Brooder light... When to turn it off

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Chick_a_dee, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    My brooder light is hanging about a foot and a half from the top of the 2ft high brooder, and I was wondering when I should turn it off all together... they sleep under it right now, kind of... one or two chicks will roost either on the waterer or on the floor around it, and the others just kind of scatter everywhere... Also, can someone explain how much light they should be getting at this point? I'm a little confused... I've heard something about increasing the light they receive weekly, and at the moment I leave the light in the room off, the brooder light on, and the window has no covering on it so they get natural light from about 6-9pm everyday (so long as its not raining!).

    Can someone clear up the lighting situation, etc. I'm probably going to put my ceiling light in the office (where they are staying) on a timer.
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    They need the brooder light until they are fully feathered (around 6-8 wks) They may or may not actually get under it, but its good to have it on just in case. Once they hit 6 weeks if they are inside then they will pobably be fine without it. A couple more weeks if they are outside and it's chilly (dipping below 70)

    This time of year, if they are outside, and past the first couple of weeks they don't probably need it during the day depending on where you are.

    Does that answer it?
  3. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    Quote:[​IMG] That does answer my brooder light question, thank you very much!.... they are inside, I'll switch to a lower wattage bulb I think.

    I'm still not sure on what to do with normal lighting.
  4. bounty6

    bounty6 Hatching

    Jun 2, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Is the light for warmth only? The outside temperature is in the 80's so it gets pretty warm in the house especially with the light on the chicks. It almost seems like it's too hot for them. Is the light also on to give them more hours of daylight? Please clarify. My chicks are 1 week old and a few days old and I keep the light on 24/7. The chicks are in a bedroom and like I said, with the summer temperature in the 80's it seems a little too hot. Any advice. Thanks.
  5. go-veggie

    go-veggie Flew the Coop

    Quote:I'm no expert, but I believe that as long as there is enough room for them to get away from the heat of the lamp if they get too hot, they'll be fine. I heard their lungs are on their backs and it's important to at least have the heat available for them to sit under. That said, if it's in the 80's in your house and they are in the sun or whatever, I would think that by 2 weeks old, they might be ok without it during the day. I thought it was something like: start at 95 degrees with your day old chicks and then reduce the temperature by 5 degrees every week. If anyone knows different, PLEASE correct me. The best heat lamp is a red one by the way. I have read that it is calming to them & they won't peck at one another. I think it actually is calming to them...mine literally fall asleep in seconds when I switch it on. I have a heat lamp in with my 11 weekers for when it gets chilly at night outside. I'll be in the same situation as you now that I am getting another batch of chicks in 2 days. It's warm here, during the day anyway, and I am trying to save money by keeping the a/c off, but it'll be about 80 in here sometimes. Also, get a thermometer...that way you can check the temps in various places in the brooder area. Hope I helped! Have a great Sunday!
  6. Corgan33

    Corgan33 Hatching

    Jul 25, 2008
    Prince George, Virginia
    After running around these boards for 2 months reading.... and reading.... I finally decided to make my first post lol. Anyways, I'm on my second batch of chicks right now. They are 1 week old today and my first are 10 weeks old today. I switched to a red light on my second batch and personally I see no difference in their behavior. I periodically go out in the garage to check temps around the brooder and in this summer time heat I switch the light out for a couple hours at a time. The temp in the brooder has been spiking to 110F (yikes!) but as soon as I turn the light out, all of them calm down and go to sleep. I realize they need the heat, but its as if turning the light out gives them a break. Yesterday it was in the mid 80s outside so when it hit 85 or so in the brooder I would turn it back on. Hopefully relaying my experiences so far will help ya out.
  7. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Question on this question. Here in Louisiana the nights are 76-78 degrees and stay that way through September. Most of my chicks are 4-4.5 weeks old and are in outdoor brooders with no light. I havent lost a one. I guess I am just lucky.

    Is this to early?
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  8. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    Haha...I guess we all have around the same question.... My chicks get a little nervous when I turn the light off, I might try it for a few minutes today... put the office light on and take the brooder light off, see what happens.

    I'd really like to take them outside for a while, but I'm not sure if that's okay for them...though I'm sure it is, as mum would have them out and about from day one!
  9. frelima

    frelima In the Brooder

    i have raised many broods of chicks the past few years- i think we have a tendency to keep them too warm. I have not used a thermometer- and I discourage it in my friends asking for brooding advice.
    Go by how the chicks are acting. If they are pecking around, sleeping under the light, and just peeping contentedly then they are doing fine. If they are scattered far apart- they are too warm, and if they are huddled together and/or peeping in distress they are too cold.
    Keep the food and water away from the light, be sure there is good air circulation.
    I used to keep my brooder in a heated room. Now it is outside near my chicken house. I live in a cool climate- north coast of caifornia- most days are in the 60s- low 70s is warm.
    When the sun is out, I take the top of the brooder off and put a screen frame so they can have natural sunlight- sometimes I unplug the brooder during the warmest part of a sunny day.
    when you watch mama hens- they take their babies outside on day one or two. The babies run around outside and when they get cold she warms them under her for a while. I have taken a lesson from that and tried not to coddle them with too much warmth...

    good luck all!
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I don't think so. My chicks were on the screened porch, in a large brooder, when they turned 5 weeks old my SO insisted that I turn their light off. It was about 75 on the porch at night. Mine did just fine too.

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