brooder temp

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by thumper29a, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. thumper29a

    thumper29a Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2012
    Coldwater MI
    my brooder is only holding at 84 degrees is this gonna be okay,I havent put chicks in yet
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    84 may be a little cool for day-old chicks. Are you sure its 84? I.e. do you trust that the thermometer you are using reads accurately, and is placed in the correct position? What are you using for heat and how high above the chicks is it?
  3. LaynaDon95

    LaynaDon95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2012
    For day olds it really needs to be at about 90. They won't die or anything at 84, but they will be much happier and healthier at around 90.
    That being said, I had mine set to what I thought was 90 and when I put the babies in they were panting. Make sure you have a reliable thermometer.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Are you looking at the entire brooder or only one spot? I keep my brooder in the coop. It is fairly large with a good draft guard around it to stop direct breezes, but it is also very well ventilated. I keep one small area pretty warm and let the rest cool off as it will, sometimes down into the 40's or 50's. As long as they have a place to go to warm up, they find their own comfort level. You'd be surprised how much time very young chicks spend in those cooler areas.

    I don't even use a thermometer any more. As long as you can provide an area warm enough and give them room to get away if it is too hot, they'll do OK. I'd go bananas trying to keep the entire brooder the right temperature.
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011

    x2. IMO- your chicks will be fine at 84°. I try to keep my brooder temps on the cooler side, about the same as yours. The chicks will feather out faster. My broodies have had their chicks out in the rain and everything, and they're perfectly happy to be there. Chicks are tough. Enjoy them, good luck!
  6. Squawkbox

    Squawkbox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 25, 2011
    Ugh I'm having such a hard time with this. My chicks are just over 2 weeks old, they like about 90. I just tried lifting the heat lamp to see what they would do and it was measuring 84. They were huddled so close in a pile and trying to lay under eachother. What do I do??
    Sorry for the slight thread hijack, I am just a bit confused.
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Again, let the chicks tell you what they want. If two week old chicks react negatively to 84 degrees, huddle excessively and peep loudly, they are cold.
    Having brooded out hundreds and hundreds of chicks over the years, I can attest to the fact that thermostats are only useful in setting up the brooder. After that? The best thermostat, bar none, is the chicks themselves and their behavior.

    Weaning them off the higher temps is important, but there's time to accomplish that at 4-6 weeks when they are feathered out. 2 week old chicks do not have feathers worth a hoot yet.

    Theoretically, one could keep the "hot spot" at 90 the entire time of brooding, if you wished to pay the electric bill. If the chicks have access to areas that are significantly cooler, say ambient air of 50 degrees, they'll cool off when they need to, enter the heat circle when they need to, and sleep the the right distance away from it, as they need to.

    This is why a huge brooder is preferred. Small brooder containers simply have little room for the chicks to do what is natural to them. Self adjust.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  8. Squawkbox

    Squawkbox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 25, 2011
    Thank you! That is what I thought, although doing some reading, some say it's too hot and they are being "spoiled" etc etc. I guess i'll stick with what's been working!
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    They will essentially wean themselves, if, if they have room to do so and the ambient air is cool enough to make difference in the farther reaches of the brooder.
  10. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    This was exactly my experience:

    They spent less time under the lamp the older (and more feathered) they got. They'd sleep at the edge of the light or even away from it when the weather warmed. I gave up on the thermometer as well and just watched their behavior.

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