Brooder Temp


In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 19, 2010
I've got 5 week and a half old chicks that are currently in our guest bathroom (under a heat lamp) just to make sure they stayed warm. They have done fine in there, but I do have a nice brooder in my garage just wasnt sure when I could move them out there. The brooder is approximately 4 ft long and 3 feet wide and the temp varies by from 99 on the side where the head lamp is to 78 on the other side. I checked these temps this morning and it did got down to 35 here last night so the garage was obviously a little cold. I used tape and cardboard around any openinings to reduce any draft. My question is would it be ok to move my chicks out there now? I've read that it needs to be 95 degrees the first week and reduced each week by 5 degrees, but is that for the whole brooder or just near/under the lamp? I could always add anotther heat lamp to the other side just didnt want to cook them.
That is just under the heat lamp. I often have temperatures 20 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit cooler in the far corners of my brooder. The first two days (not weeks , days) they tend to stay under the heat, but by the third day they are playing all over the brooder, coming back to the heat when they need to. I think they are healthier with this temperature variation and they find their own comfort level. I raise the lamp some to reduce the heat as they grow, but I don't use a thermometer to check the temperatures after initial set-up. I know I reduce it by less than the 5 degrees a week, but they find their comfort level in my 3' x 5' brooder. They do sleep in a pile under the heat. I think that is more for companionship than the heat.

I set my brooder up in the coop from day 1. They should do very well in your garage as long as you can maintain the heat in one area, prevent drafts, and provide predator protection. I usually have a lot more than 5 chicks and they do get some heat from each other when they sleep in a pile. Keeping the heat in one area at least as high as the recommended temperatures is probably more important for you than me, but do not worry in the least if the far corners are cooler. They will enjoy that.

Good question and good detail provided. That made it easier to answer.
Thanks RR... Thats kind of what I thought so guess they'll be moving today.
My chicks have lived outside since they were a week old. I did have a heat lamp in my 330 sq ft. coop. They are now 4 weeks old & completely feathered out & have no heat lamp. You probably should move them into a colder climate so they can get accustom to colder weather. You don't need another lamp.I would position the lamp way above them & give them alot of room so if they are getting to hot they can move away from the heat.Keep an eye on them. If they are not huddled under the lamp I would move them into the coop after a night in the garage. I personally would never raise chicks inside they seem healthier being raised in their natural environment with the choice of using the heat lamp if so desired. This is just my opinion.
How soon until we can let them go outside and walk around the yard? I know that would depend on the temp outside and we would obviously watch them. Today its gonna be 70 and sunny here in GA.
I start taking chicks outside at about two weeks old, on sunny days that aren't too windy. My mama hen had her chicks outside even earlier than that.
I'm in GA too (SW) and I took mine out earlier this week - it was really nice weather. We put a circle of some loose fencing out in the grass & my son and I got in there too so we could hold them. I'm sure the neighbors were wondering why my husband has to keep his wife & son in a big play pen outside!

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