Brooder temp control HELP!!

Texas Fluffy Feet

Songster
11 Years
Feb 20, 2008
229
3
131
Arlington, TX
I have my brooder set up in the garage which is not climate controlled. There is no way I can get it in the house- it won't go through any of the doors. My babies will be here in a couple of days so I am test running it now. Yesterday it was in the upper 70's all day here and in fact it was still 70 when I woke up this morning. I had to work really hard to get the light far enough away from the floor to make it read 95 degrees in the brooder where the light was shining down. Then this mornig a cool front has moved in and now it's in the low 60's here. I have been checking the brooder temp EVERY hour I am awake since I set it up and now in less than an hours time, the temp in there dropped almost 10 degrees just like the weather outside. I lowered the light of course to bring the temp back up but now I'm worried. How the heck can I keep it a steady 95 in there with the temp changing here affecting it that way? I bet I won't sleep much the next few weeks. I'll be up all night long making sure the chicks are comfy. I am so afraid of them getting chilled after reading how that can kill them weeks later.
Anyone who has a brooder in a non cliamte controlled atmosphere, please help!
 

MRNpoultry

Songster
11 Years
Mar 2, 2008
1,467
5
181
Gibsonville, NC
My brooder is in a detached garge that ain't climate contral, we are useing a 250 watt red light over a rubermaid container. What wattage are you using.
 

love-my-wolves

Songster
11 Years
Mar 14, 2008
1,017
2
171
Front Royal, VA
Ok, I have a ????. I have the absolute worst luck with thermometers!!!

I have purchased 4, 1 at wally world, 1 at lowes and 2 at tsc. None work!!! Or is it me?

The first broke, the other 3 just don't register. My babies seem very active and happy. They don't huddle together like they're cold, they sometimes go to the other side of the brooder, but only once in a while. Any thoughts on a good therm that is dummy proof?
 

Texas Fluffy Feet

Songster
11 Years
Feb 20, 2008
229
3
131
Arlington, TX
Wolves, I have decided I am stressing waaaayyy to hard on this. I have 2 different thermometers in there and they are reading at least a 5 degree difference setting side by side. Heck I don't even have my babies yet and I'm worrying over temperatures.

I have sat back took a deep breath and decided to go with the best advice I have read on these boards- do what the chicks show you they need. If I get my babies and they are all huddled under the light I will know it is to cool, if they are panting it is to warm. If they are like your little ones and running around happy I will know it is just right. There are several people on here who say they don't even use a thermomoter at all. If your babies seem happy I'm sure they are. Perhaps you could take the money you would spend on another therm and go buy a nice cup of mealworms as a treat for them instead.

I wish you the best with your little ones!
 

love-my-wolves

Songster
11 Years
Mar 14, 2008
1,017
2
171
Front Royal, VA
Thanks sooo much! They are so spoiled already, I would hate for anything to happen! I will do that with the mealworms! I think it will be worse once their coop is done, then they won't be close for me to check on every 10 minutes!!! I'm such a overbearing momma-bear!!!!
 

ChickenCop

Songster
12 Years
Dec 24, 2007
340
1
139
Southern Indiana/Henryville
I like some others have a 250 red bulb on my brooder. I attach it and sit back and see how the chicks react. I give them an hour or so....and go from there.
Like today the temp outside dropped and it was a bit chilly in the barn but they were all running around like crazy when i checked on them about 10 am. I notice some of them will go hang out by the light after a bit, they warm up and back at it again.
 

plapczynski

Songster
11 Years
Feb 3, 2008
113
1
149
Chillicothe, OH
Think of it this way... with the door open on "YOUR" house, the temp would fluctuate as well. The dual walled plastic of that playhouse should have a small amount of insulating quality, but you will still have a challenge with fluctuating garage temps. You might want to try the following:

1. Close the door. Put some cardboard over the playhouse doorway and see how it goes. You can alway take some off the top if it gets to hot.

2. Try the same with about 1/2 of the windows.

3. I can't tell if the playhouse has a floor, but laying on concrete is just plain cold. You might want to find a pallet or some wood for a floor.

And like the others said, the chicks will tell you what to do.

Finally DON'T do what I did and put digital thermometers in there. The .1 degree fluctuations in temperature will drive you nuts!

Good luck!

Paul
 

Marlinchaser

Songster
12 Years
Oct 18, 2007
4,943
23
231
MERRY LAND
dont worry about keeping a constant temp. The 95 then subtract 5-7 degrees is just a guideline. Let the chicks show you what to do with the light. If they are all huddled under the light lower it, if none are under it they are too warm, so raise it or lower the watttage of the bulb you are using. It is important to have a variable temperature range, because like people some will be comfortable at 85 some will think it is too hot, and some will think it is too cold. If temp is Ideal the chicks will be spread out, not crowding to get away or too the heat.
 

Texas Fluffy Feet

Songster
11 Years
Feb 20, 2008
229
3
131
Arlington, TX
You are absolutely right plapcynski, I had the shavings under the paper towels yesterday when the temp was reading high. I took those out earlier today and put down just the plain paper towels. Right before I read your post I realized how the shavings had sort of insulated the floor because there is no floor in the playhouse. I have now put an old bathroom rug on the floor and covered that with an old flannel backed vinyl tablecover folded to fit all across the bottom and then under the sides of the walls to secure it so no way a baby could get under there and suffocate. I put the paper towels over that.
After I read your post, I added some cardboard on the door too. I will watch it this evening to see if this is enough to better insulate the brooder so that the tempeture doesn't fluctuate so drastically. Thanks for the advice!

I still think even if the temp is a perfect 95 I will make changes according to how the little peeps are acting. I feel so silly stressing this way over these little things. I have hand fed a newborn ferret, hatched various reptiles and cared for an orphaned baby bunny, But never have I worried so over the "nursery" for a little animal. Nor have I seen so many other people worrying over them either! There definitely is something about chickens!
 

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