Brooder light size

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by farmer_lew, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. farmer_lew

    farmer_lew Hi-Tech Redneck

    Jun 29, 2010
    In the hills
    What size brooder is needed for a 250w heat lamp? Or, better yet, what size brooder is too small for a lamp that size? The hardware store where I work sells 250w heat light bulbs. Figured i could just get one of those, but am not sure how big of a brooder that wouls heat up efficiently.
  2. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I place a thermometer in the brooder at chick height. A 250 is to hot for my office so I have used a 100 watt and a 75 or even a 60. What ever it takes to keep it at temperature. Even new chicks can deal with an 80-85 temp in the brooder. As long as they can all get under it if they need to be.

    But a 250 is not "always" necessary.

    Have a good time

  3. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:Well, if your brooder is indoors (in your heated house that is) you won't need that high of wattage, ever. Unless maybe you like to keep your house below 40*F, or if you brood in an unheated garage or shed. The heat from the lamp is concentrated directly below it, so IMO it doesn't really matter how big your brooder is, as long as you can get it to at least 95*F under the lamp. So long as they are not piling on each other, I use the lowest wattage that works.

    I use a 75 or 85 watt red floodlight for indoor brooding. Usually that is sufficient with ambient household temps being 65-70ish. My brooder box is a 4ft long rectangular rubbermaid tote. If I have wet chicks fresh from the incubator sometimes I'll set them up with two 75 watt lamps for about a day since they chill easier being wet, but generally you don't need that much for indoor brooding.
    I don't move the lamp or adjust the temp much at all. I just put it at one end of the box and they start sleeping further away from it as they get older. The 85 watt red floodlights used to be really easy to find, even at WalMart, but this fall they didn't have any when mine burned out, so I bought a bug light in the same wattage. I've used white 60watt bulbs temporarily, it's warm enough but the bright white light keeps them up.

    I have some month-olds that were out in a medium size (25# size) doghouse with a 85 watt "anti bug color" flood light this fall, down to at least 22*F and they are fine. I put their water in the house with them (instead of in their run) so I didn't even have to worry about it freezing either.

    I HAVE used the 250 watt "heat lamp" bulb for week-old chicks in a 3-sided shelter when it's still cold on spring nights. As you probably noticed, I move my chicks out to chicken tractors at a young age. They do fine with it being cold out in the "run" portion of their brooder pen, so long as they can come back to their "mama-lamp" to warm up. The whole brooder doesn't have to be 95*F just the sleeping area. IMO with the increased heat there's more of a fire risk IMO, and plus it costs more electricity. Of course, when you need it, you NEED it so it doesn't hurt to have one on hand. I think I have 2 on hand, as they tend to go out when you need them the most - per Murphy's law.

    Of course your mileage may vary [​IMG] I don't baby my birds much, those who insulate their coops would be horrified to see mine. [​IMG]
    However, I've also gone out and put a lamp on 12 week old chicks who seemed to be shivering when it dropped below freezing - they didn't have enough down yet. I guess you could say I tend to go by the reactions of my animals, rather than a set temperature or wattage or "fully feathered age" standard.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  4. Liamm_1

    Liamm_1 Songster

    I guess you could say I tend to go by the reactions of my animals, rather than a set temperature or wattage or "fully feathered age" standard.
    X 2
  5. Petej

    Petej Songster

    Dec 6, 2010
    PDX area
    I use a 120? or so watt Red heat lamp in my brooder. My birds seem comfortable at about 85 degrees or so.

    90 is too warm, the chicks flatten out and start panting in the cool spots.

    80 degrees is too cold, they pile together under the lamp.

    You can always vary the temperature by moving the lamp up and down as needed, just don't get it so close to the bedding as to become a fire hazard, or risk of burning the chicks.

    I rest my lamp on the wire mesh top, which is perfect for the 85 Degree temperature. At night when we turn the heat down before bed, I cover the top of the brooder with towels to keep the heat down where it belongs. Otherwise the temp can drop too about 75 which does not make for happy [​IMG].

    OK so technically, that is a fire hazard [​IMG] , but since my Brooder lamp reflector is made from a HUGE Stainless steel salad bowl [​IMG] the sides remain cold to the touch, which allows me to use the towels.... [​IMG]

    Even with the 250 watt monster heater bulb, the sides of the bowl remained cool to the touch after an hour. [​IMG] however the temp was at around 110 degrees, with the lamp elevated a little over a foot off the mesh (Approx 3' from bottom of brooder. [​IMG]

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