Brooder temp question

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bawkbawkbawk, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. My chicks are two weeks old yesterday, today or tomorrow - not sure what the hatching/shipping math is. I received them 2 weeks ago tomorrow (Thursday)

    We dutifully set the heat in the brooder at 95 degrees and it quickly seemed to be too warm for them. Changed out the 250 degree infrared lamp for a 150 and for the last week they've been happy with it at 80 degrees.

    Weather here is in the mid-high 60's; will be likely heading upwards from that.

    The four chicks have been spending half an hour or so a day outside exploring their run; then we bring them back inside. We've been keeping the heat lamp off for several hours during the day; the heat has gone down to 70-75 degrees or so.

    I turned the lamp back on for them this evening; it was over 80 degrees. Felt a bit warm in there so I just turned it off. They were all laying still, away from the lamp, and within a few seconds they've all become active again. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I'm wondering if they were too warm and I should just leave the lamp turned off over night.

    Can't raise it any higher than it is currently so that's not an option.

    Worried they'll be too hot/too cold overnight depending on what I do.
  2. would love to get some input before I say goodnight to the girls.
  3. Awww...anyone??
  4. Carolina

    Carolina In the Brooder

    Mar 31, 2009
    I don't know. I'm sitting here waiting for an answer too. I'm new at this, my chicks are 8 weeks old now.

    I guessed that if the light was at one end so they could move away from it if necessary, then they would be okay. If they weren't huddled under it or in the opposite corner, then somewhere between was okay. But I didn't have a thermometer.

    I'll sit here and wait for experience to speak too.
  5. Mrs. Glassman

    Mrs. Glassman Songster

    Apr 29, 2009
    Cedartown, Georgia
    I would make a warm area & a cool area, that way they can adjust themselves to their comfort level by moving about.
  6. I'm going to bump this one more time to see if there are any thoughts as to whether we can turn off the heat lamp yet.
  7. eschwaderer

    eschwaderer Songster

    Feb 28, 2009
    1 week - 95 F
    2 weeks - 90 F
    3 weeks - 85 F
    4 weeks - 80 F
    5 weeks - 75 F
    They can easily survive periods outside this range ( they do when they are with their momma). But they will always need to be warmed back up until they are fully feathered and of a size that is able to retain enough heat on their own. Too low of an average temperature will delay their growth since a significant portion of their energy production will go to keeping themselves warm and not growing. Two weeks is too soon for no supplemental heat IMHO. If your brooder isn't large enough for a warm and a cool side you will just have to fine tune your lamp height for a while.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2009
  8. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    This was found on cackle hatchery web site:

    We have found that using a drop light with reflector shield is a good source of heat. Use a 75 - 100 - 150 watt bulb and use as many lights as you need to keep the birds comfortable. Hang a reflector light from something secure so it does not come loose and drop down burning something or hurting a bird. The wattage of bulb you are using will determine how high you will hang the reflector over the middle of the birds. Chicks of 1-7 days of age should have an air temperature 1 inch off the floor of 95-100 degrees below the reflector light. Lower or raise the reflector to achieve this temperature allowing plenty of space for the birds to go to a cooler temperature. Regular white bulbs are fine; however, after 1-2 weeks red bulbs might work better to reduce feather picking. The temperature may need to be slightly higher for Bantams and other small bodied birds. A thermometer will help a lot to insure that you have the proper comfort level for the birds. Reduce the temperature 5 degrees per week until you reach 70 degrees. They shouldn't need much heat after that. Start with one or two bulbs per 50 chicks in cold weather. Then watch how the birds act - see diagram at bottom. The birds need a small light at night to keep them from piling up even after they don't need it for warmth. Be sure to watch the CORNISH CROSS as they grow faster than other birds and will overheat more quickly.

    Hope this helps..

  9. Uzuri

    Uzuri Songster

    Mar 25, 2009
    Can you take the reflector off your lamp? That may allow more of the heat to escape upward. It may also leave you with nothing to hold it up by, so that may not be any good :p
  10. THANK YOU all!!!!

    I'm just a bit puzzled by the recommended range as the 80 degrees just seems too warm for them - they avoid the area where the light is. 75 degrees seems to be about right for them even though they're only 2 weeks old. [​IMG]

    Yet I don't think it's a good idea to have the light off all night when it gets cooler.

    Last night we put a piece of aluminum foil on top of the brooder beneath the heat lamp to deflect some of the heat away.

    I think I need to find a smaller wattage bulb to solve the problem...

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