Brooder temp question (newbie)

Peggy O

Songster
7 Years


The Lid will be on dog crate, and chicken wire over tub as well.



Hi all,

I am using a big plastic tub as a brooder (I know it will not be big enough for the long haul). We're bringing home 6, one week old chicks from a farm tomorrow. I have a red 250 watt brooder lamp over one side of the tub, and am only reading 85* on my thermometer. Is this hot enough for week old chicks? Should I move it lower? Also, how much cooler should the other side be, so they can go in and out of the lamp's heat? I am getting 75ish. Is that too warm still?

Thanks in advance.
 
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JSossong

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 8, 2014
162
9
78
Western PA
You'll be able to tell once you get your chicks in there. Read their body language. If they're all huddled together in a big pile, its probably too cold. If they're running from the light, it's too hot. You want them to be comfortable and you'll be able to tell by watching them. Good luck!!!
 

Peggy O

Songster
7 Years
I just read in my chickens for dummies book that the red brooder light (what we have) will not register an accurate temp on a thermometer, because infared lamps heat the birds, not the air. YIKES! Should I just get a white heat 150 watt one instead? I am worried it will stress them and cause pecking, so we bought the red. This is a last minute thing I didn't know. I am also real worried they won't have room to get away from that red light, and if thermometers will not be accurate they might overheat before I can check on them. I have a 15 month old kid who keeps me busy, and my other 1/2 works till 11 pm. It's up to me to watch over them. I don't want to kill them the 1st day. I am pretty freaked out by this stupid book. Not sure what to do now.
 
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ChickenLegs13

Songster
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
1,401
193
143
Lower Alabama
That looks more like a chicken cooker than a chicken brooder.
In a tote that size inside the house I use a 45 watt bulb about 8 inches off the floor at 1 end oif the tote. That way they have a cool area to retreat too if they get too warm. I never use a thermometer in a brooder, when the chicks are in a loose little circle under the light they are just right. If in a tight circle or pile they are too cold, if scattered all over the place they are too warm. I use this method whether brooding inside in totes or outside in wire bottom cages.
 

3riverschick

Poultry Lit Chaser
10 Years
May 19, 2009
8,453
3,309
512
That looks more like a chicken cooker than a chicken brooder.
In a tote that size inside the house I use a 45 watt bulb about 8 inches off the floor at 1 end oif the tote. That way they have a cool area to retreat too if they get too warm. I never use a thermometer in a brooder, when the chicks are in a loose little circle under the light they are just right. If in a tight circle or pile they are too cold, if scattered all over the place they are too warm. I use this method whether brooding inside in totes or outside in wire bottom cages.
excellent advice.
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I agree completely. No need for 250 watts.
They are not out in a barn. Just great advice!
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Best
Karen and the Light Sussex
in western PA, USA
 

aleksilkie

In the Brooder
7 Years
Feb 25, 2012
33
8
26
Yes I also agree just looking after them and checking for body language will be the best key to go by. And as for the lamp I haven't ever heard of this so I cannot comment on the difference between the two lights. But, what I will say is the red one will help them sleep at night better then the bright yellow white one so it won't matter if it's not the right light as long as you watch them and let them speak to you through their actions what they want.
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gander007

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 9, 2013
15,522
1,365
446
South Western Death Valley, Ca.

This is inside my brooder if you look the heating element is on
one end and the chicks can get near or away from the heater ...






Now in this photo you can see the vents in the side so the air
can move in and out ... Most brooders are for up to 4 to 6
weeks of the chicks life after that I take them to the different
stages of the grow out cage's .....






The first stage of the grow out / grow up cage ....
At 3 weeks old getting use to going outside .....
 

smitty750

In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
92
9
43
Bethel
I have a red 250watt bulb on a Rubbermaid tote/brooder and my day olds are fine. They're in a loose group under the light and they active, eating and drinking. Don't stress it too much you won't know if the temps right until they're in there.
 

MANNA-PRO

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