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Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by sherriwv, Mar 2, 2015.
What temp should my brooder be? Thanks to everyone who replies.
Generally the recommendation is (at one end of the brooder, not the whole brooder) at hatch under the light (or heated end) should be 90-95F for the first week. Each week you decrease it by 5 degrees until you are at room temp and or they are feathered out. If you have one end of the brooder heated then they can go in and out from under the light as they need to to either get warmer or cool off. If your chicks are all huddled under the light and still chirping, then it's not warm enough. If they are all seperated out as far as they can get and are mouth breathing or look uncomfortable, then your brooder heat is too high.
You are welcome.
I know this has been covered like a million times but I have mine set up... I have a digital temp read-out under the light, it says 90 (so ambient air). But when I do a spot check with my laser gun it reads like 101! Which do I believe?! If I move the light up the digital read out will drop down to the mid 80's (chicks expected anyday), with my spot checker doing 95 as the high. I'm using a large rubbermaid tub with chicken wire on the lid. Ideas? I don't want to fry them or freeze them.
Well, once you put them in there, you'll know. Watch their behavior and you can tell if it's sufficient. If they are huddled together under the light and still chirping and causing a rucus, chances are it's not warm enough and you can adjust it to warm it up. If they are spread out far away from the light and lethargic, open mouth breathing, agitated, then it's too hot and you can adjust it to cool down.
If the digital reads 90F, I'd go with that until you get them in there and see if they are comfortable. Just make sure that the light only shines on half of the brooder so they can move out of its range if they are too hot.
Where is the digital put? At about the level of the chick's backs? (around 2' high) I'd be happy with the 90*. Go with that, and after the chicks have been in there a bit, let them tell you. If they huddle under the light, they're cold. If they spread out away from the light, they need less heat. Then, raise it up a couple of inches, and check them again in a bit. Beware, plastic totes are notorious for collecting heat. What seems like a perfect temp can end up rising to 118 or higher in a couple of hours. All that heat from the lamp and the heat that the chicks generate, doesn't seem to rise out of the plastic box.
Thanks for the replies! I got the largest that Lowes had, and the lid is basically off. I'm thinking one problem might be I don't have proper bedding (this is an issue with my snake if I take a reading with or without bedding the temp varies wildly- she has a high impact PVC type terrarium which heats up but with bedding it's the right temp). I'll add more paper towels and the non-skid liner I got for their first few days and then add pine shavings which should make the plastic heat up less. I did also order a Brinsea brooder heater but I'm not sure when it's being delivered. I'll trust that more, especially when they are really young. I'm home quite a bit so I'm sure I'll have plenty of time to obsess over it
Thank you again!
That's the fun of chicks...obsessing...over everything!!! lol