Brooder light guidlines?!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by handsomecock, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. handsomecock

    handsomecock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 9, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
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    Ok so i've had my chicks since August 26th, and in a small brooder up until September 19th. Now in a large 4'x4'x3-1/2' corrugated box w a light hangin off the top of a bookcase shelf. Gradually decreased the temp by 5 degrees each week with a starting temp of 95 degrees. I am located in Brooklyn, NY. The current temp outside is in the 70's during the day which matches the climate of the brooder. However at night it drops to like 55/50. I plan on moving them outside as i build the coop this weekend. Question is, is it mandatory at this point for the brooder light to stay on 24/7 if i am able to maintain the temp without it? Wouldnt it be better to turn it off in the evening to simulate outdoor conditions?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I would provide a wee bit of night time warming, something like a 40 watt bulb, for two or three nights, nights only, and then they'd be done. All they need is just a few nights of final preparation, that's it. Your chicks are ready for the big world. They will be just fine. They need these autumn days and nights to prepare them for the winter which is to come. They'll adjust and they will thicken those feathers and be ready to go.

    They look healthy and strong, BTW, which shows you did a good job raising them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  3. handsomecock

    handsomecock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 9, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Thx brotha. When I move them outdoors I will give it a shot. However since they are still residing in my cozy apartment bedroom, can I shut the light off for the 6hrs I attempt sleep?
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Yes indeed. Keeping pushing them to accept lower temperatures without complaint.
     
  5. handsomecock

    handsomecock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome. Maybe these women will wana start spending the night now lmao
     
  6. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your beautiful babies are feathered out now. I would leave the heat lamp off for a while every day. See if they peep loudly or if they are okay. They will show you they are chilled by huddling up or peeping loudly.

    Chicken feathers have an interesting reaction to cold. They fluff up when the temperature is cold. The fluffy under feathers. So as long as they are out of a draft which you might related to wearing a loose knitted sweater on a cold breezy day - Which may seem warm but in a stiff cold breeze does nothing to keep in the heat, they can keep themselves warm. Like a down jacket, that fluffy under feather will fluff up and create warm air pockets and they will be toasty warm. Their roosts should be wider like a closet bar or a 1x1 square (slightly rounded edges to protect feet) that wider area will allow they to cover their feet while roosting and keep their toesies toasty too.

    Good ventilation is important (not drafty but open) because chickens generate humidity and that can turn to frost and they can get frost bite. But if the ventilation is good and that humidity can rise up and out they will be very good at being fine in the winter. Frost bite is the enemy because they can hurt their combs and wattles.

    Hope that helps

    Caroline
     
  7. handsomecock

    handsomecock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 9, 2013
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    Sure does, and thanks...
     
  8. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My question is right along with this one. How do I get my chicks ready for 50 degree outside weather if the inside of my house is 78? The chicks are currently 4 weeks old so next week they are ready for 75 degrees. We are currently upper 70's with lows of 52ish. Do I just get it as low as I can while in the brooder and when go into their house keep a heat lamp in there and reduce the heat by 5 degrees a week to a temp closer to the actual outside temp and then just have the lamp on at night? What is a good overnight temp (so I know when to and when not to use the heat lamp)?

    I am so sorry for all the questions but I have turned into a real "mother hen" lol and am nervous about my girls going into their house. Thank you for any and all help,

    ~ Nicole
     
  9. handsomecock

    handsomecock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 9, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Im in the same stages as you, and its also my first time with all this, so my advice might not be the best. But I keep my chicks in my bedroom. I leave the windows open 24/7. Im located in NY so its like 65-70 degrees outside and like 50 at night. Ive decreased the brooder temp by 5 degrees successfully every week by moving the light farther away. At 5 weeks its practically not even providing heat anymore. The cardboard walls and their bodies keep their environment anywhere from 65-70. I have placed a fan above the brooder and about 3 feet away if I need to decrease the temp further( on a low setting of course). I just started turning the light off at night and the first night the girls did just fine. Last night they were non-stop crying even with the light on, so I took them all out and let them sleep with me :) Woke up at 3 am all cuddled up them and piles of sh!te outlining my arm, just splendid...
     
  10. mi2bugz

    mi2bugz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2013
    Waxahachie, tx
    Good idea. I think I will try to open the window a little tonight and see how they do. Unfortunately I am a sound sleeper so I don't hear a peep when I sleep ;). Will set my alarm and hope I hear it to check on them. Thank you for the advice!
     

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