Brooder temperature control

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AmandaH, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. AmandaH

    AmandaH New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Mar 19, 2015
    Michigan
    This is our first attempt at raising baby chicks. We have 11 of them in a brooder box outside in the garage. We live in Michigan where the temp is still getting down into the 20's at night and up into the 40-50 range during the day. How do you regulate the temperature inside the brooder box? Last night it dipped to 79 and just this afternoon it was at 103 degrees inside the box with a heat lamp.
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    17,230
    5,716
    501
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC - you regulate the temperature by moving your lamp lower or higher in relation to the brooder floor -- the lower the light, the less the heat dissipates so the warmer the area below it will be. However, be sure you are gauging the temperature directly below the light - you only need that area to be at x temperature - the rest of the brooder is cooler to allow your chicks to self-regulate by moving to and away from the light/heat as needed. I prefer to use my chicks' behavior to adjust the temperature rather than a thermometer -- if they are all huddled desperately right under the light, they are too cold; if they are all as far as they can get from it they got too hot. Cheeping loudly and acting distressed is a sign that they may be uncomfortable as well. "Just right" is when they are scattered about the brooder, being active and seeming comfortable. It is important to allow for changes in the ambient temperature - as you saw, the light is only one part of the equation so adjusting for warmer and cooler times of day is also necessary when not brooding in a climate controlled location.
    How old are the chicks? The good news is, that with 11 of them they also have each other to help keep warm and generate a little extra warmth in the brooder (likely what they did as it cooled overnight).
     
  3. AmandaH

    AmandaH New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Mar 19, 2015
    Michigan
    Thank you! We are very excited for this new venture! I am guessing the chicks to be about 1 & 1/2 weeks old. They don't seem to stay directly under the light. They sleep all cuddled up just inside of the heat circle. (If that makes sense! ;) ) Should we be concerned that the temperature difference directly under the heat changes from 80-100°? I understand raising and lowering the lamp but that will be hard when I go back to work tomorrow. Thanks for all your help! :)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by