Brooder light - what watt?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by thepetpaw, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. thepetpaw

    thepetpaw Songster

    Jul 27, 2008
    I see all of the homemade brooders - great stuff. I found one of those type lights at Walmart for about 10.00 but what kind of bulb do you put in it - what watt do you use and can you use any type of thermometor?

    I am so brand new to all of this but I just adore the chickens they are so much fun!!!!
  2. shangri-lafarms

    shangri-lafarms Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    NY-Upstate Adirondacks
    I made my very first brooder this past spring, I used a 150 watt for the first few weeks, then switched to a 75 watt standard bulb until my chicks were 4 weeks old, by then they were feathered and I put them out to the coop at 5 weeks after one week no light but also no breeze, they are now 9 weeks old and doing great...i myself never used a thermoeter, I watched them very closely to be sure they were not hudling if too cold or panting if too hot....I had good luck doing this but I am also home 96% of the time to keep a watch and someone is always her myself or hubby.......good luck with everything, Welcome to BYC.....I also had a clamp on my lamp and could move the heat source accordingly...I would suggest buying a book about chicks/chickens...i read four of them prior to getting my first chickens, it's always a good reference as well...[​IMG]
  3. stefmech

    stefmech In the Brooder

    May 19, 2008
    American Fork, UT
    I just finished my brooder. I get my chicks tomorrow.[​IMG] I did a lot of research since I am new at this myself. The best light is an actual heat lamp bulb - I purchased one at a local hardware store. It is 250 watts and says on the box "heat lamp" red flood. The red color is suppose to be less stressful than the traditional white light. Mine keeps my brooder at the perfect temp.

    Good luck.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    If they are in the house I start with a regular 100W and put it on a dimmer switch. By a few weeks I have a 40 over them.
  5. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Depends on your brooder and your house temps. Using a fish tank which has solid sides and only ventilation is through the top in a house kept at 78-80F a standard 60w bulb was almost too hot (ran at 102F right under the center). In a collapsible dog crate with nylon sides and mesh at the front and top a 120w bulb barely made 95F in the center of the beam.

    Unless it's really cold or your brooder has lots of ventilation I would use a standard light bulb not a heat lamp bulb. They are more of a fire hazard, can melt the socket of a fixture that isn't designed for them, and may be way too much heat. I'd start with a standard 60w or 100w and see if you can adjust the height to get the right temp first. The fixture I got from walmart does go up to 120w if you can find the bulbs.

    You can find cheap thermometers in the fish section of walmart but they aren't the most accurate. What I do is lay them out next to each other with a thermometer I know is accurate and then mark on them with a sharpie how far off they are such as +2 for add 2 degrees if it's 2 lower than the good thermometer or -5 for subtract 5degrees if it's 5 higher than that one. Your incubator thermometer would probably work for comparison. Otherwise most petstores have slightly better quality thermometers. I use a digital one in the incubator.

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