Brooder lighting

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rich Marshall, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Rich Marshall

    Rich Marshall In the Brooder

    Oct 27, 2011
    Getting chicks in a couple of weeks for the first time and my head is buzzing with thoughts and questions so please help me with this one.
    I have the brood red heat lamp but should I give them a certain amount of regular white light?

  2. DCasper

    DCasper Songster

    Jan 13, 2012
    Benton, KY
    That is a good question. I usually turn on a white light for a few hours a day just in case, but I don't know the real answer. What I have noticed is that if I spent a few minutes with my chicks under the red light that when I leave the area everything looks green. I have wondered how this would affect their eyes after a few weeks. I look forward to reading some responses.

  3. felidaet

    felidaet Songster

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I have always just use the Red heat lamp. They do however get regular white light often when we are checking on the and holding them.

    Interesting question.
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Stay away from the white light. It excites them. It also lights up their fellow chicks and shows them where to pick at each other. The red lights, heat lamps or just normal red colored bulbs subdue the lighting and this calms them. It also "hides" any little peck wounds or red spots on the hatch mates.

    A darker, more subdued environment helps to limit some of the brooder social issues.
  5. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Songster

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    I've used the red and the white. Frankly there was no difference in how the chicks behaved. I only had 5 chicks at a time in the brooder so maybe it makes a difference if you have more.

    You may want to look at the Brinsea Ecoglow for the heat. It's basically a flat panel that the chicks huddle under for warmth. It simulates being under a mother hen. When I first saw it I kind of dismissed it because the heat lamps work just fine, but after this last round of chicks, and the constant adjusting of the height of the lamp to regulate heat, I've decided that the Ecoglow is something I'll try.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012

  6. the only red lights we can get here are the red christmas tree bulbs (which are seasonal of course).. so all we use are regular white lights.. never had a problem with them being agitated or pecking each other.. personally (and in my experience) I tend to think pecking has more to do with over crowding than the color of the light.. we brood anywhere from 12 to 60 at a time.. and we always make sure they have plenty of room

    your millage may vary.. however ours do just fine with regular white lights
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I use up to three 100 watt bulbs at once (white light). I turn them off and on to regulate the temps as needed. Sorry I have never used the red ones so cannot advise.
  8. cva34

    cva34 Songster

    Aug 10, 2011
    Van Vleck ,TX
    Try it you'll like it, they will too.!!! Esp the less than 20w usage on the ECO20 and around 60w on the ECO 50 ...cva34
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Of course, everyone's experience is their own. Everyone mileage may vary. But the research is available on the subject of lighting and chick activity. Here are just a couple.

    From Virginia Tech:

    From the Poultry Site on Environmental control: Lighting During Brooding
    Light is an important factor during brooding that cannot be ignored. Chick activity is greater in bright light intensity than low light intensity. During brooding the light should be at the brightest intensity to encourage chick activity thus assisting them to locate feed and water. Once they learn where feed and water are located (somewhere around 7 to 10 days of age), the light intensity and duration can and should be reduced.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
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