Brooder only getting up to 80.2* - now new problem, see second page

keedokes

Songster
11 Years
Feb 25, 2009
508
210
211
Wisconsin
Hey everyone, I've just set up the brooder last night in preparation of our hen group's chicks coming sometime in the next couple of days. I have a problem though--I can't get it above 80.2*. I have a 20gal tank for four standard size chicks. This is only going to be their home for the first couple of weeks, and then they're moving into a larger one. I decided to use this to begin with because I thought it would be easier to keep at a higher temperature than the huge modified Rubbermaid. There's a wire mesh top with a lamp on one side. I used a red spotlight in the lamp, and then I covered the rest of the top with a folded towel to act as an insulator. The thermometer is reading from right about where the top of their heads are going to be.

Here's a pic:



Sorry for the crappy pic. The chicks are coming TODAY and I want them to be warm! Suggestions anyone?
 
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trilyn

Songster
10 Years
Apr 13, 2009
2,117
13
211
East Syracuse
You know, don't sweat it, put the light down about 12-14 inches from the floor in one section of the brooder. The chicks will let you know if they're warm or cold. Warm they'll be away from the light, cold they'll be huddled under it. They will regulate the temps themselves, meaning they'll move away or closer depending on what they need. Personally, I'd take the towel and fling it. They need air to breathe! I know some people use the towels, but really, they'll be fine. Ever see a mama and babies? I have, chicks are much more resilient than we think and they'll be fine with no towel. Relax, have fun and enjoy your new babies! Hey, don't forget the pics!!
 

keedokes

Songster
11 Years
Feb 25, 2009
508
210
211
Wisconsin
The light is currently about 16" from the floor of the brooder. If I put the light in lower, I'd have to take the top off. I'm really concerned about my cats getting to the chicks if the lid is off. It's a 65watt bulb. I took the towel off, though. Then the temp plunged down into the 70's. Ack!
I'm going to kill my chicks! Oh man, I had nightmares last night...couldn't sleep...so exhausted!
 

keedokes

Songster
11 Years
Feb 25, 2009
508
210
211
Wisconsin
It's just a 65watt bulb--the lamp isn't technically a heat lamp, though it's apparently rated to 660watts.

Where do I get a heat bulb? Can I get one at a pet store? Or...?
 

vickibiro

In the Brooder
9 Years
May 30, 2010
72
3
39
LaGrange, Kentucky
I purchased a red heat lamp bulb and this thing puts off so much heat I have to turn it off for awhile in the evenings when the heat is really settling into my garage. I would check and make sure you didn't just get a red light bulb. I am thinking I will need to go to that next week when I lower their temperature again. Meanwhile this one is barely even aimed down at them and it still stays in the 85-90 range.
 

keedokes

Songster
11 Years
Feb 25, 2009
508
210
211
Wisconsin
I did just get a red light bulb--on purpose. It's the kind that you use in spotlights at the holidays. I had been doing some reading and some people said that their chicks did fine with just a regular bulb and that it threw off enough heat. That may have been before energy saving bulbs, though.

Oh, and my five year old would like to tell everyone that she decorated the tank herself. And that it's beautiful for the chicks.
 
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tigerkitten45

Songster
9 Years
Feb 22, 2010
209
0
109
NH
You can try the local pet store for a heat bulb, they usually carry the kind used for reptiles which works fine, other places to get them at are your local TSC, Agway, feed stores are all good places to try. Or you can try a higher watt regular bulb.......
 

keedokes

Songster
11 Years
Feb 25, 2009
508
210
211
Wisconsin
I'm up to 83.3* by having taken the thermometer reader off of the side of the tank. It's only 68* in the house right now, so as the day warms up I'm hoping they'll be fine. I'll get a warmer bulb tonight for when the temps plunge again. I just want to be here when they're delivered, because it's drear and rainy outside and I don't want them left out on the porch in this cold, wet weather. They should be here within the next 2 hours!
 

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