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Brooder Temperature

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by hensandchickscolorado, May 15, 2011.

  1. hensandchickscolorado

    hensandchickscolorado Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2011
    Englewood Colorado
    Hey all. I am VERY new at this and have four 5-day old chicks living in a brooder (plastic storage bin) on my kitchen table [​IMG].

    Everywhere I've read says that my brooder should be at around 95 degrees. I have two thermometers in there to check for accuracy so I think I've got it heated correctly, BUT every time I get the heat to over 90 degrees, the chicks run for the corners.

    It seems to me that they prefer 87-88 degrees. Will they be fine if I keep it there? They seem much happier at that temp.

    Secondly, this red 250 watt bulb (aside from casting an eerie glow out into my neighborhood at night) seems like a horrible way to sleep. The birds didn't actually go to sleep for the night like I thought they might once it was dark...but heck, with that bright light, I couldn't sleep either.

    Am I supposed to be making the brooder dark at night somehow? I'm afraid to cover even half of it with a blanket due to fire safety!

    Thanks...I'm sure this is the first of many questions I'm going to have but I am so excited to raise these chickens!
     
  2. cpegram

    cpegram Chillin' With My Peeps

    the brooder needs to be 95-100 for day olds...if they are happily playing and not clumping up then you have it right.....you do not make it dark they get scared....they will sleep when they need to .... [​IMG]
     
  3. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Go with what the chicks tell you, if they clump up under the bulb then increase heat or lower the bulb, if they avoid the center area and are bunching up in corners then raise the bulb or lower the heat. Keep the food and water at the edges of their comfor zone so the don't need to chill or over heat to access food and water.

    How and where the temperature is read can throw off measurments, a glass thermometer on the floor won't absorb the same heat as a chicks back 2 inches off the floor. The temperature under heat lamps is more about radiated heat than actual air temperature.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
  4. mszekely

    mszekely Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2011
    Vermilion, OH
    Hi, I have been keeping my red light and an incandescent 100 watter going at the edges of my coop. The darlings seem to choose different spots depending on their size. The little ones sleep under the light, the bigger ones choose spots away from the heat. If they all want to be away from the light all the time, try moving it up higher to drop the temp a bit.
     
  5. dbcooper02

    dbcooper02 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SW Washington
    That 250 watt bulb is way more than you need for a plastic tub with 4 chicks. When I brood in that type of container I usually start with a regular 100 watt bulb in a reflector sitting right on top of a hardware cloth lid. As heat requirements go down so does my bulb wattage, 75 then 60. A dimmer hooked up to the 100 watt bulb works well too. I don't concern myself with using a red bulb and haven't found it necessary.
     
  6. hensandchickscolorado

    hensandchickscolorado Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2011
    Englewood Colorado
    Thanks all. I think brooder is just small, or the light is just big. I'm trying to keep it off the food/water but it's hard. For the most part, they seem happiest when the thermometer reads 90, so I'll keep it there. None of them seems stressed or anything so I'm just going to keep on keepin' on!

    Now, if I could get them to stop sitting on the feeder, that would be lovely!
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. hensandchickscolorado

    hensandchickscolorado Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2011
    Englewood Colorado
    Quote:Do you mean like a regular light bulb you have in a lamp?
     
  8. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    middle TN
    I measured temps with a thermometer too but honestly, the chicks gave me more accurate information than the thermometer. If they are hanging out right under the light while awake, it's too cold. Under the light to sleep and then all over the place when awake is just right. Sleeping away from the light means it is too hot. In a large brooder space, you have more room for overheating forgiveness (because they can get away from the light) but a plastic box indoors with a 250W light can easily become an oven.
     
  9. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I missed it was only 4 chicks... wow... Not too menton the electricity those 4 little chicks are burning up with a 250 watt bulb. 100 watts should be plenty, 60 might even do.

    I have two 250s and a 175 on right now for chicks plus a grow light for garden seedlings and it is spinning the hydro meter pretty good... Next bills is going to hurt.
     
  10. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    NE Alabama
    dbcooper: That 250 watt bulb is way more than you need for a plastic tub with 4 chicks. When I brood in that type of container I usually start with a regular 100 watt bulb in a reflector sitting right on top of a hardware cloth lid. As heat requirements go down so does my bulb wattage, 75 then 60. A dimmer hooked up to the 100 watt bulb works well too. I don't concern myself with using a red bulb and haven't found it necessary.

    DITTO. The first few days, at most I use an incandescent 100W bulb but by week's end, I am already down to 75W and after a couple of weeks, I go down to 60W and after about 5-6 weeks, no heat (no light). I have never used a 250W and would imagine that would be WAY TOO HOT and they could die from heat.​
     

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