do that.

    So you do have to take into account where you are located and the weather conditions of that local to determine what you will need.

    So how many biddies do you have coming, what kind, and when are they scheduled to arrive!! [​IMG]

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