Brooder needed in hot climate?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Karien, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. Karien

    Karien Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 14, 2014
    Hi, I have chicks hatching today in an incubator. Where I live the temperature is around 30 degrees. I have had 2 week old chicks before and they were fine without heat, but now I am thinking about the few days old ones. The guy where I rented to incubator said not to worry... (but I do)
    How can I see if they are too cold?
    And can I just put a regular lamp next to them just in case? I worry it might cool down a bit during the night, down to 28 or so...
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    If you mean 28-30 degrees Celsius, they should be fine at that and not need additional heat. Do keep an eye on them during the nighttime though, when the temperatures drop, especially during their first 2-3 weeks. They may need a little additional heat then. An ordinary lightbulb hung close enough to them to give them some heat would be adequate then.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Out of curiosity where are you located and where are you brooding them to have those temperatures all day and night. That’s not much cooling off at night. I’m sure that’s Celsius. 28C = 82F. 30C = 86F.

    You are in an interesting range. During the heat of summer with temperatures warmer than that I’ve turned heat off at 2 days during the day and 5 days for overnight heat. I brood in the coop. It was obvious I could have turned the heat off even earlier once I tried it but I was cautious. I had a lot bigger temperature change too. My brooder was roughly 1 meter x 2 meters.

    How big is your brooder? You certainly can use a regular incandescent light at one end but make sure your brooder is big enough that the far end is cooler. A real danger, especially in a heated small brooder, is that you will overheat them. As long as you can provide a spot warm enough at the coolest times and cool enough at the warmest times they are really good at self-regulating. It’s a good idea to block wind hitting them directly but lots of ventilation is a good thing to have. Maybe put a draft guard at their level but leave the top of the sides open. Dad used a regular 60 watt incandescent bulb to raise his chicks. I personally prefer a red heat lamp but a lot of chicks have been raised with regular incandescent bulbs.

    The best way to tell if they need heat is their body language. If they avoid the heated area even at night they are warm enough. If they crowd around the heat they need it. What mine normally do, even when they don’t need the heat, is to sleep in a group relatively close to the heat. That makes it harder. You think they need heat but they really don’t.

    If the chicks are cold and there is not heat source, they will probably gather in a group to share body warmth and they will give a plaintive constant peep. It’s different from the constant chirping you hear in a brooder. When you hear it you recognize something is wrong.

    If I were you and my brooder was big enough with good ventilation so it can cool off, I’d probably add a heat source at one end out of an abundance of caution. There are lots of different ways you can do that, many things work. Any time you use electricity be careful of a fire or electrocution. I’d wire that bulb so it cannot fall or come in contact with anything. I’ve found that for the first two or three days after hatch the chicks stay pretty close to the heat but after that they are a lot more adventurous. After about three days try it without the heat and see how they react. They may distress peep when you first turn off the light, they are not used to the dark, but after 15 minutes or so they should stop peeping and go to sleep. I think they will be OK at those temperatures. If they are not, they will tell you.

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